MWF Certificate Course - Final Analysis


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Metalworking FLUID Certificate Course

The Final Analysis


John Fischer

December 2007:

Final Report: Grading the MWF Certificate Course.

Back home, the suitcase has long been stored back in the closet and my laundry washed and put away.  Makes me think about my friends who travel all the time.  When you’re young, it sounds so glorious.  Ahhh, sales - world travel, limousines, and fine dining.  Think again young man.  Think small rooms,  fast food, road-side toilets, and dirty laundry.  Go for that desk job.

Immediately following the training course, I had a number of opinions on which I felt fairly strong.  After returning home and gaining back my full body weight, they seemed less important somehow.  However, there is room for improvement in the Certificate Course, even though most of my complaints are culinary in nature.  The Top Ten Recommendations range from “nit-picking” to “call your congressman.”  Right below that is the all important Final Analysis of the course.  Skip to it if you're in a hurry.

The official, unsolicited
of Recommendations for Improving the

Number 10

Never advertise free shuttle service for a Monday morning course if it isn’t available on Sunday.  That’s a bad start.

Number 9

Feed me.  The food we ate was pretty good, but there was exactly one little chicken breast for each attendant.  I got a bigger serving on parent day at my son’s elementary school.  And provide diet soda.  It's popular stuff.  It has been a long time since I’ve had the 'real thing' straight-up, but that was the only choice.  By the third day I was trembling and my teeth felt like candy canes.  One more week and I would have been checking into rehab.

Number 8

Clearly distinguish the “Certificate Program” from the “Certified Metalworking Fluid Specialist Exam” (Certification)  The majority of the attendees were confused on this at some point in their lives.  Consider an additional CMFS  preparation course, although demand is likely a problem. 

Number 7

Shorten the class day by an hour.  Class days should be no longer than for first graders.  They get recess, and we don’t.  They play kick-ball.  We check email.  Besides, we have stressful jobs, decaying brains, and hormone issues.

Number 6

Don’t plan a night on the town (or dinner in a different town) the day before the test.  If you do plan a night on the town the day before the test, don’t combine that with a plan to start early the next day.  Better plan: Start test day an hour or two later.  With additional sleep and study time, comfort, confidence, and grades will go up.

Number 5

Cut back a tad on the chemical names; at least for test purposes in this course.  I admit, before taking the class I thought Poly Alfphaelefins was the French woman that invented X-ray.  But if I can’t pronounce it or spell it, I probably can’t buy it at Home Depot and therefore I probably don’t need to know it.

Number 4

If you have to flash rapidly through your slides, you have too many.  If you’re telling the students not to worry about certain slides, then those slides shouldn’t  be there.  There was one short period when the slides were changing so fast the presentation resembled a silent movie.  If you must flash through the slides, pop some popcorn and hire a piano player to bang out some notes in time with the show.

Number 3

Don’t ask for names on evaluation sheets of the students who know you are going to grade them.  It just results in a lot of shameless ass-kissing.  Such suck-up behavior was annoying in high school, but it’s just sad to watch grown men doing it.

Number 2

Send the excellent course notebook (or a CD of it) to all students along  with their confirmation of payment for the course.  A couple of nights with the notebook would make the students far more prepared.  They will be better participants and again, grades will go up.  That’s a good thing, right?

And – (drum roll)  The Number 1 (non-food related) Recommendation is - -

Break the course into multiple courses with different subject emphasis, adding subjects and increasing subject depth.  This could better serve to prepare students for the CMFS exam, and would provide additional educational opportunities for the engineers from STLE, SME, and everywhere else.  Rumor has it that this is being considered in some form.



What’s the Bottom Line?

If you’re buying metalworking fluids, you have a right to expect the salesperson to have adequate training to analyze requirements, make recommendations, anticipate issues, recognize problems, and help solve them.  You have a right to expect a minimum level of competence and education.  Where does this training come from?

Today, the best basic MWF training available is probably the SME/STLE Metalworking Fluid Certification Course.  This is the new standard.  It really is an excellent course that I am certain will continue to improve.  I expect SME and STLE will continue to listen to the feedback from the attendees, and better align the course and the student's professional needs.

If you are selling metalworking fluids, or service or equipment related to metalworking fluids, you and all of your employees should attend this course.  There is no doubt that additional training beyond this course is needed, so those in the field can have a chance to learn more about the chemistry, physics, biology, and economics of metalworking fluids.  You don’t have to agree with everything, and you won’t, anymore than you did in college.  Still, all in all, bang for the buck, this is the best training available.

Finally, professional engineers involved in manufacturing, facilities management, EHS, machine design or tool design - this is a great opportunity to get those needed pdh (Professional Development Hours) to maintain your professional engineering license.

If you have any questions, or want to send us your comments on the course, visit the feedback page