OEM training impacting the coal face

IN A classic case of education provider, manufacturer and coal company joining forces to help ease the skills crisis, Joy Mining Machinery, BHP Billiton and TAFE NSW have launched a new Joy Longwall Technology certificate which is already making an impact at mine level.

Angie Tomlinson

The Illawarra Institute, together with Joy and BHPB, has developed and delivered the Joy Longwall Technology Certificate as a fully customised pilot training program.

Already 14 people have attended the program since 2005. One participant from BHP Billiton’s Appin mine in New South Wales said the course had allowed him to better identify faults in the machinery and improve breakdown times.

“The documentation [developed as part of the course] will aid in more efficient troubleshooting and faster repairs,” he said.

Historically Illawarra Institute has provided customised and accredited training to Joy and its customers delivered onsite at Joy’s Moss Vale and Unanderra sites in New South Wales, and its Rockhampton, Mackay and Parkhurst sites in Queensland, as well as at the institute’s Wollongong campus.

Under the new certificate, both TAFE NSW trainers and Joy Mining staff deliver the program, with the underpinning knowledge and theory from institute teachers complementing current industry practices and examples from Joy Mining.

Participants receive both practical knowledge and skills along with a TAFE Statement of Attainment in Manufacturing & Engineering (Hydraulics 1), a TAFE PLUS Statement in Joy Longwall Technology, and a TAFE PLUS Statement in Hazardous Areas Awareness for Managers.

The information learnt in the course is designed to improve the technical knowledge and skills of mine maintenance and technical support staff, covering pumps and outbye equipment, the coal clearance system, shearer, roof supports and automation.

The 12-month program is made up of six modules including: mining concepts and risk management; life cycle efficiency management; longwall and Joy hydraulic systems; RS20 and JNA computer systems; monitoring and drive control systems; and automation and mechatronics.

According to the institute, Joy Mining customers benefit from their staff having a better understanding of the machinery they are using, resulting in greater productivity. In addition, they gain formal qualifications and the opportunity to learn and share knowledge and experiences with their counterparts from other organisations and mines.

“The training program uses the concept of 360-degree training where the manufacturer who develops the technology forms a partnership with its customers and TAFE NSW,” said Joy Mining learning and development coordinator Bernard Croese.

“A holistic approach to developing trainers and trainees with up-to-date technology and direct input from the end user is the way ahead for competency-based training for engineering tradespeople within the coal and associated industries.

“Illawarra Institute has been able to supply the platform for us to develop this culture.”