Manufacturers' training puts products into practice
While commercial building services engineers will undoubtedly have the correct formal qualifications, manufacturers' training in individual products, preferably on-site, is also essential, according to Simon Spridgeon, Geberit's product and technical manager for Piping Systems
SPRIDGEON SAYS: 'At Geberit, we are great believers in training: it helps installers to do their jobs properly, ensures end users have a good experience with the products, essential for the ongoing success of the brand and also acts as a sales tool.'
From an installation point of view, on-site training is essential. Every product is different, as is every site. Mandatory training to become a registered gas engineer, for example, provides a general overview, focusing primarily on safety. It would be impossible for schemes like this to cover every product on the market and therefore manufacturers' training should be part of any new job.
Using our pipe pressing system, Geberit Mapress, as an example - it's really easy to install, in fact almost anyone could do it - but only with the right training. If corners are cut such as getting the insertion depth wrong or not inserting the pipe properly; leaks can occur. If it's installed correctly, it's one of the quickest and safest systems on the market, saving up to 35 per cent of time spent on site according to a BSRIA report.
Cutting corners costs
Errors, however tiny, cost. Even if just a single joint is installed incorrectly due to lack of training, this could cause leaks and costly remedial work, with repairs required once commissioning has taken place. This could also cost the reputation of the installer, the contractor or specifier - whoever the buck stops with, and, as mentioned above, this has a knock-on effect for the manufacturer, something we really don't want to happen.
If you're in charge of a team of installers who haven't had manufacturers' training and they make a mistake, they can't legitimately be held accountable. Thankfully, with Geberit Mapress, any connections that aren't properly fixed during installation are automatically detectable during the leak test, allowing for the quick rectification of problems, while assisting in minimising the risk of system failure for building occupants. Further security is provided by indicator foils which are removed after the correct pressing operation. These indicators are colour coded by material type, and branded with the dimension size to aid the installer.
If installed correctly, these leaks won't occur. While Geberit Mpress' features will make solving leaks a quicker task, this is still extra time on a job and best avoided through proper training.Win work through training Apart from helping the job to get done properly, on-site training is increasingly becoming a mandatory requirement for winning large jobs. Nearly all the construction 'big boys' want manufacturers' training for every different project, as for each application there are different situations, challenges and requirements, different teams and sub-contractors; they want installers versed in these particular specifics.
Train for the future
One of the big drivers behind training of this nature is the pace of change in terms of product development. As new systems emerge, the people installing them will of course need training, but also specifiers should consider up-skilling so they have knowledge in the range of options out there and choose the best products for a particular job. An example is the rise of carbon steel pipework for closed-circuit heating and chilled systems, which, when used as part of a press fitting system, offers a greener and more cost-effective alternative to traditional steel.
One of the key benefits of carbon steel is its anti-corrosive nature, however unless installers are up to speed in the correct storage, handling, installation and commissioning, its anti-corrosiveness can be compromised. In a nutshell, carbon steel must be kept clean and dry prior to installation. Most importantly, oxygen must not enter the system after commissioning. Once installed, correct commissioning - at the end of the fitting process, not during - is essential.
You wouldn't drive a car on the road if you had only ever read about driving, or maybe done a circuit round the test centre, the same should be true of new products.
Manufacturers' training is usually free and will help you do a job better and more efficiently, potentially saving time on site by reducing the risk of error. Don't cut corners, step outside of the classroom and let us help you put real product into practice.
Geberit offers training on any of its products, either on site, or at its purpose-built Training Academies, in Warwick and Dublin. Covering the essentials of installation, plus application specific training, Geberit is happy to deliver this service to businesses already using their products or those who are simply just interested - getting a feel for how a system works is the best way to decide whether it is suitable.
For more information, visit www.geberit.co.uk
10 March 2014