*This article is part 5 of 5
In the previous articles in this series, we’ve focused on the critical role HVACR training plays in modern career and technical education, as instructors and trainers look to prepare the next generation of technicians for a quickly-growing HVACR industry.
We’ve also examined in-depth the foundational skills and basic to advanced HVACR-specific skills today’s HVACR technicians must possess to succeed. In particular, we’ve stressed the need to teach modern Industry 4.0 skills, as the HVACR industry continues to incorporate advanced automation technologies into HVACR systems.
Given the changes taking place throughout the HVACR industry, it’s time for instructors and trainers to take a fresh look at how they’re teaching the knowledge and skills future workers will need. We’ve pointed out how relying on an HVACR “graveyard” of old equipment is no longer enough, especially to teach modern Industry 4.0 skills.
So what are instructors and trainers to do? Fear not. In this article, we bring everything together to explain how the experts at Amatrol can help you design and build a modern HVACR program, whether you’re starting from scratch or revamping a current program.
Do I Need to Recreate the Wheel?
Building a modern HVACR program from scratch or revamping a program that’s been around for a while can both seem like monumental tasks, especially for busy instructors and trainers. Many people faced with such a task simply don’t know where to start.
Fortunately, there’s no need to recreate the wheel. Amatrol’s unique combination of real industrial training equipment paired with cutting-edge eLearning curriculum can be used to create a modern HVACR training program that will set up students or workers for success.
With over 30 years of experience, Amatrol remains the world’s leader in technical education. The experts at Amatrol regularly guide educational institutions and industry clients through the process of customizing training programs to achieve specific goals.
So, rest assured, you don’t have to walk this road alone. Partnering with a proven expert in career and technical education is the first step toward creating a modern HVACR program that will prepare your students or workers for success in the workplace. The experts at Amatrol are ready to give you all the help you need.
How Can I Create an HVACR Training Program That’s Flexible?
If there’s one old adage that instructors and trainers agree with wholeheartedly, it’s this one: when it comes to learning, one size does not fit all. Students and workers will have a variety of learning styles and preferences.
Moreover, to prepare students and workers for modern HVACR careers, instructors and trainers must teach both theoretical knowledge and practical, hands-on skills. Finally, as the COVID-19 pandemic showed the world, a training program must also be flexible to accommodate remote learning when necessary.
Sound like a tall order? Setting up a flexible program that teaches all the relevant knowledge and skills could certainly be a daunting task if you had to do it all by yourself. Fortunately, Amatrol’s approach to career and technical education boasts a unique combination of physical, hands-on training systems with multimedia eLearning curriculum.
Amatrol’s eLearning offers flexible technical training through superb content with strong interactivity for skill development with 24/7 access. Eye-popping graphics, 3D simulations, videos, and complete explanations combine to develop technical skills for modern jobs.
Amatrol’s hands-on training systems are designed by engineers and subject matter experts and loaded with real-world, industrial components for the closest possible experience to working on-the-job. They are heavy-duty and ready to stand up to frequent use and inexperienced users. For times when access to equipment is limited, learners can still gain hands-on experience using Amatrol’s virtual trainers.
Amatrol’s virtual simulators replicate hands-on equipment in such great detail that learners will feel like they are using the actual equipment. Learners perform essentially the same tasks using virtual trainers that they would using the hands-on systems.
Amatrol’s training systems combined with eLearning curriculum and virtual simulators provides instructors and trainers a flexible framework to teach all of the relevant theoretical knowledge and hands-on skills students and workers need to hit the ground running in a modern HVACR career.
How Can I Effectively Teach HVACR Skills?
The most effective way to teach the range of skills modern HVACR technicians need is by using a variety of technical training systems designed specifically to teach relevant knowledge and practical hands-on skills. Amatrol has been manufacturing such systems for decades.
In the paragraphs that follow, we’ll take a brief look at the technical training systems Amatrol makes to teach foundational skills, as well as basic to advanced HVACR-specific skills. Let’s start with some of the foundational building blocks we highlighted in a previous article:
Amatrol’s Portable AC/DC Electrical Learning System (990-ACDC1) teaches the fundamentals of AC and DC electrical systems used for power and control in industrial, commercial, agricultural, and residential applications. The 990-ACDC1 offers industry-relevant skills including how to operate, install, design, and troubleshoot basic AC and DC electrical circuits for various applications.
