Understanding Plastics Materials

Two levels of training in the principle of plastic materials

Continue Your Staff Development with Plastics Materials Training

Utilise Sierra 57 Consult’s on-site training by continuing your staff development programme with a focus on plastic materials & their properties.

These training courses will help staff learn about classifications of polymers, material data sheets and handling requirements, simple molecular structures of plastics materials and polymerisation amongst other things.

Basic Understanding of Plastics Materials

Duration: 1 day

The Sierra 57 Consult Injection Moulding Training Course consists of 26 modules overall, with an additional 9 optional modules that address specific weaknesses that your workforce may have.

For a Basic Understanding of Plastics Materials, we suggest that candidates take the following 2 modules. These modules cover the following:

Module 12 – Plastic Materials 1: Basic Material Concepts
Module 13 – Plastic Materials 2: Polymers and Additives

Prerequisites – no prior knowledge as course is aimed at beginners, trainee setters, quality, management etc.

Advanced Understanding of Plastics Materials

Duration: 3.5 days

The Sierra 57 Consult Injection Moulding Training Course consists of 26 modules overall, with an additional 9 optional modules that address specific weaknesses that your workforce may have.

For an Advanced Understanding of Plastics Materials, we suggest that candidates take the following 3 modules. These modules cover the following:

Module 14 – Plastic Materials 3: Morphology and Crystallinity
Module 15 – Plastic Materials 4: TG and Design Influences
Module 16 – Fluid Dynamics.

Prerequisites – Good understanding of injection moulding technology or should have completed some previous Sierra 57 Consult training

Basic Understanding of Plastics Material Training Modules:

Module 12 – Materials Level One:
Basic Material Concepts

  • Target audience – material handlers, trainee setters, IMM operators, apprentices, quality personnel, procurement, estimators and middle management.
  • Aims – Provide a basic understanding of polymer materials
    • What are Plastics, and where do they come from.
    • Uses of Plastics and the Diversity of the Plastics Industry.
    • Classification of Plastics Materials.
    • Understanding Material data sheets, level 1.
    • Simple molecular construction of plastics materials and Polymerisation.
    • Drying and Handling requirements.
  • Outcome – improved material handling, reduced scrap, increased basic polymer knowledge.

Module 13– Materials Level Two:
Polymers and Additives

  • Target audience – material handlers, trainee setters, IMM operators, apprentices, quality personnel, procurement, estimators and middle management.
  • Aims – increase the knowledge of attendees with respect to different polymer families.
    • Homo-Polymers, Co-polymers, Ter-Polymers, Blends and Alloys.
    • Amorphous and Semi-Crystalline Plastics.
    • Intermediate Molecular Structures of Plastics.
    • Incorporation and need for Additives.
  • Outcome – improved material handling, reduced scrap, increased basic polymer knowledge, enable management team to understand the the material handling process, improve CAPEX requirements and understanding with respect to material handling needs.

Advanced Understanding of Plastics Material Modules:

Module 14: Materials Level Three – Morphology and Crystallinity

  • Target audience – Trainee setters, technicians, process engineers.
  • Aims – to increase the material knowledge of attendees further and build on learning from Modules two and three
    • Crystallinity.
    • Advanced Molecular Structure of Polymers.
  • Outcomes – further understanding of materials technology to aid process set up and part manufacture

Module 15: Materials Level Four – TG and Design Influences

  • Target audience – process technicians and process engineers
  • Aims – introduce the concept of material rheology:
    • The Glass Transition Temperature.
    • Factors Influencing Design with Plastics.
    • Strength of Plastics Materials (Understanding Modulus)
    • Further Understanding of Material Data Sheets.
    • Bio and Bio-degradable plastics.
  • Outcome – improve the understanding of material rheology, improve production process, achieve process stability.

Module 16:
Fluid Dynamics

  • Target audience – process technicians, process engineers, project engineers
  • Aims – to introduce the basic dynamics of injection moulding (fluid dynamics)
    • Overview of flow analysis (with respect to injection moulding
    • Understanding of the three-dimensional (3D) non-isothermal, non-Newtonian fluid flow of polymer melt.
    • Predict how much pressure is required in advance using calculations of fluid dynamics.
    • Understand that molten plastic has some viscosity, and the impact of the viscosity changes upon time. The equations of calculations of fluid dynamics are explored
  • Outcome – improved understanding of material rheology, viscosity and fluid flow. Improved quality, increased efficiency of material usage and improved process control.
Graduates from Basic Understanding of Plastic Materials Course
PLastic materials training at AKI

Sierra 57 Consult Training Courses are award winning, industry recognised & training body approved. All our plastics training courses are approved by the IOM3. Further, Sierra 57 won 'Best Training & Development' at the Plastic Industry Awards 2022, as well as 'Best Business Initiative' in the 2023 PIA's We are members of the British Plastics Federation (BPF) & Polymer Machinery Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMMDA)

Plastics Training approved by the Institute of Materials
Plastic Industry Awards Winners 2023 & 2022
Injection Moulding Training recognised by the British Plastics Federation

Education is a powerful way to transform lives & your business.

There is a shortage of good, skilled Engineers in the UK.
Upskilling your workforce will foster loyalty & empower them to be their very best.
Further, upskilling is approximately a third of the cost of recruiting.

