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Molder adds computer training lab.

Nypro, Inc., a worldwide custom injection molder based in Clinton, Mass., recently expanded its Nypro Institute with extensive computer-based training facilities. Since 1977, the Nypro Institute has trained more than 500 company employees, local trade-school and college students, and employees of other molding firms, in cooperation with three nearby colleges. It offers a wide range of courses, from basic injection molding technology to advanced statistical process control, remedial math to blueprint reading, as well as mold design, hydraulics and pneumatics, electrical maintenance, technical writing, leadership and communication skills, and principles of supervision. Courses typically cost employees $150-250 apiece, and some count toward certificates or Associate degrees at cooperating colleges. "Virtually everyone at Nypro uses it," says director of human resources Ed Hamilton, but half its trainees have come from outside the company.

Now, the Institute has moved from a classroom area in a corner of one of Nypro's Clinton molding plants to a newly equipped 3000-sq-ft learning center adjacent to the corporate offices. It has a brand-new computer training lab with six PC terminals that can display software for SPC, CADkey mold design, Syscon-PlantStar process and production monitoring, and Paulson IMES II process troubleshooting. (All these programs are used in Nypro's regular operations.) In another room are four booths with tv screens and headphones for individual viewing of training videotapes.

Nypro's computer lab is also serving as a "beta site" for testing a new developmental training program from Paulson Training Programs, Inc., Cromwell, Conn., which will be released later this year. This is a laser-disc, interactive version of an injection molding training course presently available on videotape. Whereas the taped version is designed for classroom groups, the new version on laser disc will allow individual students to proceed independently at their own pace. Using a question-and-answer format, the system automatically goes back and reviews information if the student gives a wrong answer. The computer randomly selects questions, so that different ones are selected each time the program is run. Also, the computer "remembers" to pick up the course at the point where a student left off.

According to Paul Jensen, corporate director of training and development, training programs bring results in the production environment. He cites a recent "before-and-after" comparison of employees' knowledge of injection molding. Nypro used a relatively new "Needs Analysis" test from Paulson, which is designed to help managers evaluate the molding skills of their staff. The test was administered before and after employees took a Paulson classroom course in Injection Molding Technology (recently completed, for example, by all 80 employees at Nypro's Asheville, S.C., plant). "Our pre-training scores for both basic and advanced molding technology were pretty much industry standard," Jensen says. "Post-training scores showed incredible improvements--even the lowest scores were at or above the pre-training average." (CIRCLE 112)
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Title Annotation:Nypro Inc.'s Nypro Institute
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:Apr 1, 1992
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