Training academy opens its doors 

To offer the industry an effective training solution on the correct and safe use of its consumables, Pferd has established its own training academy.  

The correct handling and application by operators of cutting and grinding machinery are not only critical in terms of operator safety, but also for the longevity of the machine, effective and efficient use of the consumables, as well as the quality of the overall end result. This is why, Pferd South Africa is offering operator and distributor training at their Pferd Academy based in Kempton Park, Gauteng. Pferd, manufacturer and distributor of abrasive tool solutions for work on surfaces and material cutting, believe that continuous operator training on the correct use of abrasive consumables enhances their performance and plays a direct role in the efficient use of equipment.  

“There are many factors that come into play during grinding and cutting applications that impact upon production and safety,” said Marius Steyn, Pferd South Africa’s training manager. “Operator fatigue, incorrect tool handling and operation, cross-contamination of materials, incorrect product selection, limited knowledge of the machinery being used, frequency of applications and non-adherence to labelled guidelines on the machinery and consumables itself — all play an important performance role”. 

“The Pferd Academy training modules are specifically designed to address these issues. The aim is to correct operator behaviours in an effort to reduce the risk of injury, tool damage and loss of production time and enable operators to give a higher standard and improved attention to the project on hand,” Steyn said. 

With a combination of application-based training, practical workshops (with a range of industry used equipment), e-learning or digital learning, operators will be trained by experienced staff from the world of grinding and cutting in the correct use and understanding of these specialised machine tools. The training will include an analysis of an individual’s requirements and experience, and how to establish the best possible tool solutions for the tasks that the operator undertakes. Retail and distributor staff are offered specialised training to improve product and application knowledge of frontline workers, who deal directly with customers The Pferd Academy staff is also available to conduct on-site training where travel is difficult due to time and operational constraints.  

Managers and supervisors from companies operating in this sector of the industry are encouraged to identify candidates from their operations who will benefit from the Pferd Academy training courses. Additionally, Pferd offers a train-the-trainer programme for companies to take expertise learnt from the Pferd Academy back to their own working environment. This creates an opportunity for a greater level of skills transfer to factory workers wanting to enhance their technical and operational knowledge. 

Performance and equipment factors 

Steyn commented “We aim to impart technical know-how and offer solutions to operators of grinding and cutting tools so that the consequences of using incorrect machinery for an application is fully understood. Incorrect handling of machinery and consumables can lead to injuries for the operator and others, so we believe it is of utmost importance to address such issues.” 

For example, stainless steel (INOX) has corrosion-resistant characteristics and grinding tools that are specifically designed for stainless steel (INOX) should be used. These products are free of ferrous, chlorinated or sulphurous fillers and are designed to reduce and minimise the risk of corrosion as well as heat build-up and discolouration within the grinding zone. “It is important for operators to know and understand the importance of correct product selection and usage,” commented Steyn. 

Selecting the correct tool drive has a significant impact on the cost-effectiveness of the machining process. Selecting the ideal tool drive – air grinder, electric grinder, high-frequency machines or flexible shaft drives and the consumable combination will ensure optimum performance and most cost-effective processing. Factors to consider when selecting the ideal tool drive includes application requirement, performance and safety requirements of the consumable being used, ease of handling and safety features, to name a few.   

Pferd offers a convenient speed calculator which is available on their website and easily accessed on desktops or mobile devices. This is a digital tool that can be used to calculate, and ensure, the correct operating speed and consumable diameter are combined at any given time.   

Steyn added, “Knowledge of the interactions of tool, material and tool drive forms the foundation for the optimisation of machining processes. The Pferd Academy provides this highly specialised and practical knowledge of the world of grinding and cutting in training blocks that follow on from each other, so that step-by-step, the operator will become well versed in the correct safety protocols and usage of consumables which will result in less downtime and tool damage.” 

“The Pferd Academy’s training ensures that the combination of correct tool solution dovetails with a safe and accurate grinding or cutting performance by the operator. It is a win-win situation, the operator benefits from training and guidance at the Pferd Academy, and the company benefits from a superior production process whilst keeping the working environment safe and incident-free,” concluded Steyn. 

As a founding member of the Organisation for the Safety of Abrasives (oSa), Pferd is committed to ensuring its products adhere to the highest safety standards and performance requirements. Pferd is available to assess your current application and recommend suitable training and product solutions to improve overall production efficiency.   

For more information… 

Call: 011-230-4000 

Email: [email protected] 


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