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8 September 2023Congrats to the Polypipe team for successfully completing: PD1: Injection Moulding for Beginners. PD5: Basic Understanding of Plastics Materials. Your hard work is paying off- just imagine what you’ll do next! https://www.polypipe.com/  Broomhouse Lane Edlington DN12 1ES #plasticsmanufacturing #injectionmouldingtraining #manufacturing [...]Read more...
6 September 2023Sierra 57 Consult, a specialist precision engineering recruitment and consultancy agency based in Worcestershire, UK,  announces its latest achievement – winning the prestigious title of Best Precision Engineering Recruitment Agency 2023 – UK. This recognition not only highlights the exceptional commitment of Sierra 57 Consult but also underscores the profound benefits it brings to its valued customers. With a strong focus on customer satisfaction and dedicated service, Sierra 57 Consult offers expert technical recruitment, onsite mould training, and tooling validation project management, and is committed to meeting the evolving challenges of the plastics industry. Ivor Griffiths, the General Manager of the Recruitment Division at Sierra 57 Consult, shares his insights, “Working closely with our industry associates, we strive to offer a broad reach that covers various industry sectors. Our mission is to support our clients in the plastics manufacturing industry by sourcing the most skilled candidates and assisting them in retaining top talent within their organisations.” When it comes to Sierra 57 Consult’s team, the emphasis is on finding the best fit. Ivor highlights, “The most important thing for us when searching for new staff is for candidates to have the right positive, professional attitude and the drive to learn and develop their own knowledge bank.” This focus enables Sierra 57 Consult to deliver unparalleled service to its clients, catering to their unique requirements. The company has a wealth of combined experience but provides comprehensive training to ensure everyone is aligned and offers clear growth opportunities within the organisation. At Sierra 57 Consult, effective communication is the cornerstone of success. Maintaining the highest standards of communication with clients and candidates alike ensures a thoroughly professional service and keeps everyone updated throughout the process. In 2022, Sierra 57 Consult’s Plastic injection moulding training arm which won the 2022 Plastics Industry Award for ‘Best Training and Development Initiative’, delivered 181 courses to 455 individuals, achieving an impressive 96% pass rate. These courses are accredited by the IoM3 for Continuous Professional Development, reflecting Sierra 57 Consult’s commitment to providing valuable ongoing learning opportunities. As Sierra 57 Consult garners well-deserved recognition as the Best Precision Engineering Recruitment Agency, it continues to prioritise customer satisfaction and exceptional service. This achievement reaffirms its position as a trusted industry leader, poised to exceed expectations and deliver outstanding results for its customers in the years to come. To read the full article https://www.sme-news.co.uk/issues/uk-enterprise-awards-2023/167/ [...]Read more...
31 August 2023Congratulations to the Team at River Manufacturing for successfully completing: Module B: Zero Parameter Set-Up Injection End. Their trainer, Adam Nowalinski, is a skilled and experienced, time-served injection moulder who whilst delivering training in English, can also use his native Polish language to help Polish speaking staff understand English technical moulding terminology, interpretation and technology. https://www.rivermanufacturing.co.uk/ 61-63 Windmill Road, Sunbury on Thames, Middlesex, TW16 7DT #plasticsmanufacturing #injectionmouldingtraining #injectionmoulding [...]Read more...
30 August 2023Congratulations to the 6 Haitian Injection Moulding Machinery trainees who successfully completed ‘Module N: Materials Handling’ at their impressive new purpose built training facility! S57 is honoured to have facilitated the first training course at the PMM showroom, delivered expertly by our trainer Neville Dudley – a veteran of 40 years in the plastics industry. #EngineeringExcellence #TrainingForSuccess #Injectionmoulding Premier Moulding Machinery (PMM) Ladymead Business Park Quainton Aylesbury Buckinghamshire United Kingdom HP22 4AN https://haitian.co.uk/  [...]Read more...
25 August 2023Motherson SMR Group Training Good job everyone at Motherson Group who attended training with Sierra 57’s trainer Neville Dudley. This is what they have been hard at work studying: Module H: Basic Mathematics. Module 5: The Importance of Process Monitoring. Module 6: Machine Design & Construction. Module 7: Clamp Force & Shot Weight Calculations. Module 8: Machine Control. Module C: Basic Tool Design. Training not only helps improve the quality of work, it also helps increase staff motivation and improve productivity. [...]Read more...
20 August 2023Leadership requires continual growth and learning. Cubis Systems leader demonstrates commitment to both with the successful completion of Module F: Team Leaders IM Appreciation. For more information on S57 specialist injection moulding courses: https://lnkd.in/eqDJejKD https://www.cubis-systems.com/uk/ 4 Silverwood Industrial Estate Lurgan Co. Armagh BT66 6LN [...]Read more...
12 August 2023Injection Moulding Training @ Sierra 57 HQ Materials Modules being delivered at the Malvern Sierra 57 Training Centre this week: ⚙ Module 12 – Materials level 1 – Basic Material Concepts ⚙ Module 13 – Materials level 2 – Polymers and Additives ⚙ Module 14 – Materials level 3 – Morphology and Crystallinity Great to see trainees attending from Plastic Supplies Dudley Ltd, A K Industries Ltd and Talisman Plastics . Education unlocks attendees’ true potential! Neville Dudley and all our trainers tailor the courses to the speed of each trainee’s own learning pace, so they are able to learn, retain, and expand their knowledge base like never before. #educationispower [...]Read more...
6 August 2023We’d like to congratulate Talisman Plastics ‘s Simon F.-Thomas Goodwin and Robert Ambroziak on successfully completing the following training: Simon F. & Thomas Goodwin: PD 5: Basic Understanding of Plastics Materials Module 14, Materials level 3 – Morphology and Crystallinity Robert Ambroziak: Optional Module H – Basic Mathematics Module 1, Health and Safety in the Workplace Module 2, Fundamental Principles of Pressure and Speed Module 3, Mould Protection Module 4, Fundamental Principles of Injection Moulding Module 10, The Importance of Quality Module 11, Simple tooling care and maintenance Module PD 1: Injection Moulding for Beginners (32 hours CPD) If you are interested in finding out more about our bite-sized, on-site, IOM3 (Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining) approved specialist mould training [...]Read more...
30 July 2023OGM: Plastic Injection Moulding Manufacturer investing in their staff training to ensure the highest standards of production and employee satisfaction. The team successfully completed: Module E: Safe Tool Mounting Module H: Basic Mathematics Module 12: Materials Level 1 Module 13: Materials Level 2 Learn from the best! Training delivered by Mark Lee who has over 30 years of injection moulding experience and is an expert trainer. S57 courses fully accredited by IOM3 (Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining). #injectionmoulding #polymerindustry #imjectionmouldingtraining Home   [...]Read more...
25 July 2023Congratulations to Synthotec Limited‘s Tiby, pictured with Ops Director Wayne Williams and Ivor Griffiths for successfully completing the following training: Module A – Zero Parameter set up- clamp end. Module B – Zero Parameter set up- Injection end. Achieving – Module PD 4: Intermediate Injection Moulding Practical (32 hours CPD). ???? Investing in your team is investing in your success ???? [...]Read more...
