Komatsu Australia has established a new business unit, Komatsu Training Academy, a nationally registered training organisation (RTO), to provide technical, operator and management courses for the company's customers throughout the region.
Komatsu Training Academy's National Business Manager is Janine Temple, who has more than 17 years' experience in training and management development roles at leading industry associations, including the Australian Mines and Metals Association, the Civil Contractors Federation, and the Housing Industry Association.Komatsu Training Academy (KTA) is headquartered at the Komatsu Technical Education Centre (KTEC) in Brisbane, which over the past few years has become the company's primary training centre for operators and technicians in Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.
It is one of the region's most advanced technical training facilities for mining, earthmoving and utility equipment.
According to Janine, KTA was specifically developed to assist Komatsu's construction, quarry and mining customers by delivering nationally recognised and customised training where they need it.
This includes training online, on-site at customers' premises or at the company's dedicated training facilities in Brisbane and other centres.
"Our training course offerings include a mix of fully accredited, nationally recognised courses and modules, along with purpose-designed training developed to meet customers' specific needs," said Janine.
"Through our team of specialist industry-qualified trainers, we can deliver a broad range of customisable training courses, including leadership and management training, operator proficiency development, and specialised technical training and skills development."
In the field of operator and technical training, Janine said a major focus of KTA's courses will be moving beyond basic competency training, and into more advanced proficiency development.
"All too often today, training is merely focused on churning out numbers of trainees.
"In contrast, at KTA, we are focusing on what our customers really need: up-skilling for increased production, improved fuel efficiency, reduced wear and tear, lower operating costs, better preventive maintenance, and greater safety," she said.
"There is a major difference between a key technician or operator who is merely competent, compared with one who istruly proficientat their job and these differences can translate into significant benefits to a company's bottom line.
"This philosophy is very much in line with Komatsu's total machine management approach, harnessing our information communications technology (ICT) and intelligent machine systems to drive productivity and reliability improvements, and reduce operating costs.
"An important element of this is having highly skilled operators and technicians who fully understand the machines and the technology behind them, allowing them to take full advantage of these developments," said Janine.
While KTA will be able to deliver its training and educational programs through its branches across Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia, as well as at customer worksites and facilities, the hub of its operations will be its KTEC headquarters.
Located on more than 3 hectares of land, KTEC has more than 2600 sq m of dedicated training facilities, including seven classrooms, seven technical/electrical laboratories and a large machine operator's workshop.
It also incorporates a number of simulators, providing the ability for both novice and experienced operators to safely learn on a range of machines, from construction and utility size up to ultra-class mining equipment.
Courses available through KTA cover a variety of mining, construction and utility machine types, including backhoe/loaders, dozers, crushers, dump trucks, excavators (conventional and hybrid), graders and wheel loaders, as well as general systems and technologies.
"KTEC was originally designed to specifically increase the technical capability of our own service and support people to the benefit of our customers," said Janine.
"It has evolved to become an important element of our total customer satisfaction experience by ensuring we offer the best trained OEM support in the industry.
"As a result, we were increasingly being asked to provide technical training for our customers' own service technicians, and over the past few years, this has become a growing business for Komatsu Australia.
"This has now seen the KTEC facility becoming part of Komatsu Training Academy, offering a full suite of accredited and custom-developed educational programs across management, technical and operational training.
"Our vision is to seeKTEC recognised as a centre of excellence in heavy equipment training throughout the Asia-Pacific, from whichKTA delivers training to customers and sites in the region."she said.
"We believe our industry is on the cusp of major changes in how we operate. Through the increasing speed of technological advancement, innovative design and 'SMART' products it has never been more important to train people to take maximum advantage and prepare for our industries future." stated Colin Shaw, GM People and Strategy.
Pictured: Janine Temple (Komatsu Training Academy's National Business Manager)