Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are answers to questions we hear frequently from our clients. Click on a question to see the answer. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Why do I need an in-house training program?

All companies want to reduce the amount of scrap, troubleshooting time, equipment damage, machine downtime, and customer returns. Improving the skill level and confidence of their employees is required to accomplish this. Since it’s not logical to send all of your employees away for training, the only viable solution for achieving workforce competence is to establish a structured in-house training plan using our RightStart™ program.

What type of ROI should be expected?

Manufacturers who use Routsis Training typically reduce scrap and rework by over 61% and eliminate customer returns – all as a direct result of improving the skills and confidence of their workforce.

Customers experience savings in the following categories: lower scrap rates, reduced mold damage, decreased machine downtime, improved troubleshooting time, faster machine startup, fewer defects, more consistent part quality, highly repeatable processes, shorter cycle times, fewer accidents, process optimization, increased customer satisfaction, quicker changeovers, extended tool and machine life, and more energy-efficient processes. We suggest monitoring these metrics as they directly affect margins.

What is interactive training?

Interactive training is an online, or computer-based, learning method in which the participant interacts with the course using a standard keyboard, mouse, or touchscreen. The information is presented using video, animation, titling, and professional narration. During a course, the participant is presented with questions that must be answered correctly before they can proceed. If answered incorrectly, the information pertaining to that question is repeated until the information is retained. At the end of each course, users must pass a post-test to earn completion status.

With our online courses, your employees can access via computer, iPad, tablet, or Smartphone. Training information is captured in a secured portal in the cloud. Routsis RightStart™ customers have administrative rights to setup and monitor employee activity.

Most of the online courses have a Study Guide, in .pdf format, which paraphrases the content covered in the course – for future reference or note taking purposes.

What are SkillSet™ labs & SkillSet™ worksheets?

The Scientific SkillSet™ Series is a unique learning experience that combines detailed, step-by-step online instruction with practical hands-on labs and worksheets. Topics of these labs include Scientific Molding, The 5S System, Basic Measuring Tools, and Purging Analysis. Each SkillSet™ Lab is a blend of the following components:

  • BACKGROUND - Your technicians understand the goal of each SkillSet™
  • PURPOSE - Technicians learn specifically how each Scientific SkillSet™ applies to their job
  • EQUIPMENT - Items are detailed to ensure techs have the tools they need to succeed
  • PROCEDURE - Each step is demonstrated so your techs can proceed with confidence
  • WORKSHEET - Contains all the information your techs need to complete each SkillSet™ on the production floor

What are hands-on mentoring materials?

Routsis RightStart™ customers receive on-the-job training materials that are customized for all positions at your facility. These mentoring materials can be fully customized and ensure that your employees take the knowledge learned from the online training and directly apply it to the production environment. The implementation works best when the top techs and engineers become familiar with the sheets and then go over them with the next wave of trainees.

Can interactive training courses be customized?

Our courses cannot be customized, but with our RightStart™ program you can upload your own supplemental materials and presentations as courses. Our mentoring materials and hands-on task sheets can be fully customized to fit your company’s production environment.

Do your courses use Adobe Flash™?

No. While some plastics training providers still rely on this outdated technology, all of Routsis Training’s courses adhere to modern HTML5 web standards for video and interactive content. Flash is not required for any of our training products or related materials.

What comes with the RightStart™ plant-wide system of workforce training?

We will visit your plant to learn about your company, employees, machine capabilities, and customers – as well as your production frustrations and the specific areas where you’re seeking immediate improvement. During this time, we will complete the configuration of your centralized learning management system (LMS) so your RightStart™ training program is ready to go using any internet browser.

Based on gathered information, we will create a training plan that caters to each job position at your workplace – as well as customized job-specific tasks to help employees develop the necessary skills to improve.

We then make sure you’re training initiative gets underway by showing you how to access and manage the learning management system (LMS). This includes the best way to schedule the training and generating progress reports.

Routsis Training provides ongoing support to all our customers. This includes automatic course updates and integration of new releases to your LMS as soon as they are available.

Note: Smaller companies may utilize the Remote RightStart™ process which includes all the above, but the process is completed remotely, through the use of conference calls and webinars.