10 July 2023How does your workforce fare against your competitors? Are you investing in your people for upskilling & development? Are you a business looking to grow and drive forward? Why is there a lack of well qualified injection moulding technicians?  Has this been a result of a reduction in companies training people in the past due to recessions and the COVID pandemic?  You could argue that it is also partly caused by historic changes to the apprenticeship scheme by the Government.  We also have an aging workforce where we are haemorrhaging Polymer / Moulding skills out of the industry. Do you know what the level of skills are in your business?  Are you ready for future business?   Sierra 57 Consult can help you assess the knowledge in your business by way of a skills audit and recommend an upskilling & career development route. We are seeing a real push across the UK to start training and upskilling more individuals currently as businesses look to close their skill gaps following a skills audit. If you are amongst those that believe there aren’t enough good Moulding Technicians, please don’t complain about it…..start enquiring about the best methods bespoke to your business for training your people, promoting your business and retaining the right personnel that want to succeed for greater aspirations, which in turn promotes your company and “right first time” products. Contact Sierra 57 Consult’s Mould Training division, speak with the Polymer team who can help you on your training journey, and design an affordable and efficient road map for your workforce. “Protect your workforce, invest in their ambition, close the skillsgap”   [...]Read more...
5 June 2023Businesses are recognising that their future economic prosperity and the ability to maintain and enhance a competitive advantage over their international competitors can be derived through the prioritisation of strategic investments in human capital and, in general skills. Indeed, much research highlights that the attraction and retention of talent should be the top priorities of a business.  Attracting the right employees is as critical as retaining existing employees with retention being an important aspect. We all need to maintain a constant focus on investment in our human capital to ensure we are equipped with high-quality people with the required skills.  This is crucial to sustaining long-term productivity and economic competitiveness. World-class technical skills lie at the heart of all successful polymer companies, and this is where Sierra 57 Consult are focussing on as we help our customers grow.  We recognise that you need to constantly concentrate on the expertise of the team to remain at the cutting edge of innovation and manufacturing excellence and thereby support sustainable growth and development. The focus of Sierra 57Consult is to support the evolution of polymer processors via recruitment, training and mould contracting, networking to create strong and lasting relationships whilst working as a partner to our customers helping to empower them by enabling the ongoing upskilling learning and development of their employees. We recognise that many companies are struggling to recruit candidates with the skills they require but have not considered training to up-skill their current workforce to fill the skills gaps.   Key advantages to upskilling your team with training are: Save and increase revenue in the long term. Improving performance and efficiency. Attract new business with the additional skills. Keep up to date with the industry standards. Keep employees motivated and productive in their job. At Sierra 57 Consult we have a team of exceptional trainers, with experience at the ‘coal face’, ready to identify and deliver the training required on site in your facility. We are currently working with employers who are investing money, time and energy into employee training, development, and growth – tactics that employment experts have long pointed to as being crucial for strong team morale, long-term employee retention and successful word-of-mouth-driven recruitment. It is important to offer all employees the opportunity for workforce development by improving their skills.  It is to easy to let training take a backseat to other expenditures but the most effective way to reduce scrap, cycle times, set up times and downtime is to provide the necessary skills to the workforce.  This will have the greatest effect long term on the business. Sierra 57 Training Approach How do Sierra 57 Consult approach this?  One of our expert trainer/consultants will come to your facility and train a group of your team members together.  This is a cost effective way to include teams from multiple departments and it eliminates the need for travel and extended time away from work. This is an ideal method of training because you’re able to use your own machines and we can customise training to your specific needs.  Working with you we can also create a training implementation plan to ensure long-term business success. The benefits of in-plant training are mainly: Train a number of employees simultaneously. Eliminate travel costs. Reduce time away from work. Use your own machinery and equipment. Customised training for your specific needs. Get everyone speaking the same language. In-plant training means we train at your facility to provide the training identified, we can offer one-on-one training and mentoring if required.  Following the training/coaching your team will walk away speaking the same processing language, which often improves organizational efficiency and communication. [...]Read more...
26 April 2023There has been a growing skills gap in the worldwide plastics industry for many years. As technology moves on, this has become even more of an issue. There is no quick fix, but a good start can be made by investing in training and offering more apprenticeships to bring new people into the sector. Career Paths and Organisational Goals To ensure the long-term success of a company, staff must be made aware of the available career paths. To support that, managers must be able to recognise how those roles are critical to meeting organisational goals. Investing in employees so they can advance their careers is common sense; employers who invest in their teams are able to hire, retain and develop the most productive and motivated employees. Why Employees Leave Some companies might say that staff attrition is to be expected and this makes them reluctant to invest in training. In many cases they blame the economy, modern cultural trends, the retirement of baby boomers and poor retention linked to millennials being perceived as notorious job hoppers. However, in many cases, the reasons for people leaving a company are related to the development strategy of a given business and a lack of internal training. Capable and ambitious employees are constantly looking to expand their expertise and improve their skills, to stay up to date to help advance their career. If an employer does not offer learning and development opportunities, they risk demotivating and ultimately losing their talented staff members. Selling the Benefits of Training It is the lack of training and learning opportunities which leads to frustrated employees looking elsewhere for professional career progression and job satisfaction. Correspondingly, happier and more contented employees who are supported through training are more likely to be loyal to their employer. If you are interested in introducing a training plan, it needs to sell the benefits to both the staff and the business. Team