Optical coating is a complex process with critical details that can greatly impact the outcome of a project. Many times, thin film coating knowledge is an understanding of certain variables that is developed over time. Because large portions of the workforce are baby boomers who will retire in the near future, how do you train the incoming coating engineers in a field that simply requires experience?
Successfully transferring the knowledge that lies with current optical coating experts is key to helping new hires land on their feet when they enter the industry. The more quickly your next optical coaters pick up the specific coating processes, the sooner they will be able to contribute to company success.
At VisiMax, we are currently seeing how beneficial it can be to utilize the knowledge of our experts. When expanding a team, it's important to determine which candidates will best fit the needs of the company and figure out if they will make the desired contributions. But in an industry as technical as optical coating, we also had to determine the easiest way to integrate these members and help them understand the VisiMax Process.
"There are intangible things in the thin film coating process that you just have to know. There are tricks to making everything connect and getting it right," said VisiMax new hire Michael Morken. The answer to figuring out this intangible knowledge? For us, the answers are in the 27 years of experience our Director of Technology Karl Karbowicz has in thin films.
Design is one of the most complicated portions of the coating process. Over time companies develop their own specific processes that match their skills, and VisiMax is no exception. Leveraging Karl's expertise to provide new hires guidance and learning opportunities allows us to speed up the training process while tailoring their skills and knowledge to fit our unique process. Kevin Laverty, one of the newest additions to the VisiMax team, said this learning process requires an open mind in order to pick up on the "tribal knowledge" that experienced team members share. "They just know certain things," he said of the importance of their guidance on optical coating projects.
Building a team based on experience is important to coating success, but building a team that can share that experience and convey their expertise as the team grows is what keeps the success going. Karl's depth of thin film coating knowledge and ability to answer questions is instrumental to progress.