What support comes with my RightStart™ purchase?

Our interaction with you doesn’t end once we leave your site and your training program is underway. Our on-staff plastics experts are always accessible and available to provide technical support and to help your training initiative stay on track. An experience plastics technician with a background in all aspects of processing, materials, troubleshooting, and best practices will note any areas of concern – such as an incorrect calculation, a misunderstanding, or a misinterpretation of data – so you can keep your employees, and your production, on the rise.

What comes with SmartTech™ (instructor-led training)?

SmartTech™ participants receive: pre-requisite online training courses, face-to-face instruction & hands-on skill development sessions, a 3-ring binder, calculator clipboard, classroom study guides, skills-development worksheets, post-requisite online training courses, and a certificate of completion.

What comes with purchases from your online store?

Each online course or training package purchase comes with unlimited use by a single user, for one calendar year. Once purchased, you will receive an e-mail within 24 hours that contains your training link and personal login information. The training can be accessed by any computer, table, iPad, or smartphone with a stable internet connection using any web browser. Most of our courses include study guides that be printed for reference or note taking purposes. Users can print certificates of completion after passing a course’s posttest.

How do I track the progress of online training?

Store customers that purchase courses or packages can login and see their individual progress at any time. If a company purchases training for multiple users, routine reports can be requested.

RightStart™ customers can monitor their employees’ progress directly through the Learning Management System (LMS). Routsis Training also sends monthly reports to RightStart™ customers to keep them up-to-date.

SmartTech™ customers will receive routine status reports for both pre- and post-requisite online training courses.

Do online training courses replace hands-on training?

Hands-on training is sporadic, inconsistent, and tends to teach the minimum information needed, at best. Interactive training is much more consistent, informative, and effective in conveying concepts – at the learner’s pace. Online training is best when combined with focused hands-on mentoring to relate the training to what is taking place on the production floor, so the participants fully understand how what they’ve learned applies to your company.

What are skills and can they be learned at home?

At Routsis Training, our primary focus is on developing advanced processing skills in plastics processing companies. We do this through both knowledge learning and skills development. The knowledge portion can be done anywhere, but the skills must be practiced and developed using actual production equipment.

Knowledge Learning - The first step is to educate the employee with powerful online training combined with focused hands-on mentoring materials. The online training combines video, animation, narration, strategic titling, and testing to keep the person engaged so they retain the information being presented. Focused, customized hands-on mentoring materials are used on the production floor to relate what was learned to what happens on the production floor.

Skills Development – The second step involves our SkillSet™ labs, which combine online instruction with a worksheet that is to be completed at the workplace. These can range from basic skills, such as documenting a process and setting max injection pressure, to complex tasks, such as generating rheology curves and conducting a comparative purging analysis. Applicable skills cannot be developed at home, they must be obtained using the actual equipment and tools used on the production floor in your facility. Learning the proper way to conduct a task, and performing with confidence, is a critical step in skill development.

How will training reduce employee turnover?

We have found that most employees want to perform well at their jobs but lack the skills and confidence to do so on a consistent basis. When supported by management, a structured training initiative shows that the company is committed to its employees and will undoubtedly increase the overall morale and loyalty of the entire workforce. Having a structured employee development system also helps employees advance within the company. This allows you to better develop your own technical talent from within – which gives your employees more incentive to stay because they do not have to leave to advance themselves professionally, thus reducing employee turnover.

Is your training up-to-date and relevant?

We have the industry’s largest library of interactive courses in the world – with over 200 plastics training titles and new courses and series are being produced and/or updated every year. These courses are developed by industry experts emphasizing our industry’s best-practices. We have relevant training materials that cater to the many departments in virtually any plastics company.

Can interactive training be used in a classroom or group environment?

Yes*, there are many companies, schools, colleges, and institutions using our online courses in exactly that capacity. The most effective formula we have seen thus far is when the program is first played over a digital overhead projector and followed up by hands-on mentoring on the production floor – to reinforce what was covered. If the students are then allowed to take the training program individually to learn at their own pace the results are even better in the long-term. Our course study guides also make great handouts during the classroom event.

*Since online purchases come with a single-user license, an instructor-led license our RightStart™ is required.

