Category Archives: All Projects

International Automobile Centre of Excellence (iACE)

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International Automobile Centre of Excellence (iACE)

The vision of the International Automobile Centre of Excellence (iACE) (https://www.iacegujarat.com) is to be the apex centre for skill development for the automotive sector in Gujarat, utilizing modern technology and systems. The iACE was incorporated by the Government of Gujarat in collaboration with Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), with a 50% equity stake each. The centre is a world class institute catering to ‘end to end’ training and development needs of the automobile ecosystem in India. The centre hosts the latest ‘state-of-the-art’ infrastructure and technical labs to provide hands on learning experience. The institute draws upon the expertise of industry-academia collaborations with leading Indian and foreign partners for knowledge and technological relevance of industrial learning.

Executive Summary

iACE was looking for a technology partner to help in designing and developing the courseware for a high quality industrial painting program since painting is an important aspect of any automotive industry and iACE did not have such a course in its program portfolio.

How SkillSonics Helped

As per the requirements of the iACE and its own expertise and experience in the field, SkillSonics developed the industrial painting related program, including assessment methodology and certification process, in line with best practices and latest technology.

Results

The following results were achieved:

  • Complete training program for industrial painting which can be delivered both online and offline.
  • The program is tailored to the needs of the entire value chain of the automotive industry, encompassing both manufacturing and servicing.
  • Students are exposed to latest technologies and methods.
  • The program offers integrated internship opportunities.
  • Successful students receive globally recognized certification.

Hindalco Industries Limited

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Hindalco Industries Limited

Established in 1962 in Renukoot, Uttar Pradesh, Hindalco Industries Limited (http://www.hindalco.com) is one of the oldest plants of the Aditya Birla Group. It is the metals flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group. With a consolidated turnover of US$ 18.7 billion, Hindalco is an industry leader in aluminium and copper and one of Asia’s biggest producers of primary aluminium. It is the world’s largest flat-rolled products manufacturer and recycler of aluminium. Its state-of-the-art aluminium facility includes an ore refinery, a smelter and a semi-fabrication plant. Hindalco has been accorded Star Trading House status in India, and its aluminium is accepted for delivery under the High-Grade Aluminium Contract on the London Metal Exchange (LME), while its copper quality is also registered on the LME with Grade A accreditation.

Executive Summary

Hindalco was looking for a solution to fulfil the training needs of its employees by having an in-house set up for a Hindalco School of Excellence (HSE) outside the plant premises at Renukoot. The HSE was to be equipped with classrooms and lab facilities for courses in Fitter-Mechanical, Welding, Electrical, Pneumatics & PLC, and Mechatronics. The HSE should initially cater to the training needs of 3 of Hindalco’s plants in the Renukoot cluster and, going forward, be able to scale to meet the requirements of other Aditya Birla Group companies, including Grasim Chemicals, Hitech Carbon and Ultratech Cements).

Challenges

Hindalco was grappling with the following challenges which it sought to solve through SkillSonics:

  • Skill depletion across the hierarchy due to high number of retiring and ageing workforce.
  • No role / competency based curriculum for mid and junior level managerial staff.
  • Lack of required skills among the workforce to do designated jobs/roles.
  • Need to address lack of flexibility by creating multiskilled operators.
  • Lack of proper training infrastructure.

How SkillSonics Helped

SkillSonics first helped Hindalco in setting up the Hindalco Technical Training Centre (HTTC) in the company’s own school building. It designed the complete plan for revamping the old building to fit the purpose of the HTTC equipped with classrooms, lab facilities, recreational rooms etc. SkillSonics then developed the right mix of job role specific courses for workmen and long-term programs for Graduate and Diploma Engineers, joining the plant. SkillSonics also connected Hindalco with suitable OEM vendors for equipment and machinery.

The courseware designed by SkillSonics to meet Hindalco’s requirements for Fitter Mechanical, Electrician, PLC & Pneumatics, Mechatronics, Welding & Fabrication follows Swiss methodology with a 70% portion of the program focused on generic manufacturing concepts, and a 30% portion on specifics of the Hindalco plants involved. Each module integrates 5S, Kaizen and similar associated work skills. The modules are developed in consultation with the plant heads and based also on inputs from Hindalco.

