The benefits of training a team to use Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing are legion. Using GD&T not only improves organizational communications and creates more efficient production processes, it also results in higher employee job satisfaction.
There are plenty of companies out there who already use GD&T, and they have employees looking for a refresher course to brush up on their skills or learn more advanced GD&T concepts. This presumes that they already have a firm grasp of the basic concepts and use of GD&T.
Odds are, they don’t.
The good news is, this ignorance is easy to correct through training. But how do you know if your team is among those overestimating their proficiency with GD&T?
Maybe somebody made a comment in a meeting that was off-base. Or a customer told you that your people aren’t talking the same language that they are. Maybe a new team member’s asking questions that no one can answer, or is baffled by the way you do things as compared to their previous job. Or maybe a team member informed you directly through a performance review that they have a gap in their knowledge.
Regardless of how you discover the need for training, you’ll find that your folks probably fall into one of two camps:
- Those who self-identify as strong users of GD&T who want a refresher
- Those who never received formal training and want to learn how to use GD&T
Both groups need foundational GD&T training.
The Hard Truth: your people don’t know how to use GD&T
We’ve worked with thousands of engineers, machinists, and inspectors employed by all sorts of companies, from small machine shops to huge aerospace firms. Our experience teaching tells us that 99.9% of our students vastly overestimate their proficiency with Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing.
Bear in mind, we aren’t grading on a curve when evaluating folks’ skill levels. We’re concerned with functional knowledge: do they possess a basic level of practical understanding of GD&T concepts that makes them better at their jobs? We don’t care whether people are GD&T certified or know the full ASME standard -- we’re concerned with whether they have accurate knowledge of GD&T and understand how to apply that knowledge to the work they do.
The problem is, you don’t know what you don’t know, and because many people learn GD&T from coworkers on the job, we see a lot of organizations using GD&T incorrectly. To help you understand your team’s current level of proficiency with GD&T, we created this handy online quiz. Consider it the first step to figuring out what you don’t know.
Of course, fighting organizational inertia is difficult because existing GD&T habits are ingrained over years, or even decades of use. Not to mention that acknowledging your collective ignorance and making changes means, in some sense, admitting that you’ve been doing it wrong for a long time.
Training is how you get it right, and the short-term pain is worth the long-term gain.
Why is using GD&T incorrectly a problem?
While using GD&T correctly creates better communication between your departments, suppliers, and customers, using it incorrectly causes communication breakdowns. We believe that the only thing worse than not using a standardized approach to drawings is using GD&T incorrectly because it builds bad habits in your organization. Those bad habits create fundamental misunderstandings that increase scrap and costs while making it nearly impossible to identify the real source of problems when they arise (because of the assumption that your use of GD&T isn’t an issue).
When someone doesn’t understand GD&T but thinks that they do -- especially those involved with part design -- it compounds problems that cascade throughout the manufacturing process. Engineering drawings are seen and used by hundreds of people and are necessary to create a common understanding among all the parties involved in production. Errors with drawings are the root cause of issues that create more costs with suppliers, scrap from machinists and inspectors, and extra work for everyone.
If your senior people have learned bad GD&T habits, then they’re probably teaching those habits to those they work with. That creates an echo chamber of ignorance that cannot be changed without training. Plus, your new hires don’t know GD&T and are going to need training anyway.
Fix the problem with GD&T training
We know that it can be difficult to get some folks on board with training, simply because it may mean they have to do things differently, and resistance to change is common. Still, the benefits are well worth the growing pains.
Training is how you fill the gaps in your team’s knowledge and improve communication throughout your organization. A common understanding of Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing will get everyone on the same page and enable your people to solve problems collaboratively and proactively.
Our approach to training is to not only give you the tools you need but also provide a framework of how best to use those tools, so you can make decisions and troubleshoot problems when they come up.
Specifically, our training provides students with:
- A fundamental understanding of how the GD&T system works
- An understanding of how you and your customers use GD&T
- The knowledge how to look up what they need to when they come across something beyond the foundational information learned during training
In short, we give our students the knowledge of GD&T they need to maximize their effectiveness and efficiency at work -- and effective, efficient employees maximize profits for the business.
We want to help you figure out the best approach for getting your team using GD&T. We are here first to help - not sell, so let us know how we can assist your team to get started with GD&T Training.