members can sometimes show resistance to training if it is presented as mandatory. However, when it is linked to an employee’s professional and personal objectives, while being relevant to the organisational strategy, it is far more likely to be accepted. Training Needs Assessment A good starting point is a skills audit using a Training Needs Assessment. This can identify gaps in the organisation and ensure that any training delivers the correct level of training, while meeting the requirements of the organisation. Ongoing Training Most importantly, training must be presented as a project, rather than the traditional one-off activity. Additionally, trainees must be given the time and resources to implement knowledge gained. The most effective training can show significant return on investment when correctly implemented, with a world-class workforce helping to drive profitability. It was the renowned American motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, who said, “What’s worse than training your workers and losing them? Not training them and keeping them!” The challenge we all face is to invest in our employees by offering ongoing training and development opportunities. By doing so, we can retain our talented staff members and help drive organisational success. [...]Read more...
21 April 2023A question often asked is whether employee training is a smart investment. It’s accepted that employee training can be a significant investment, yet it will return increased productivity and sales to a business. Creating a better working experience through training encourages employees to develop and can also help a business save on expenses/strategy budgets by reducing staff turnover and, subsequently, recruitment costs by onboarding a new employee. Cultivating and encouraging a positive work culture is a positive way to nurture staff and benefit your business. When it comes to employee motivation, one method to achieve this is through investment in training. Employee training can improve self-worth among staff, inspire their engagement and reinforce their value to the business. Offering training shows that you appreciate your employees by allowing them to develop in their day-to-day work. Improving employee experience in this manner is critical to retention. Empowering employees with the opportunity and knowledge to aid their growth benefits the employee and the business. Overall, it will inspire the employee to stay with the business. Building pathways to develop skills builds excitement and anticipation for results, increasing employee self-worth. Training planned and rolled out effectively can help employees see potential career progression enabling a business to explain exactly how their efforts contribute to the business. So, returning to the original question, ‘Is Employee Training a Smart Investment?’ Let me summarise the answers: Yes, it’s a Smart Business Decision. Training is an ongoing process for most successful companies. If you’re not training your employees, who is? Are they learning their skills from unqualified sources? A good training plan helps you to invest your training budget more effectively. If your employees are being trained piecemeal, are they getting a consistent message for processing used unilaterally in your company? Skilled employees need less supervision. Skilled employees require less management to complete their job, leaving more time for management to address other issues. It can reduce employee turnover. Employees that receive regular training have more confidence and self-worth and are therefore less likely to seek employment elsewhere. Sierra 57 can help you identify the areas where training is required by using a Training Needs Assessment of your team. We can then offer a structured development/training plan setting up markers for career progression as expectations are met. It’s important to introduce regular employee training once the journey has started, designating time for training so that staff development becomes part of the routine. Normalising training ensures it remains a business priority to ensure success. Completing employee training takes time; not everyone can learn simultaneously. That is why Sierra 57 keeps class sizes small and offers one-on-one mentoring as part of the training journey. It’s important that you do not overload employees with unrealistic expectations and work within their capacity. This approach encourages retention and feeds empathy for your employees and their needs. Having a room in your budget for employee training motivates your team and should be communicated to them. Trained employees are engaged employees, so by investing in your staff, you invest in the workplace and the future of the business. Boost engagement and empower your team through training. Speak to Sierra 57 Consult to see how we can help you train, coach and police your staff skills progression. [...]Read more...
19 April 2023(Report by Richard Brown, Sierra 57 Director) It’s been reported that four in five businesses are struggling to fill vacancies because of a lack of skilled workers — the highest number in 17 years. Six-fold increase in reports of skills shortages in 10 years The number of employers reporting skills shortages has increased six-fold over the past decade, according to the annual survey of more than 2,000 UK employers, conducted recently by the Manpower Group, one of the UK’s largest statistics & data gathering companies. At Sierra 57 Consult we are witnessing a similar trend with vacancies at an all-time high with businesses looking to fill the gaps within their businesses.  Talent shortages are always a concern for employers, and we are hearing that they are acutely aware of the increasing scarcity of key skills they require.  So, they are trying to hold on to their business-critical talent but all too often companies talk about their culture, opportunities and in-house mobility, though the truth at times S57C is finding is very different when candidates approach them looking for their next career opportunity. Most businesses lack the skills and resources to train in-house successfully There is a battle for talent going on, but it needs to be recognised that many businesses are very poor at skills training in all of its many aspects.  This leads to the question if no one trains anyone, where do they think their future skilled employees are coming from in the Post-Brexit world. Historically reducing costs by eliminating in-house training and development to boost the bottom line may work for a year or two, but doing this means you end up with a widespread lack of skills as we are currently witnessing.  “Just in time hiring” to fill skill gaps does not work as a solution when there is a vacuum in available skills.  It’s not rocket science, the solution is in businesses’ own hands, but of course it’s easier to blame someone else – the government, education, Brexit, etc. Some of the trade skill shortages we are seeing today are largely thanks to an egalitarian Tony Blair’s view that everyone should be able to do a degree, which necessitated changing really useful technical colleges, polytechnics, etc. to universities and we are now paying the price of this.  However, Companies such as Dyson and those that sponsor UTC schools have taken it upon themselves to try to fill the gaps. The solution: Specialist in-house training by experienced and qualified Moulding consultants At Sierra 57 in 2021 Mark Lawson – Managing Director approached the problem of candidates and skill shortages by thinking outside of the conventional box.  Approaching their customers, he floated the concept of a Training/Consulting division of the business to provide in-house training to upskill current staff and thereby fill the apparent skill gaps.  