Category Archives: All Projects

Abb Group

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ABB Group

ABB is a global technology leader in industrial digitalization. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees and $34 billion revenue. In India, ABB has been operating for over a century. At present, ABB has 40 factories at 9 locations that develop best-in-class products bringing together global expertise, with local experience. India is also home to ABB group’s largest engineering design and R&D center, where engineers work on cutting-edge technologies to develop the future offerings from engineering tools to analytics solutions. ABB Group was established in the sixties. It produces components for electricity transmission such as switchgear, a whole range of transformers and disconnectors. While some of the products are exported most are produced for local consumption.

Executive Summary

ABB Group has been looking for a training solution to replace retired personnel with well-trained and skilled professionals. The company joined the SWISS VET initiative (SVETII) driven by SkillSonics and its Swiss partners and has been operating the training center till date. Close to 100 students have already undergone the Multi-Skilled Production Technician Program. Apart from enhanced technical knowledge, the course helped students to improve quality, efficiency, accuracy, discipline, punctuality and responsibility.Gr

Challenges

SkillSonics’ pilot project within the framework of SVETII attracted ABB’s attention almost immediately leading to the company joining the project on the very onslaught. At the time of the project, many production employees were about to retire. ABB wanted to replace them with well-trained and skilled personnel who were familiar with the newest technologies, including assembly work, and could build quality products without constant supervision.

How SkillSonics Helped

SVETII was implemented and a dedicated training center setup. It included a shop floor with various machines and a classroom with air-conditioning. SkillSonics assisted ABB in setting up the dual apprenticeship according to the Swiss concept adapted to the Indian context. It is a two-year program. In the first year, the apprentices in the training center get basic training which includes theory and practice. The emphasis is not only on technical skills but also on personal development. In the first year, the trainees stay at the VET training center with minimum exposure to other employees. Since the trainees are also seen as change agents, ABB doesn’t want them to be influenced by existing staff and old practices. In the second year, the apprentices work at different workstations in the factory for three days a week and take courses in theory and practice at the training center for two days a week. The courses in theory are taught mainly by instructors from local industrial training institutes (ITI). Other courses such as English language are given by external teachers. Internal company courses on work safety and product knowledge are taught by ABB staff. All the theoretical training takes place on the ABB Campus which has the necessary infrastructure. The teaching staff travels to the ABB location. Practical training is conducted by the head of the training center or by ABB instructors from different product lines. As preparation, company instructors attend SkillSonics courses to learn the appropriate pedagogical approach. The instructors supervise apprentices at various workstations. The practical training takes place at ABB except for one or two courses (for example, welding) that are held at a supplier’s facility for a couple of days.

Results

  • Apprentices that graduated from the SWISS VET center have more in-depth and solid expertise than other trainees.
  • Their practical experience and sense for quality is on a much higher level than that of normal trainees.
  • Their knowledge of English is on a level which allows them to communicate with foreign visitors (for example, customers) and ABB personnel from abroad, such as during new product transfer or audits.
  • Cultural change resulted in improved quality, enhanced efficiency, accuracy, discipline, punctuality and responsibility.
  • The training program has also strengthened trainees’ motivation – they are more disciplined, punctual and self-driven. There is less absenteeism and they learn much faster.

ACC Limited

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ACC Limited

The only cement company with “Super Brand” status in India.

ACC Limited is India’s leading manufacturer of cement and ready mixed concrete, and the only cement company to get Super Brand status in India. It has a presence in 20 locations and employs over 10’000 workers in India.

Summary

Cement production is a continuous process. Any interruption in the production cycle can lead to production slowdowns, material wastage and large expenses. ACC management wanted to improve their plant uptime and safety record. They mandated SkillSonics to upskill their workforce and train their trainers across 26 plants. Within 2 years, SkillSonics had trained 3’500 employees. Thanks to the program, plant performance and safety records improved significantly.