Amatrol’s Mechanical Drives 1 Learning System (970-ME1) covers mechanical drive installation, mechanical drive operation, motor drive alignment, and applications of various motor drive systems. Learners will use the mechanical drives training system and the interactive online mechanical drives curriculum to gain theoretical knowledge and hands-on skills for shaft, belt, gear, and chain drives using real-world motor drive components. This hands-on mechanical drives skill-building system covers topic areas like mechanical drive systems, key fasteners, power transmission systems, v-belt drives, chain drives, spur gear drives, and multiple shaft drives.
Print Reading is a foundational skill use throughout many industries. Amatrol’s Print Reading eLearning Courseware (M12207) covers topics like print dimensioning, assembly drawings and fasteners, and geometric dimensioning & tolerancing (GD&T). Learners using Amatrol’s print reading training course will study sketching, multiview drawings, dimensioning rules, first-angle projection, holes and fasteners, assembly drawings, assembly tolerances, and feature control frames. From this building block, learners can practice industry-relevant skills like selecting the appropriate number of views for an object, interpreting information blocks on a print, and calculating the limits of a dimension given its tolerance.
Communication & Time Management
Amatrol offers a variety of eLearning courses that teach so-called “soft skills,” such as communication and time management, which are critical to success as an HVACR technician. For example, Amatrol’s eLearning library features safety and workplace effectiveness courses, including: safety practices & regulations; hazardous communication; communication skills; conflict resolution; and working in groups.
In addition to these foundational subject areas, Amatrol has developed a range of training systems to teach basic to advanced HVACR-specific topics. Let’s take a closer look at Amatrol’s HVACR training systems:
Amatrol’s Thermal Science Learning System (T7081) provides the knowledge and equipment needed to comprehend the principles of modern thermal systems, such as HVACR, geothermal, refrigeration, and steam systems. As learners progress through the thermal science training curriculum, they will perform experiments demonstrating principles such as the ideal gas law, linear and volumetric thermal expansion, basic temperature measurement, latent and sensible heat, specific heat capacity, conduction, convention, radiation, evaporative cooling, and basic refrigeration.
Amatrol’s Basic Refrigeration Learning System (T7045) teaches hands-on skills on a working refrigeration system in a compact tabletop unit. Skills delivered through this trainer are used by technicians in industrial, residential, and commercial HVACR settings, preparing learners for a continuously growing industry. This system is a fantastic starting point for future HVACR technicians as it covers both hands-on maintenance skills and technical refrigeration concepts and calculations.
Air Conditioning & Heat Pumps
Amatrol’s Air Conditioning/Heat Pump Troubleshooting Learning System (T7082A) teaches valuable HVACR troubleshooting skills on a hands-on learning system that performs heat pump, air conditioning, and refrigeration operation. The T7082A utilizes FaultPro, the industry’s only electronic troubleshooting system, to provide a hands-on experience for identifying faults such as blockages, leakage, and refrigerant overcharging and undercharging.
The Environmental Applications Learning System (T7083) adds on to the T7082A to teach a variety of additional skills. The T7083 is a model of a house complete with insulation, siding, shingles, and a window. Learners gauge how these features affect a home’s temperature by checking digital thermometer outputs connected to various temperature probes throughout the trainer. Learners then use components such as a ceiling fan, attic exhaust fan, attic vents, and static cling window tint to change the home’s temperature and to learn about concepts like heat loads, insulation effectiveness, humidity, air movement, heat transfer, psychometrics, and heat pump sizing.
Residential Heating & Cooling Systems
Amatrol’s Residential Heat Pump Troubleshooting Learning System (T7100) teaches critical HVACR skills related to residential HVACR systems that use a heat pump and traditional ducting. Learners will work with real industrial HVACR equipment, such as: a heat pump condenser, heat pump air handler, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat, and ducting. The T7100 was also designed to include transparent housings, pipes, and ducting with LED illumination that allows learners to see inside the system.
