Developments in technology and machinery have pushed the boundaries of what was once possible in manufacturing, but they also necessitate significant training for machinery operators. For staff at New Touch Industries (NTi), this meant travelling to Germany for training with high-tech machine tool manufacturer Trumpf.

The team at NTi have always found high-tech manufacturer Trumpf supplies them with the best systems to suit its needs. Trumpf’s machines deliver impressive performance that allow NTi to achieve a superior level of service. However, these systems are full of intricate features that require extensive training to operate at an optimal level.

NTi is committed to the growth and development of its staff, maximising its productivity and constructing an environment for its team to thrive. The company offers various in-house and external training opportunities, one of which included collaborating with Trumpf. NTi sent a number of its staff from Australia to Trumpf’s headquarters in Germany to learn the complexities of these state-of-the-art machines, from the creators themselves.

Machines and systems

Based in Bayswater, Victoria, NTi provides high-quality laser cutting, bending/folding, welding and fabrication services. As a company that offers an all-in-one service, it’s vital that its production pipeline runs smoothly. Juggling hundreds of projects at any one time means it requires machines that are reliable and effective.

NTi uses Trumpf machinery for its laser cutting and bending/folding, which has led to notable improvements in production and quality. For example, Trumpf’s TruLaser can cut more intricate profiles than have been previously possible. NTi is now capable of cutting brass and copper on top of mild steels, stainless and aluminium, with automated processes that maximise turnover and reduce lead times.

NTi’s TruBend machine, equipped with an ACB System, ensures an accurate bend up to 3,000mm with a 170-ton capacity, allowing the company to bend complicated parts with consistent high-quality outcomes, over and over again. Both machines operate with TruTops Fab, Trumpf’s top-tier enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. The software connects different departments together, streamlining communication and keeping everyone on the same page.

Developing effective teams

There’s a lot of planning and preparation required to utilise machinery at an optimal level. NTi staff require the relevant training in order to take full advantage of the equipment.

NTi’s solution has been to provide both in-house training and external training to its team. Various programs are utilised to provide this training, including Promote from Within, Job Rotation and Pay for Schooling.

External training is where NTi encourages team members who are looking to improve themselves, by providing a variety of training courses conducted offsite. This is done by both providing the option both for courses that have already been found effective, and for courses suggested by the team. These have included: effective management; Solidworks; MIG & TIG welding; Corel Draw; leadership and management; supervisory courses; general apprenticeship training (fabrication); and Excel training.

NTi’s job rotation program involves circulating staff around the business to other areas, away from their usual tasks. This benefits staff by allowing them to gain a universal understanding of how each area of the factory operates. Staff gain perspective and understanding, increasing their self-value, and noticeably decreasing the threat of boredom from repetition by offering variety and training. Moreover management find it becomes easier to rotate staff during unexpected absences, increasing productivity and team morale.

The company’s programs allow its staff to grow with the company and gain confidence in their ability. Its Promote from Within policy means it looks internally when it comes to finding people to fill new roles. This gives staff the self-assurance of knowing there are always career development opportunities. This increases the overall energy of the team when they have reason to be motivated and strive to be better.

“We believe ‘happy staff are great staff’,” says Brad Drury, Managing Director at NTi. “We are excited by what our company can produce and the direction of the industry. We are proud of the environment we have created for our team and our commitment to staff development has had an equally significant effect on the functionality and operation of NTi.”