Challenges
  • Working with mixed groups of workers aged from 25 to 50 – uneven technical and intellectual know-how
  • Ensuring safety of workers and equipment
  • Bringing a clear sense of meaning and purpose to training for self-improvement
  • Working in different local languages
  • Coordinating the training program and the ongoing factory work schedule
How SkillSonics Helped

SkillSonics offered a two-year program to train and certify 6’000 employees across 26 ACC plants. Experts from ACC and SkillSonics jointly devised the program, training modules and specified the learning outcome for 287 trainee batches. The program was conducted in 2 phases (each of 1-year duration) and was completed successfully within the specified time frame. SkillSonics trained 3’500 employees in different plants. SkillSonics also trained ACC trainers in pedagogy and applied didactics. The trainers were inducted as co-instructors so that they could continue in-house training after the SkillSonics program ended.

Results

ACC carried out a skill gap analysis before the SkillSonics program began and after it ended to measure program benefits. Findings showed that the safety awareness and work skill programs resulted in significant improvements in team work, overall coordination, personal safety and safety of plant and equipment. Domain-specific training improved employees’ understanding of their jobs. Trainees achieved better results and positive recognition, which led to higher retention rates. In general, workforce stability improved and with it overall productivity at ACC.

GMM Pfaudler Limited

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GMM Pfaudler Limited

GMM Pfaudler, an Indian market leader in the manufacturing of equipment for the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors

GMM Pfaudler Limited is a leading supplier of engineering equipment and systems for critical applications in the global chemical and pharmaceutical markets. GMM Pfaudler has been working with SkillSonics to implement the Swiss VET System since 2012.

Summary

GMM Pfaudler prioritizes a long-term strategy that ensures the seamless transfer of knowledge to the next generation of employees. As part of this undertaking GMM Pfaudler asked SkillSonics to establish a multi-skilled production technician program in welding, fabrication and CNC machining. The program took place at its factory-based VET training center built according to Swiss parameters. The students systematically increased the amount of time spent in the workshop from 40% in the first semester to a full day in the last semester of their 2-year course. They acquired practical skills and after graduating could immediately be deployed on the shopfloor.

Challenges

GMM Pfaudler was established in 1962 as Gujarat Machinery Manufacturers. It grew successfully into a market leader in glass lined equipment in India and has been proud of its expertise and highly qualified workforce. There was no room for error when the question of how best to transfer expertise to the next generation of workers arose; GMM wanted to get its strategy right from the start. “We wanted to ensure, that we keep providing high quality products, services and solutions in a timely manner to all our clients irrespective of some of our most senior employees’ retirement,” says Mr. Chandulal Makadia, Vice Preisdent, Manufacturing.

How SkillSonics Helped

The solution lay in finding a reliable partner who would assist GMM Pfaudler to design a training program with a focus on practical training and a smooth workforce transition. GMM Pfaudler chose SkillSonic’s Multi-Skilled Production Technician (MSPT) course. In the first semester, the trainees spent one day a week in the company workshop and attended theory classes, including an English language course for the rest of the week. By the third semester, there was an equal distribution of classroom study and practical training.  The trainees spent their entire fourth semester in the workshop. During the program, the trainees learned key elements of welding and fabrication technologies directly related to GMM Pfaudler processes. They also had time to work on their own projects to develop creativity and problem-solving abilities.

Results
  • Knowledge transfer and transition to a new generation of workers was resolved in a structured and seamless manner.
  • Since 2012 a total of 109 apprentices have been trained. Most of the apprentices have since joined GMM Pfaudler as permanent employees.
  • Employee loyalty and commitment to GMM Pfaudler makes it easier to plan for future initiatives.
  • Better expertise has resulted in more efficiency, increased productivity and improved discipline.

ACE Foundation

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Anwesha Composite Education Foundation

Bringing industry and educational institutions together

The Anwesha Composite Education Foundation (ACE Foundation) is a non-profit vocational school and a SkillSonics partner based in Karamsad, Gujarat. ACE works with Rhino Machines Pvt. Ltd., a foundry equipment manufacturer; Anwesha Engineering, an engineering, procurement and construction company; Composite Solutions, a financial advisory firm and Composite Education, an education consultancy.