Results

SkillSonics has been able to help Hindalco achieve the following results:

  • Building of a state-of-the-art Technical Training Centre equipped with appropriate machinery and equipment for in-house training needs.
  • Creating a pool of retired supervisors/operators for hands-on and on the job trainings.
  • Designing a robust mix of certificate programs to skill the workforces including graduate, diploma engineers and contract workmen.
  • Offering high quality content, including theory, practical, work-based trainings, and shop floor on-the-job training.
  • Preparing and delivering job-role specific trainings and multiskilling programs for the workforce.
  • Developing a model that can offer scalable quality training services for Hindalco’s Renukoot cluster and adjacent companies of the Aditya Birla Group in the near future.

Tata Electronics Pvt. Ltd.

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Tata Group

Tata Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Mumbai. Founded in 1868, the company gained international recognition after purchasing several global companies. Each Tata company operates independently under supervision of its own board of directors and shareholders. The Group is active in Information Technology, Steel, Automotive, Consumer & Retail, Infrastructure, Financial Services, Aerospace & Defence, Tourism & Travel as well as Telecom & Media, Trading & Investment and owns some of the world’s leading brands in these sectors. The group operates in more than 100 countries across six continents, with the mission ‘To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust’.

Executive Summary

Tata Electronics Pvt. Ltd. is on an ambitious plan to set up a high-volume precision manufacturing plant at Hosur, Tamil Nadu, that aims to employ a workforce of 15,000 over one year. The Company approached SkillSonics to support the rapid scale-up beyond the prototype and pilot implementation phases. Tata Electronics plans to deploy a trained women workforce for precision manufacturing with a specific focus on CNC & VMC operations and precision assembly job roles.

Tata Electronics gives high preference for female employees from poor and underprivileged family backgrounds who have passed the 10+2 standard, completed an ITI (Industrial Training Institute) program or have a diploma in engineering.

Challenges

Tata Group wants only female employees for this project. Parents are not readily willing send their daughters for training or a job in a faraway location (in this instance at Hosur, Tamil Nadu). Hence, due to family pressure, young women from other States are unwilling to relocate. SkillSonics overcame this challenge by counselling the women candidates along with their parents and by explaining the opportunity in getting a permanent job with Tata, an organization with a unique reputation also in terms of caring for its employees. SkillSonics efforts are bearing fruit. Till date, SkillSonics could successfully recruit and train 600 women for Tata Electronics.

How SkillSonics Helped

SkillSonics utilized its large network of engineering colleges, training institutes and organizations as well as clusters in the engineering sector to reach out to different catchment areas in and around Hosur, Bengaluru, adjoining districts and other states such as Maharashtra, Andra Pradhesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Odisha and Assam. By conducting online pre-assessments and screening drives, SkillSonics was able to shortlist the right women candidates for the course.

In parallel, SkillSonics identified training centres in different regions with appropriate training infrastructure and accommodation facilities. It then delivered a 30-day CNC/VMC programs tailored to the requirements of Tata Electronics and the candidates. The program equips the selected candidates with the appropriate skills and knowledge, makes them industry ready and immediately deployable.

Results

  • Upon successful completion of course and job screening, trained women candidates receive job offers as Employees at the Tata Electronics’ plant, on company payrolls along with respective benefits.
  • Apprentices trained through the SkillSonics program have in depth and solid expertise, combined with practical experience.
  • Through cultural programs, soft skill training and work place skills training , the overall performance of trainees improves.
  • The practical experience and sense for quality of the candidates who have completed the SkillSonics program is on a much higher level than that of other trainees.
  • The knowledge of English of the candidates is on a level which allows them to communicate with foreign visitors (for example, customers).
  • The training program strengthens the trainees’ motivation to become self-driven and thus results in improved quality, enhanced efficiency, accuracy, punctuality and responsibility.

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.