Every year, VisiMax Technologies holds a "Training Day" for all employees. Though the company's expert staff has thorough experience, the company recognizes the value of continued optical coating education. Chris Murphy, VisiMax Vice President, explains why the company takes the time to devote 100% of a day to training on processes, equipment, and safety.
What's the structure of Training Day? Do you choose employees to present and train or do they volunteer?
It's a mixture of volunteers and being asked to present. For team members who excel in certain areas or have extensive experience with specific equipment, we like to have them share their expertise. Although it is a teaching opportunity it's really a peer-to-peer learning experience. Training Day is a group exercise and we allow everyone a chance to get involved. The varied experience levels among our team make it a really interesting knowledge sharing exercise. This year Thin Film Engineers Kevin Laverty and Michael Morken and Operations Manager Aaron Todd each played leadership roles.
Do you train on every piece of equipment or highlight specific ones?
The main focus is safety, but training time is always allocated to other areas of focus and pieces of equipment. These areas of focus are determined by our operations staff and what they deem to be most valuable in terms of employee safety and process efficiency. Our Buehler SYRUSpro 1350 coating chamber is a special area of interest this year because it’s a new work center for us. The Optical Monitoring capabilities of this chamber, along with the larger chamber size, have expanded our capabilities. Now the challenge becomes spreading this new knowledge to more of our team members so that we can become more flexible and efficient as we assimilate the new work center into our daily production.
How is an entire day dedicated to employee safety and training and process efficiency an important factor in the VisiMax process?
Customers trust VisiMax to consistently meet or exceed coating performance and on-time delivery expectations. To this end, our team has to achieve its own level of consistency and we do this through speed and discipline. Training Day allows our team to keep up with current safety and health regulations as well as best practices. Proactive training events have a big positive effect on the repeatability of our processes and our ability to ship high quality products on a daily basis. By holding ourselves to high standards, we can better meet our customers' optical coating standards.
What's the overall value and goal of Training Day for the VisiMax team?
When the team is able to step away from its day-to-day routine of producing high quality optical products, it opens up a unique shift in the way we think about our processes. Our lab associates take this chance to go into “creative learning mode” and trade thoughts, suggestions and best practices in ways that a typical day of lab operations wouldn’t normally lend itself to. Training Day is also a way for the VisiMax team to work together in a setting that’s different from a normal workday. Our team always has an overwhelmingly positive and open attitude for this day of learning, which reinforces their dedication to every customer project.
How does this day translate into value for your customers?
Consistency and attention to detail are two critical factors of a successful optical coating operation. A coating partner can't deliver on quality if it doesn't employ those factors in its own everyday processes. By allowing our team to learn from one another, flex their creativity and further their knowledge of optical coating, we're promoting an environment that values quality.