Summary

As a SkillSonics partner, ACE Foundation shares the objective of skilling young people through Swiss VET so that they are equipped for employment when they graduate. On the recommendation of Rhino Machines Pvt. Ltd., the ACE Foundation chose SkillSonics as its exclusive partner to deliver training at the ACE-Rhino Vocational School. ACE and Rhino provide funding and equipment. SkillSonics’ provides all content and implements the training programs and assessments for apprentices and trainers.

Challenges

ACE Foundation has identified several challenges currently plaguing India’s skilling ecosystem.

Industry:
  • Deficit of well-trained youth to work in companies.
  • Inadequate input from industry in the content, design and delivery of training programs.
Training Institutes:
  • Technical education curricula neither deliver the right content in the classroom nor adequately train students for shopfloor work. As a result, students are not industry-ready when they graduate.
Society:
  • Vocational education is not perceived as a path for high achievers or valued as a serious career option that leads to respectable professional status. This social stigma results in fewer young people opting to do an apprenticeship.
How SkillSonics Helped

Through its delivery of Swiss methodology and know-how, SkillSonics has introduced ACE Foundation to globally accepted standards of safety, quality and productivity. ACE now integrates this approach into its training programs.  ACE also encourages students to work productively while completing their training program.  Having recognized the value of working cooperatively with industry, ACE is now pursuing partnerships with other companies similar to its cooperation with Rhino Machines Pvt Ltd.

Results
  • Training center established and operational since 2015. Registered today by the Government of Gujarat as Skill Upgradation Centre.
  • Teachers and instructors of ACE trained and certified under the Quality Assurance Project of the Swiss Vocational Education and Training Initiative (SVETII)
  • Teachers and instructors of Rhino Machines and other industries trained to global standards in welding and automation
  • Existing industry workforce as well as new entrants to the employment market successfully trained to full industry readiness and employability.

Texmo Industries

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Texmo

Texmo Industries has been in the electric motor and agricultural pump industry for over sixty years. It began as a supplier of India’s nascent textile motor market. Today, it has an annual turnover of over INR 10 billion. This makes it the market leader in India’s pump industry.

Summary

Texmo Industries has been seeking a professional provider of world-class vocational education to train its workforce. It chose SkillSonics to establish a Multi-Skilled Production Technician Program in CNC machining and mechatronics at its factory-based training center in Coimbatore, India. The students acquire hands-on practical skills through Swiss VET training in the classroom and on the Texmo shopfloor. The training programs furnish Texmo Industries with a dedicated, scalable and highly-skilled workforce.

Challenges

Although Texmo’s new hires had technical degrees, they lacked the skills and social competencies to work in the factory.  Texmo recognized the importance of training future employees and ensuring the availability of a quality, multi-skilled workforce familiar with its processes.

How SkillSonics helped

Texmo Industries partnered with SkillSonics to implement a VET program at their manufacturing facility in Coimbatore.  They selected the Multi-Skilled Production Technician (MSPT) course which is open to tenth grade graduates and lasts three years. During this time trainees learned process, assembly, CNC machine operations and testing skill. They were also taught communication skills and good workplace practices. 80% of the training was practical and directly related to Texmo processes. The apprentices now have the hard and soft skills to perform well.

In parallel, SkillSonics implements Train the Trainer (ToT) programs for Texmo trainers. It conducts regular assessments and quality assurance programs for competence building. As a result, Texmo deploys some of their production personnel as guest faculty at training institutes.

Results
  • A total of 39 apprentices trained in two years. A new batch of 45 students has now joined the training program Texmo trainees participated in the World Skills Preliminaries in 2018.
  • Improved expertise leading to better workforce performance and a more productive work environment.
  • A disciplined and socially responsible graduate pipeline in line with Texmo’s culture and reputation.