Crown Equipment Corporation recently held its first virtual welding challenge for six area high schools at the company’s Celina, Ohio, manufacturing plant. The challenge was conducted on the virtual welding training machine Crown uses to train its employees. Tri Star Career Compact Welding School, located in St. Marys, Ohio, was named the challenge’s champion high school after achieving the highest team average. Teams were assessed on the accuracy and speed of their performance, as well as the angle, closeness and overall quality of their welds. “This was a great opportunity for the students to see how the skills they’re learning in the classroom are applicable in real-life settings,” said Rebecca Ungruhn, personnel representative, Crown Equipment. “Skilled welders and machinists are like artists; it takes a combination of raw talent and thorough training to become a master at the trade. We’re looking forward to making this challenge an annual event for students to help underscore the importance
of skilled welders to the manufacturing process.” Don Mescher, manufacturing training coordinator, Crown Equipment, added that Crown purchased the welding technology earlier this year to augment its current welder training and qualification program. “While it is a great training tool for new employees, it also helps even our most seasoned welders maintain and improve their skills,” said Mescher. “Using this technology in our day-to-day training provides us with a 360-degree view of the entire welding process and helps us identify those areas that require extra focus.” In addition to improving employee skills, Crown’s virtual welding program has significantly decreased the amount of scrap metal produced through traditional welder training. This initiative is just one element of Crown’s commitment to improving the sustainability of raw materials and its manufacturing processes, as shared in Crown’s recent ecologic™ report.