The response was decisive and from Mark Lawson’s training vision was born the Sierra 57 Consult Training Division. Accredited CPD courses In 2022 Sierra 57 Training gained accreditation for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for their courses from the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3).  With enlightened customers embracing the training model S57C Training delivered 181 courses to 455 individuals.  There were also 46 CPD certificate’s awarded representing 1,344 CPD training hours. Effective, precise & succinct technical content training modules At Sierra 57 we don’t believe in lengthy trainings courses away from the business, we have broken this down into Modules of a ½ or 1 day duration delivered onsite using the customers machines, tools and materials.  In this manner trainees learn at a pace that suits them in small class sizes.  Our expert trainers transfer their skills to the trainee after carefully assessing their needs via a Training Skills Assessment.  In this manner we help trainees achieve their true potential by ensuring sustained improvement of skills and behaviour to drive increased performance. Equally in order to promote a trainee’s learning curve, new education learning and promote mental application / mental wellness, S57C trainers will deliver mould module education across any client shift pattern, offering total flexibility to both customer & trainee. So what are the recognised benefits to having a training plan: Increased skills leading to fewer mistakes. Identifies employees’ strengths & weakness. Morale and employee self-confidence improves. More employees are better equipped to solve problems. Product quality & consistency improve. Damage to equipment reduces & less financial impact on Capex budget. Committing to training shows your employees they are worth your investment, that you care about their success & career aspirations. Training helps to create a new culture.  Sierra 57 Consults hands-on training is an excellent vehicle to fast-track your lower-level personnel into higher level job functions.  This allows you to easily back-fill the lower-level positions and start the training journey again. So the conclusion is that Employee Training is a smart investment, you are training to gain an advantage. [...]Read more...
31 March 2023In the ever-evolving business landscape, the harmony between customer and supplier organisations is vital for sustained success. Graham Ward, Group Managing Director of Synthotec Limited explains, “Those companies with converging developments where both strategy and competence align often have the greatest synergies, providing an environment for further sustained development. Whilst diverging organisations find themselves drifting ever further apart.” A  Collaborative Effort Sierra 57’s Management team have been supporting Synthotec Limited for over 12 years, and both organisations can point to supportive and two way development over the years. Today Sierra 57 Consult has developed a suite of industry specific training programs to sit alongside their targeted recruitment services, which ensure that new staff enter employment with a company well aware of their skill level and the areas that can be enhanced. Synthotec has also offered time and availability to Sierra 57’s Consultants to ensure that their recruitment team can enhance their knowledge of both the plastics industry processes and the specific needs of Synthotec; their technical challenges and their continued commitment to continuous improvement. Knowledge Sharing The latest training program delivered by Sierra 57 on site at Synthotec, is further evidence of how the skills needs can be identified through careful questioning and analysis. Synthotec has a proud record of developing the skills of its whole team, and the recent training courses delivered to Lee and Tiby will be another step in their individual skill development, and will also be another small evolution of the continued development for both organisations. Mark Lawson, MD @ Sierra 57 Consult adds “understanding the customers’ needs, expectations, deliverables, pain points and their culture aids us massively to advise and recommend high value services that both complement & promote staff empowerment, confidence, development, nurturing and bolsters their staff retention, job satisfaction and provides them with a clear path of how their staff can progress and aspire within the business. Happy and content employees add value to productivity, attention to detail applications, improved H&S and SOP’s, and provide peace of mind to respective Managers / Directors / Company Owners for forging ahead with company directives & strategies. Harmony in the workplace matters; staff matter. Recruitment, training, staff retention matter.” https://www.plastikmedia.co.uk/sierra-57-and-synthotec-collaboration/  [...]Read more...
29 March 2023Sierra 57 Consult, a leading provider of mould training, recently visited the impressive Arburg HQ in Leamington Spa to explore opportunities for further collaboration. The mission of the visit was to meet with top-level directors and discuss ways to take their engineering relations to the next level. Arburg’s Impressive Facilities According to Mark Lawson, the Director of Sierra 57 Consult, “Arburg UK facilities are an excellent showroom and arena for showcasing their equipment and specialist precision plastic moulding/automation engineering brilliance. It is a premier injection moulding machine supplier, supported and driven by highly trained & knowledgeable people, who in turn undergo ongoing intensive specialist training and product guidance by the parent HQ in Germany.” Deeper Knowledge of Arburg’s Injection Mould Machine Product Portfolio Sierra 57 Consult is thrilled to deepen its knowledge of Arburg’s excellent injection mould machine tool product portfolio, free formers, integrated automation solutions, and control systems. This will enable them to continue delivering first-class IOM3 training and provide process and tool problem-solving solutions to their clients who have Arburg machines on site. 40 Bite-Sized Technical Injection Moulding Courses As part of the partnership, Sierra 57 trainers will provide a range of 40 bite-sized technical injection moulding courses at Arburg’s cutting-edge facilities. Learners will have the opportunity to hone their skills on the top-of-the-line Arburg Allrounder machines, offering customers who cannot release a mould machine from their busy production runs for technical onsite training, to capitalise and upskill their knowledge bank within technical moulding, tooling and mould materials, obtaining IOM3 certification once passing and completing respective courses. The Importance of Training Mark Lawson emphasizes the importance of training when it comes to operating mould machines with confidence, knowledge of their functions, and a keen focus on safety. “As we celebrate our success at the 2022 Plastic Industry Awards, it’s clear that training is paramount. Our commitment to excellence demands nothing less, and with the right skills and knowledge, everyone can operate these machines like a pro.” Commitment to Excellence In summary, Sierra 57 Consult is excited to deepen its partnership with Arburg through mould training. The partnership will enable them to deliver top-notch IOM3 training and problem-solving solutions to their clients who have Arburg machines on site. The commitment to excellence demands the right skills and knowledge, and Sierra 57 Consult is committed to providing just that. (Pictured Nicolas Stein, Arburg Sales Director; Mark Lawson S57 MD; Colin Tirel Arburg MD; Neville Dudley S57 Trainer) Mark is grateful to Nicolas and Colin for accommodating the meeting. S57 have been invited to attend UK Arburg’s 100th Anniversary Open Day in May, as one of Arburg’s key industry partners, amongst key customer guests and showcasing their latest hybrid mould machine series, the 460H. Exciting times for both businesses striving forward, pushing boundaries and moving in line with 4.0 Smart Automation and World Class precision engineering. [...]Read more...
