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Innovative Komatsu training centre turns two

Komatsu Australia is celebrating the second anniversary of the Komatsu Technical Education Centre (KTEC) in Brisbane, saying that the facility has become one of the most advanced technical training facilities for mining, earthmoving and utility equipment in the region.

The centre, which opened in May 2013, is the primary training centre for Komatsu’s technicians in Australia and New Zealand and features a variety of mining, construction and utility machines such as backhoes, dozers, crushers, dump trucks, excavators (including hybrids), graders and wheel loaders, as well as general systems and technologies.

Komatsu says that over 85 training programs have been completed at the centre in the past two years, with more than 300 service technicians boosting the company’s technical capability.

The facility covers more than 3 hectares of land at Komatsu’s site in Sherwood, Brisbane, with over 2600 square metres of dedicated training area, including seven classrooms, seven technical laboratories, a large machine operations workshop area and three meeting rooms. 

There are a number of large-scale machines on which to train, along with a number of simulators. The largest training unit is a WA1200 mining loader.

Komatsu points out it is the only RTO (Registered Training Organisation) with registration to deliver training compliant with UEENEEP022A Disconnect and Reconnect 3.3KV Electric Propulsion Components of Self Propelled Earth Moving Vehicles, to satisfy the requirements for obtaining a restricted electrical permit/license in Western Australia and Queensland.

Komatsu Australia general manager people & strategy Colin Shaw says KTEC significantly increases the technical capability of the company’s workforce.

“This is a major benefit for our customers wherever their machines are located,” he says. “Through this facility, we can also offer technical or operator training for customers, either at KTEC in Brisbane or on a customer’s site, to ensure they can maximise their production and minimise downtime.”

All machine-specific training courses offered at KTEC are built around the Komatsu Skills Competency Map, which covers: introduction and general service; structure and function; testing and adjusting; and troubleshooting.

“Each level develops and builds the skills and knowledge in the participants, and each level is a prerequisite to the next,” Shaw says.

He says the company’s Certified Technic Accreditation System has two components: learning and accreditation. The former consists of four levels of training, while the latter requires on-the-job experience followed by an on-site assessment.

Komatsu Australia Queensland regional general manager Dean Gaedtke says both Komatsu staff and customers have noticed a significant improvement in service technician’s training and skill levels since KTEC was established.

“On my travels around the branches, I am constantly receiving positive feedback on the improvement in our training,” he says. “There is special mention of the purpose-built classrooms, the dedicated workshop bay, as well as the specific laboratories.

“The content of the courses has also received good feedback, because it combines classroom and workshop activities on actual machines,” he adds. “And the fact that we can now offer CT (Certified Technic) competencies tailored to each individual branch’s specific models is something that has really been welcomed by branch managers.”

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