Jergens launching online Tooling
By: David Prizinsky
Cleveland-based toolmaker Jergens Inc. this week is
launching Tooling University, an online training service designed to fill an
educational gap left by the dwindling number of vocational schools and the
demise of many traditional manufacturing apprenticeship programs.
Jergens president Jack Schron Jr. said he expects
Tooling University to generate a good deal of interest based on feedback he
received while attending manufacturing trade shows and on his knowledge of
industry work force issues.
U was created to eliminate many of the difficulties associated with traditional
training techniques for the manufacturing work force, such as seminars,
text-based or video-based approaches "
The program offers online courses in workholding,
metal forming, metal cutting, materials and material handling. The base price
is $299 for one student to take one course. Demonstrations are available at
www.toolingu.com, which also includes a list of fees and discounts.
Tooling University has a staff of eight manufacturing
experts, most of whom are based at Jergens at 15700 S. Waterloo Road, said Wes
Howard, Tooling University director.
Jergens, which produces fixturing and workholding
devices used on machine tools, has been using electronic commerce for about
three years. The company sees Tooling University as a natural extension of the
Tooling Professor, a web-based program it started last year to give technical
advice to customers.
"At industry trade shows last year, we were asked
whether we could broaden the Tooling Professor concept," Mr. Schron said.
"People said to us, `Our people are green,' and asked us if we could help with
"Tooling U was created to eliminate many of the
difficulties associated with traditional training techniques for the
manufacturing work force, such as seminars, text-based or video-based
approaches," Mr. Schron said.
Mr. Howard said online materials can be updated more
efficiently than manuals or videos.
"Tooling U can provide no-downtime learning," Mr.
Schron said. "Sessions can be scheduled around production requirements or
personal schedules. Also, travel, lodging and meal expenses often associated
with training are eliminated."
Major metalworking industry players contributed to the
curriculum. Dayton Progress Corp., a Dayton-area producer of metal punches,
provided a course in basic metalforming, and A.M. Castle & Co., a large
metal service center company in Franklin Park, Ill., provided a course in the
physical and mechanical properties of metals.
Cuyahoga Community College also is a sponsor and has
provided a course in the operation of computer-numerically controlled machine
tools, said Craig McAtee, executive director of Tri-C's manufacturing and
applied technologies program.
Mr. McAtee, a former manufacturing engineer at
Swagelok Co. in Solon, said he expects the Tooling University course to focus
more attention on the metal trades programs offered at Tri-C.