24 March 2023In-Company Training from Sierra 57 Consult Business success comes from having a cohesive team that understand their roles and responsibilities. Fully trained staff are confident to resolve problems effectively and efficiently. They reduce downtime, improve quality and increase output thereby contributing to the bottom line of the business. The Sierra 57 Consult Ltd Onsite Training was developed in response to customer needs to upskill and further develop existing staff members, promoting staff confidence, personal career recognition and better applications in their everyday machining operations. Why train? Improve employee skills, increase their confidence, enable them to take on more challenging responsibilities. Save the expense and time associated with replacing staff that have left by upskilling and retaining internal talent Training staff leads to higher morale, reduces internal errors and increases efficiency The likelihood of employees looking elsewhere for employment is reduced when they feel that their company cares about them Provide opportunities for career advancement for those that show aptitude in the role. Why Invest in your team? Trained employees make educated decisions to resolve problems quicker and efficiently Trained employees produce less scrap leading to lower costs Trained employees set up better processes and solve problems faster Trained employees set up robust processes reducing downtime, keep the machine running longer and decrease tooling and machine damage. Production of quality parts consistently means happy customers and repeat business. Does training Improve quality and productivity? Better process and material understanding leads to efficient processes Efficient processes lead to reduce cycle times Introduction of Standard Operating Procedures reduces the impact of process variation Training provides a good technical understanding and consistent communication with the team speaking the same technical terms/language. What impact does the absence of trained staff have on a business? Absence of technical understanding leads to human error, increased scrap rates and inefficient processes Can lead to tool and equipment damage through poor utilisation and maintenance Can impact on employee morale and job satisfaction Sierra 57 Consult Ltd take Training seriously. We can help you Recruit / Train / Retain your workforce. Please see our Training website to see how we can help you Sierra 57 Training https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/injection-moulding-training-plastics-materials-sierra-57-consult/?trackingId=NQgj31KcxUKN%2Fk1EpeMxxw%3D%3D [...]Read more...
24 March 2023Breaking Barriers and Building a Stronger Manufacturing Industry Through Diversity The Importance of Diversity in the Manufacturing Industry As a technical recruitment company, Sierra 57 Consult understands the critical role that diversity plays in the manufacturing industry. Sierra 57 Consult welcomes and celebrates the unique perspectives, experiences, and skill sets that women bring to the table. Increasing diversity in manufacturing isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s also essential for companies to thrive. With a diverse workforce, companies can tap into a broader range of ideas, leading to more innovative solutions and a more profitable bottom line. Why Women Are Critical to the Future of Manufacturing However, the manufacturing industry is currently facing a skills and labour shortage, making it more crucial than ever to welcome and embrace diverse talent, particularly women, to create a more robust and sustainable workforce. Women currently represent less than 30% of the manufacturing sector workforce, and it is critical to explore the reasons behind the gender imbalance. One of the major potential reasons for the low participation of women in the industry is the ‘industry image problem,’ with many young women still perceiving the industry as being heavy manual labour with hostile working conditions dominated by males. Addressing the Gender Imbalance in Manufacturing The lack of diversity in the manufacturing industry can be attributed to various factors, including biased recruitment practices. The way roles are promoted can create a bias, and if companies only use internal resources to advertise job roles, they reinforce the current workforce dynamic, which may not be diverse. Therefore, it is essential for companies to use external agencies for recruitment to ensure that bias is removed from the process. Sierra 57 Consult’s Commitment to Inclusion and Equity in Manufacturing Sierra 57 Consult is committed to creating a more inclusive and equitable industry for everyone. The company works to identify and recruit talented women in manufacturing, providing them with the resources and support they need to succeed. Sierra 57 Consult provides its clients with a diverse pool of candidates, helping them to create teams that reflect the communities they serve. Tackling Barriers to Women’s Success in Manufacturing There are still many challenges women face in the manufacturing industry, including a lack of role models, the need to work far harder than their male counterparts, and concerns around how their roles in the workplace and home are interconnected. However, efforts can be made to tackle these barriers, such as developing policies on flexible working arrangements and implementing EDI (equality, diversity, and inclusion) mandates in organizations. Indeed, as experienced by Katie Francis, recruitment manager at Sierra 57 since 2018: “As a new mum recently returning from maternity leave, having been given the opportunity for flexible working hours around childcare and my family has been invaluable, along with the company adopting hybrid working it allows me to be more flexible when the inevitable nursery closures or sickness happens. I believe attitudes towards flexible working has changed for the better but in order to increase and sustain a more diverse workforce this needs to become the new normal for working parents (not just mums) and move away from traditional gender roles” Celebrating International Women’s Day: Breaking Barriers in Manufacturing with Sierra 57 Consult. This International Women’s Day, Sierra 57 Consult celebrates the women who are breaking down barriers in manufacturing and paving the way for future generations. We pledge to continue our work in creating a more inclusive and equitable industry, both as an employer and as a recruitment specialist. Together, we can create a brighter future for manufacturing and the world. The following websites kindly published this blog: https://www.bpf.co.uk/article/breaking-barriers-and-building-a-stronger-manufacturing-industry-3296.aspx https://www.gtma.co.uk/breaking-barriers-and-building-a-stronger-manufacturing-industry-through-diversity/ https://www.gtma.co.uk/category/blog/ https://manufacturing-update.co.uk/2023/03/08/sierra-57-consult-breaking-barriers-and-building-a-stronger-manufacturing-industry-through-diversity-engineering-manufacturingindustry/ https://automation-update.co.uk/2023/03/08/sierra-57-consult-breaking-barriers-and-building-a-stronger-manufacturing-industry-through-diversity-engineering-manufacturingindustry/ https://engineering-update.co.uk/2023/03/08/sierra-57-consult-breaking-barriers-and-building-a-stronger-manufacturing-industry-through-diversity-engineering-manufacturingindustry/ [...]Read more...
