Categories: Shaft Alignment,Machinery Maintenance,Other Topics

Out-Of-The-Box Thinking

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By on July 23, 2020

Out-of-the-box thinking is sometimes required in these uncertain times we are living in.

This became clear on a recent training assignment in Northeast Nevada. Improvisation became the backdrop for my class with the mining maintenance technicians of Direct Force Maintenance, of Winnemucca Nevada. The current cultural changes facing our nation provide challenges for conducting on-site training, making it necessary to modify our classroom plans.

The conference room we had booked was too small, too cramped, and not enough ventilation to satisfy social distancing guidelines. We opted to conduct our precision shaft alignment training in an open-air venue by changing horses (pun intended) and moving the training site to one of the company leader’s horse ranch. The class location was now set in an old horse barn converted into a workshop. The large open doors on either end provided open airflow, ventilation, more elbow room, and a great learning atmosphere.

This flexibility and planning not only allowed us to complete the course it actually enhanced the learning experience. The nearby horses didn’t seem to mind our presence, but the rooster was an audible force to be reckoned with. Training should be fun, but it should also be safe. We modified our preconceived notions and achieved both.

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to addressing your training concerns. You may create an amazing learning environment out of necessity.

As ACOEM VibrAlign trainers we are encouraged to be creative, to adapt, and improvise. We will bend over backwards to put your technicians back in the saddle!


About the Author

John, joins us after a 39 year career in the steel industry. He worked the last 31 of those years as a Millwright, and a Maintenance Electrical Technician at U.S. Steel, Gary Works. He also served as an instructor in the USS technical training department for 6 years. He taught various maintenance courses, including alignment. There he was introduced to VibrAlign products. He immediately identified with the practices, and passion of the VibrAlign trainers.

John received his AAS in Maintenance Technologies from Indiana Vocational Technical College (IVY Tech). He worked part time for them as an Adjunct, teaching various levels of hydraulic classes for 6 years.

He and his wife currently live in Falcon, Colorado.

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