Trend Talks: Training

Gear manufacturers and industry associations take on the responsibility of training the next generation of a qualified and skilled workforce.


Last month, I discussed the role that education plays in the gear manufacturing industry and provided examples of industry associations and companies that are on the forefront of driving the industry forward by developing an educated workforce. Similarly, training is crucial, and it goes hand-in-hand with educational opportunities both in the classroom and out on the shop floor. Oftentimes, the responsibility of offering such training falls on the companies seeking qualified workers. 

For example, take Koepfer America, LLC, a leading supplier of premium gear manufacturing machines and cutting tools for industries such as aerospace, automotive, construction, and medical. For 27 years, Koepfer America has hosted a gear school, which consists of an intensive three-day seminar designed for entry-level gear manufacturing personnel, including manufacturing management, industrial engineers, supervisors, setup personnel, operators, and quality control. The seminar limits its class size to 30 to provide an optimum learning environment, and it costs $950 per person, which includes a workbook, miscellaneous materials, a demonstration of current gear manufacturing equipment, and meals. 

“We send all of our employees to it,” said Adam Gimpert, business manager at Koepfer America. “It’s our way to offer our knowledge and expertise. Attending the gear school allows us and the attendees to connect with potential customers and network with those who work in gear manufacturing.”

Koepfer America’s Gear School also gives the company the chance to meet young professionals who are entering the industry and allows it to connect with them early on with hopes of working with them in the future. The company comes together in a group effort to teach the courses offered during the seminar. Adam and his father Dennis Gimpert, the founder and president of the company, are instructors, along with David Harroun, Koepfer America’s sales manager, and Rick Reenan, the company’s regional sales representative who teaches the gear shaping course. More information about Koepfer America and the gear school can be found at You can also read more about them in this issue’s company profile.

On the heat treating side of the industry, Ipsen offers Ipsen U, a practical three-day course to build on and refresh the attendees’ existing knowledge of thermal processing equipment. The training course addresses all levels of experience in a casual open-forum environment and encourages attendees to actively participate by asking questions about specific equipment and heat treating processes while interacting with several Ipsen experts. 

Ipsen U addresses all levels of expertise including maintenance, operators, engineers, project managers, and plant managers. Some of the information covered in these courses includes an introduction to vacuum furnaces, vacuum units of measure, furnace subsystems, leak detection, and maintenance. The course costs $950 per student, which includes breakfast and lunch as well as one group dinner. Participants receive an Ipsen U certificate and Ipsen polo shirt upon completion. Reservations are due two weeks prior to the course’s start date. More information on Ipsen U, including the schedule for 2016, can be found at by first clicking on the “Aftermarket Support” section and then by selecting the link at the end of the  “Ipsen U” section.

Other companies like DMG Mori USA offer open houses where gear manufacturers can tour facilities and attend seminars from industry experts. (Go to or email to learn more.) KISSsoft USA, LLC also offers training opportunities throughout the year, including a basic training course on its KISSsys calculation software at the company’s training center in Oakbrook, Illinois, this June. (Go to to learn more.) Klingelnberg GmbH, an industry-leading machine manufacturer, is also establishing its own international seminar series in partnership with the Gear Seminar for which trade events will be organized at varying locations around the world for its customers.  The Gear Seminar in the U.S. will be organized by the company’s American subsidiary, Klingelnberg America, Inc., and will take place in Ann Arbor, Michigan, from June 27 to June 29. This year, Klingelnberg will also host the sixth WZL Gear Conference in the U.S. on June 28, during which the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) at RWTH Aachen University will present the latest research results and developments in the gear manufacturing industry. 

Several other industry members, including Gleason and Forest City Gear, and industry associations such as the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA) and the American Society of Metals (ASM) also offer training opportunities. Go to to stay up to date on industry events throughout the year. 

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