Mining and earthmoving equipment supplier Komatsu Australia has moved into the vocational educational field, offering a range of high-level technical, operator and management courses throughout Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.
It has established a new business unit, Komatsu Training Academy – a nationally registered training organisation (RTO) – to deliver vocational educational courses through what is one of the most advanced technical training facilities in the region.
Komatsu Training Academy’s National Business Manager is Janine Temple, who has more than 17 years’ experience in training and management development roles at leading industry associations, including the Australian Mines and Metals Association, the Civil Contractors Federation, and the Housing Industry Association.
Komatsu Training Academy (KTA) is headquartered at the Komatsu Technical Education Centre (KTEC) in Brisbane, which over the past few years has become the company’s primary training centre for operators and technicians in the region.
KTEC is one of the region’s most advanced technical training facilities for a wide range of equipment – providing training not only for mining, earthmoving and utility products, but also equipment used by other industries, such as transport, warehousing and logistics.
According to Temple, KTA has been specifically developed to deliver nationally recognised and customised training where customers need it.
This includes training online, on-site, at customers’ premises or at the company’s dedicated facilities in Brisbane and other centres.
“Our course offerings include a mix of fully accredited, nationally recognised courses and modules, along with purpose-designed training developed to meet customers’ specific needs,” she said.
“Through our team of specialist industry-qualified trainers, we can deliver a broad range of customisable courses, including leadership and management training, operator proficiency development, and specialised technical training and skills development.”
In the field of operator and technical training, Temple said a major focus of KTA’s courses would be moving beyond basic competency training, and into more advanced proficiency development.
“All too often today, training is merely focused on churning out numbers of trainees.
“In contrast, at KTA, we are focusing on what is really needed: up-skilling for increased production, improved fuel efficiency, reduced wear and tear, lower operating costs, better preventive maintenance, and greater safety,” she said.
“There is a major difference between a key technician or operator who is merely competent, compared with one who is truly proficient at their job – and these differences can translate into significant benefits to a company’s bottom line.
“This philosophy is very much in line with Komatsu’s total machine management approach, harnessing our information communications technology (ICT) and intelligent machine systems to drive productivity and reliability improvements, and reduce operating costs.
“An important element of this is having highly skilled operators and technicians who fully understand the machines and the technology behind them, allowing them to take full advantage of these developments,” said Temple.
While KTA will be able to deliver its training and educational programs through its branches across Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia, as well as at customer worksites and facilities, the hub of its operations will be its KTEC headquarters.
Located on more than 3 hectares of land, KTEC has more than 2600 sq m of dedicated training facilities, including seven classrooms, seven technical/electrical laboratories and a large machine operator’s workshop.
It also incorporates a number of simulators, providing the ability for both novice and experienced operators to safely learn on a range of machines, from construction and utility size up to ultra-class mining equipment.
Courses available through KTA cover a variety of mining, construction and utility machine types, including backhoe/loaders, dozers, crushers, dump trucks, excavators (conventional and hybrid), graders and wheel loaders, as well as general systems and technologies.
“KTEC was originally designed to specifically increase the technical capability of our own service and support people to the benefit of our customers,” said Temple.
“It has evolved to become an important element of our total customer satisfaction experience by ensuring we offer the best trained OEM support in the industry.
“As a result, we were increasingly being asked to provide technical training for our customers’ own service technicians, and over the past few years, this has become a growing business for Komatsu Australia.
“This has now seen the KTEC facility becoming part of Komatsu Training Academy, offering a full suite of accredited and custom-developed educational programs across management, technical and operational training,” she said.
“Our vision is to see KTEC recognised as a centre of excellence in heavy equipment training throughout the Asia-Pacific, from which KTA delivers training to customers and sites in the region.”