6 February 2023Our man Glenn Barnett has shared some of his insights into Onsite Training, & why it works so well. Sierra 57 Consult launched their range of Onsite Plastics Training Courses in 2022; we come to your workplace, training your workforce on the machines that they will be using daily. Our training courses are so good that we won Best Training & Development Programme in the Plastics Industry Awards 2022, as well as being finalists in the Best Business Initiative. Glenn Barnett is one of Sierra 57 Consult Ltd Onsite Trainers & helped us to become the best training programme available. 12 Reasons Why Onsite Training Works 1. Professional trainers ensures you remain on target Experienced trainers can teach you the proper protocol and methodologies. This way, you’re less likely to pick up bad habits or make mistakes. Professional trainers also acts as a safety net, so that you have someone to consult if you experience any problems. 2. On-Site training saves money Training can be expensive, especially in technical industries. On-Site training reduces these costs and provides on-site access to training resources. This means that you can learn quickly and efficiently. 3. It is easily applicable People interpret information in different ways, so manuals can be risky if they’re the only means of supplying information. Training modules prevent this by giving employees the chance to practise their skills. Information is more readily available as you can talk to your supervisors. 4. It can help you better memorise what you’ve learned When gaining knowledge through practical experience, you’re more likely to recall this information accurately in the future. This is because you can visualise what’s required of you whilst facing a similar hands-on setting. An increase in retention means that employers can benefit from your high productivity levels and can feel more confident in assigning you more skill-based tasks at an early stage. 5. It saves time On-Site training allows individuals to acquire information as and when it’s required. Simply put, on-site training involves micro-learning, so learning takes place in small increments and as required. It teaches employees short-term-focused strategies that are integral to their job role. This means that employees benefit from target-specific learning that teaches them important skills more quickly. 6. On-Site training promotes teamwork As an employee undergoing on-site training, you get to work alongside peers and management from the beginning. This close contact makes you feel more at ease when entering the workplace. You’re more likely to build trust with those you work with you over time, so on-site training promotes a team ethic from the offset. 7. It reduces employee turnover Employee turnover refers to the rate at which individuals leave employment. This rate is likely to be higher when employees cannot meet expectations or feel incompetent in the workplace. On-Site training reduces this as you learn skills from the outset, this also decreases the chance of someone quitting because they don’t fit in or feel alone on the job. 8. It involves paid training Since you’re essentially contributing to business functions whilst you acquire new skills, companies compensate your time by paying you as you learn. This means that you don’t have to search for part-time work or use your savings to fund living expenses whilst training for your new position. However, check with your employer or hiring manager first before assuming they cover training costs. 9. It gives you the chance to develop new skills Some people enjoy jobs that challenge them and allow them to grow as a person. On-Site training supports this by allowing you to develop your skill set through engaging activities. You’re more likely to take an interest in learning if you’re able to get involved and develop new skills. 10. It increases productivity levels As an employee undergoing training, there’s no need to waste time passing knowledge tests or completing a certain amount of training hours at an alternative location. On-Site training allows you to get to work straight away, which can increase business productivity levels instantly. 11. On-Site training is more flexible Classroom learning is very linear and rarely accounts for any unusual circumstances, like classroom learning delivered in a monotone format, such as textbooks or presentations. Alternatively, on-site training ensures that you acquire information relevant to your role and business. This can also help prevent you from receiving information or details that are irrelevant to your job roles. There are several ways to diversify on-the-job training to increase retention and adapt to individual learning styles. 12. Gauging understanding and engagement It is easier for trainers to interact and remove any misunderstanding and provide clarification throughout the training journey if on site. If a trainee has not fully grasped an idea and wants to ask a question, it may be more difficult to get the trainer’s attention when trained in a virtual or off-site environment. Can We Help You…? If you would like to know more about our industry-recognised training courses, then please see our website: https://www.sierra57training.com/ Or call Richard Brown on 01684 217 618 for a discussion about how we can help you & your workforce. [...]Read more...
13 September 2022Utilising Sierra 57 Consult’s on-site training, Talisman Plastics has continued its staff development programme, recently focusing on plastic materials. The training course has helped staff learn about classifications of polymers, material data sheets and handling requirements, with more modules planned in the future to build upon this knowledge. Building upon an exciting and expansive order book for 2022 within both their technical moulding portfolio, tooling projects and caps and closures sectors, Talisman Plastics insists on further training and development for its staff. Recently the company worked alongside Sierra 57 Consult to increase its staff members’ knowledge of the plastic materials utilised on-site. Taught by Sierra 57 Consult’s onsite Mould Trainer, the Level 1 Materials module has helped staff learn about the classification of plastics materials, understanding material data sheets, drying and handling requirements and simple molecular structures of plastics materials and polymerisation. The course is invaluable to fully underpin the basics of plastic materials and lays the foundation before progressing through to the next modular courses of Sierra 57’s Materials Modules 2, 3 and 4. Mark Fellowes, Operations Director, Talisman (pictured, third from right) states: “The company continues to identify ways we can best review the strengths and needs of our employees, their commitment levels within our culture, and areas that we feel we can help them aspire and map out their career goals whilst developing their interest in our business growth, giving staff the due recognition that they are an integral part of our journey going forward.” Spencer Whale, Business Development Manager, Talisman (pictured, right) adds “It’s encouraging to see both the appreciation and productive results in our staff post-training. Their intentions to want to learn more and to utilise their new knowledge across the moulding production areas are noticeably sharper with their everyday applications. Whilst Sierra 57’s onsite modular training helps break down the training for all ranges of learners, the end result is that everyone participating completes a pass rate of between 85-100%. Smaller staff training groups deliver a better one-on-one quality of content and stand a better chance of course content firmly embedded and retained.” If you’d like to discuss bespoke training programmes for your moulding business or would like to browse the large range of training courses available, visit the Sierra 57 Consult Mould Training section of our website or get in touch directly. Find out more about Talisman Plastics here: https://www.talismanplastics.co.uk/ [...]Read more...