The T7100’s interactive multimedia eLearning curriculum covers a wide variety of fundamental residential heat pump topics, including: thermostat operation, pressure and temperature measurements, component tests, and system troubleshooting. The curriculum also focuses on the development of critical hands-on skills, including: operating a heat pump in heating and cooling modes, testing a thermostatic expansion valve, and troubleshooting insufficient cooling.
Amatrol’s Residential Mini-Split Heat Pump Learning System (T7130) focuses on residential ductless (“mini-split”) HVACR systems. Learners using the T7130 will work with real industrial HVACR equipment, such as: a heat pump condenser, evaporator unit, thermostat, panel-mounted gauges, and condensate pump. The T7130 also features transparent housings and pipes with LED illumination that allow learners to see inside the system.
The T7130’s eLearning curriculum covers fundamental residential mini-split system topics, including: remote controller adjustments, heating and cooling modes, LED indicators, communication between units, and system troubleshooting. Learners can also expect to learn critical hands-on skills, including adjusting remote controller settings, verifying communication between indoor and outdoor units, and testing a four-way valve reversing valve coil.
Amatrol’s Refrigerant Recovery and Charging Learning Systems for R-134a (T7031) and R-410a (T7032) teach future HVACR technicians critical hands-on skills related to system charging and refrigerant recovery. Learners using these systems will work with real industrial equipment, such as: a recovery machine, submersible cooler, temperature probe, filter dryer, electronic refrigerant scale, charging hose set, vacuum pump, and micron vacuum gauge.
The eLearning curriculum for the T7031 and T7032 covers relevant refrigerant recovery and charging topics, including: refrigerant fundamentals, leak detection, pressure and temperature measurement, refrigerant recovery and recycling, and refrigerant charging. Learners using these systems can also expect to learn critical hands-on skills, including using a compound gauge to measure refrigeration system pressure and removing a service valve core.
Amatrol’s Combined Refrigeration Installation Learning System (T7200) offers a comprehensive hands-on workstation and interactive multimedia curriculum to teach installation of electrical and mechanical refrigeration/air conditioning components in residential or light commercial applications.
The Combined Refrigeration Installation Learning System includes evaporator and condenser coils, a hermetically-sealed compressor, a filter/drier, and many more real-world industrial components that allow learners to practice skills with components that they’ll find on-the-job. The included multimedia curriculum covers topics like: copper tubing, refrigerant line routing and bending, flaring and swaging copper tubing, brazing and soldering refrigerant lines, and copper tubing insulation.
Commercial & Industrial Refrigeration
Amatrol’s engineering department is hard at work putting the finishing touches on three new advanced HVACR trainers coming soon, including:
- T7300: Smart HVACR Controls
- T7400: Commercial Refrigeration Troubleshooting
- T7500: Industrial Refrigeration Troubleshooting
Amatrol’s Geothermal Troubleshooting Learning System with Desuperheater (950-GEO2D) uses an exposed component layout so that learners can see each component’s role in a geothermal system. Learners can easily observe, monitor, and test each component mounted and labeled on a vertical panel. Sight glasses installed in the 950-GEO2 allow the learner to see the refrigerant’s changing state as it passes through the system. Amatrol also includes pressure and temperature gauges at key points to show the system’s performance at a glance. Additionally, the system includes a custom designed, temperature-controlled ground simulator so the system can run continuously.
Amatrol’s Steam System Training System (950-SH1) introduces learners to the operation, installation, maintenance, and repair of steam systems and their application in paper mills, commercial and residential settings, power companies, and even nuclear submarines. Amatrol’s exceptionally thorough curriculum covers a comprehensive range of steam system topics, including both practical applications such as how to operate a boiler and theoretical knowledge like the coefficient of volume and thermal expansion.
Let Amatrol Help
Are you ready to either build a modern HVACR program from the ground up or clean out your HVACR graveyard and take your training program to the next level? If so, contact Amatrol today to learn more about its complete lineup of HVACR training systems.
A technical training expert will consult with you to determine how you can incorporate Amatrol’s systems into a training program that will help you bridge the HVACR skills gap and prepare students or workers to succeed in the HVACR jobs of the present and future!
About Duane Bolin
Duane Bolin is a former curriculum developer and education specialist. He is currently a Marketing Content Developer in the technical training solutions market.