Portable Automation Training Solution Aims to Close Skills Gap for the Digital Industrial Workforce

Emerson today introduced the Performance Learning Platform, a portable and compact automation technology training solution to help close the workforce skills gap by enabling hands-on training that will prepare workers to maintain their plant safely and efficiently. The platform introduces and reinforces the competencies essential for fostering digital transformation as the Industrial IoT (Internet of Things) era continues to change the way manufacturing and process companies do business.

Emerson’s collaboration with both private industry and higher education has revealed an urgent need to close the skills gap in digital automation technologies and how they impact an organization’s operations.  According to “The Value of Training” IBM research report, 74 million of the next-generation work force who are employed are not skilled to fill the skills gap.

“We designed the unit as a flexible, hands-on, training tool with real world instrumentation that will help to bridge a critical knowledge and skills gap that continues to challenge the industry,” said Jeff Hackney, global educational services director at Emerson. “This gap exists in large part because the pace of technological advances is outpacing the existing training strategies and tools to ensure that workers keep pace with changing technology; and students get practical experience on instrumentation products.

The Performance Learning Platform can increase learning for a new generation of workers to become adept at applying, using and maintaining the latest digital automation technologies. It provides process control and instrumentation to train or refresh current workers on instruments used to monitor and control industrial processes including pressure, flow, level and final control valves.

Colleges can also benefit from the platform to give students firsthand experience on an actual plant-like process. Ranken Technical College has worked closely with Emerson to develop and utilize the Performance Learning Platform for developing the skills Ranken students need now in the workforce. “Rapid integration of emerging technologies is crucial for future economic growth. The Performance Learning Platform allows industry and education to provide the hands-on automation training needed globally. Ranken is very proud to be part of this initiative,” said Stan Shoun, president of Ranken Technical College.

The Performance Learning Platform features a complete working control loop piping system, tanks, pumps and a fully-scalable suite of Emerson instrumentation and final control valves linked to a DeltaVTM distributed control system. Each unit ships with an integrated video library that provides step-by-step instruction in a range of realistic scenarios, allowing users to learn and experiment without the expense and risks of on-the-job training. A lab workbook and supporting eLearning courses are also available.

Built on a robust steel frame with casters and able to fit through most standard-size doors while occupying only a small area, the platform is plug and play. It requires only water, compressed air, and power to operate, making it practical for on-site training or classroom use.

The platform is another offering in Emerson’s portfolio of advanced workforce development offerings, which includes two Interactive Plant Environment training facilities in the U.S., certified Emerson instructors, numerous educational courses taught virtually, on-site and in Emerson training centers worldwide, and an Operational Certainty Consulting practice that helps customers meet the demands of a changing workforce. The Performance Learning Platform cements Emerson’s commitment to engage with industry and higher education to close the workforce skills gap.

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