13 September 2022The Global pandemic and the UK’s desire to leave the European common market have entrenched what was already an issue in UK manufacturing – The shortage of qualified/experienced Engineers. Historically, the comparatively low wages of UK Engineers have failed to attract new entrants. Further, the education system has struggled to promote Engineering as a career, and diversity is low with women (52% of the UK population) accounting for only 14% of the Engineering workforce 1. Investment in Training When an employee leaves a Manufacturing company or a company identifies a skills gap, that role or gap needs to be filled as quickly as possible to ensure downtime is kept to a minimum. However, the problems with Engineer shortages means that currently the average time-to-hire is taking up to 49 days 2. Investing in training is one way that Manufacturing firms can minimise staff resignations whilst filling emerging skills gaps. When an employer invests in staff’s learning, development and growth, employees feel valued and are significantly less likely to leave the company. Ongoing Continual Professional Development (CPD) and Upskilling ensures that the developing skills of the workforce fit new emerging technologies. Upskilling involves improving existing employees’ skills and abilities so they can advance in their current roles and careers within the company. Studies show that upskilling is approximately a third of the cost of recruiting 3. A company who commits to upskilling will also benefit from: Increased productivity Increased staff retention, Increased production standards Sierra 57 Consult – Injection Moulding Training Sierra 57 Consult have created a Polymer Processing Training and Consultancy Division which has developed training modules to support the upskilling of customer’s staff at their own premises. In-company training is ideal for busy Manufacturing firms as: Shift patterns can be maintained – avoiding interrupting life outside of work. Training is in a comfortable environment – removing anxiety around travel arrangements. Machine familiarity is maintained – training and experience will be on the actual machine workers will be expected to use. With Sierra 57 Consult on-site training, employees can build new skills, develop existing ones, and gain new knowledge that will boost their self-esteem and increase on-the-job productivity. Group Training Tailored to Individuals Sierra 57 Consult on-site training can be either individual or group-based learning significantly reducing the cost of training. Group training helps to unite a company’s employees, strengthening group cohesion whilst developing the skills of the individual. In-company training also guarantees access to a common vocabulary and processes and provides a common foundation for all. Sierra 57 Consult in-company training is in bite-size chunks so a learner can assimilate learning on the job following the course, before progressing to the next level. Sierra 57 Consult have an excellent reputation for extensive engineering knowledge and have developed courses in polymer processing, design support, tooling, maintenance, business improvements, supervisory and management in collaboration with customers – it will fit perfectly with company needs. For more information as to the how Sierra 57 Consult can help upskill your team and the Modular Courses available email richard.brown@sierra57consult.com References 1 Engineering UK – Women in Engineering, March 2022:  https://www.engineeringuk.com/research/briefings/women-in-engineering/ 2 LinkedIn – Can you wait 49 Days?, Aug 2021 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/can-you-wait-49-days-why-getting-hired-takes-so-long-george-anders/ 3 People Management Magazine – Reskilling could save firms £50k compared to hiring new talent, January 2022 https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/article/1745212/reskilling-could-save-firms-50k-compared-hiring-new-talent [...]Read more...
13 September 2022The Plastic Industry is a sector that is troubled with a challenging skills shortage. Sierra 57 Consult has recognised this and has identified the need for cost effective training in order to deliver tangible upskilling results. This will help mitigate the lack of moulding talent currently available. It ought to be argued, and correctly so, that a company’s employees are their greatest asset and investing in their training and development is absolutely key to sustaining business growth and success. Commitment to employee training and development makes sense when you consider the lengthy and costly process businesses carry out to recruit and hire qualified staff. All too often though, the emphasis on nurturing the personal growth of employees ends once they are hired. However, cultivating employee’s skills leads to better retention, improved performance, and better-quality products. It was Richard Branson that said, “Train your people well enough so they can leave but treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” Retention is a major challenge for employers but retaining effective employees can be achieved through career development. Offering career development initiatives helps employees establish a sense of value within the company, and this in turn, fosters loyalty and eventually results in increased staff retention. Sierra 57 Consult recently created a Moulding Training Division which has developed training modules to support the upskilling of customer’s moulding staff at their own premises. This is an ideal method of training as the trainees uses the equipment that they are already familiar with, and training can be personalised to close the skill gaps that have been identified ensuring lasting success. Initially the process begins with our training consultant identifying the gap between employee training and the needs of the business. The base line for training is established by undertaking a Training Needs Analysis. Sierra 57 Consult’s training is offered in ‘bite size’ modules of a day’s duration that accumulates knowledge over a period of time by adding further modules at a pace to suit the employee and the business. The modules cover the subjects of Mould Processing, Toolmaking, Tool Maintenance, Machine Maintenance and Polymer Materials, building knowledge from basic through to an advanced level. Training cost start at £350 per module for one-to-one training, rising incrementally to £550 per module for three trainees. Also available are modules in IMM Hydraulics, IMM Electronics and Robotics; these are either one or two day modules for three trainees, at a cost of £900 and £1,800 respectively The benefit of this style of training is that your team will have the embedded knowledge, and will communicate in a style that uses the same processing terminology that will lead to improved communication between all cells and departments. Since the launch of the Training and Development Division Sierra 57 Consult, training and development engineers have seen demand for their services exponentially increase with training being delivered country wide. For more information as to the how Sierra 57 Consult can help upskill your team and the Modular Courses available email richard.brown@sierra57consult.com This article was published on the British Plastics Federation website: https://www.bpf.co.uk/article/recruit-or-upskill-that-is-the-question-2101.aspx https://interplasinsights.com/plastic-industry-insights/recruit-or-upskill-that-is-the-question/ [...]Read more...
PLastic materials training at AKI
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