Do your courses cover safety?

Our training courses always stress safety and industry best-practices whenever possible at the start of the course and whenever we are introducing a topic where safety is a concern. We also offer a full library of 3rd-party health and safety courses. Please contact us for more information regarding which titles are available as new products are constantly being released.

How much should someone train each week?

Based on job function, we recommend between 1-2 hours of training a week for lesser skilled operators & technicians. We recommend 2-3 hours a week for more advanced technicians, managers, and engineers. Excessive training such as 5+ hours a week is not recommended because the mind needs time to incorporate what is learned into its long-term memory. People who cram or acquire information too fast tend to remember only those pieces of information which reinforce what they already know and un-familiar information gets lost over the long-term.

This is the reason why our SmartTech™, or face-to-face training, sessions require both pre-requisite training to familiarize the participant with the information they are going to learn ahead of the class as well as post-requisite training to reinforce and expand on the information learned after the session is complete. Our courses are designed to have participants follow a specific routine in your production environment. This ensures that your processes are developed the same way.

Do I need to hire a facilitator to run my company’s RightStart™ program?

No, it is not necessary to hire additional employees to train your workforce. We make it easy for you by teaching two of your employees how to implement, track, and further customize your RightStart™ training program. The interactive training is self-sufficient and requires no supervision, just a facilitator to periodically review and monitor participant progress.

What are the specific hardware and software requirement for your online training programs?

All Routsis Online Training courses are cross-platform and have been tested on a variety of different device, operating system, and browser combinations. In general, our courses function well on any modern computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device with a fast, reliable internet connection. We also have Android and iOS apps to optimize the online training with smaller devices.

Can I convert PowerPoint™ presentations into custom online courses?

Yes, you can upload your PowerPoint™ presentations onto the Routsis online platform. We can walk you through the simple process and show you how to add the presentation to your company’s existing course curricula.

What components are included with the RightStart™ System?

There are technically 6 components to the RightStart™ training system:

  1. Online Training Courses – These online courses are approximately 1 hour each and have a post-test which the participant must score 80% or higher to achieve completion status.
  2. Course Study Guides – These guides are available to review or print, directly from our online training courses. These guides paraphrase the online content and are a great resource for people who want a reference guide for the course and can also be used for note taking.
  3. Hands-On Mentoring – These optional, on-the-job training materials are customized for your facility and distributed/monitored by the facilitator which relate the knowledge learned in the online courses to the actual production environment. Admittedly not all our customers use these (approx. 50%) because they require slightly more effort to print and distribute, but those who do use them find they are an excellent way to ensure the employees are learning the information and how it applies to their job.
  4. Online SkillSet™ Labs – These are shorter online courses that contain Background, Equipment, Purpose, and Procedures lessons for conducting a Specific Skills-Development Lab.
  5. SkillSet™ Worksheets – These are printed from the Online SkillSet™ Labs and are expected to be completed on the production floor and submitted to supervisor(s) upon completion.
  6. Professional Certification Exams – Level 1 certifies a baseline of technical knowledge and Level 2 certifies an understanding of Advanced Best Practices as well as a demonstration of Fundamental Processing and Documentation Skills

How many times can I take a course?

Training customers that purchased from our online store could retake a course if they underperformed on a posttest, wanted to get a firmer grasp on some of the concepts covered, or as a refresher at a later date. Our courses and packages are sold ‘per user’ and we do monitor usage for abuse of these terms. If we suspect that a user account is being used for multiple employees, we’ll contact the customer – but we rarely need to address such a scenario.

Can we purchase your training content to use on our existing LMS (Learning Management System)?

Yes, we offer subscription models for corporations and companies who utilize their own LMS and will assist in the uploading and configuration of these modules. Our courses are fully SCORM 1.2 compliant – which is the most common standard utilized by online Learning Management Systems.

What is scientific molding (and why is it important)?

Scientific Molding is a data-driven approach to developing, documenting, maintaining, and troubleshooting an injection molding process. Once a scientific molding process is established, the process outputs are meticulously documented and optimized, which greatly simplifies startup, troubleshooting, and allows injection molding processes to be easily transferred to different molding machines.

Please see our Scientific Injection Molding page for more details.