With a service network spanning more countries than any other manufacturer of analytical X-ray equipment, PANalytical is able to provide unrivalled levels of customer support. An extensive program of courses for its engineers lies at the heart of the company's expertise in this area. Edwin Kloese, Customer Support Manager Supply Center Almelo, commented: "PANalytical has over three hundred service personnel. Last year alone, more than half of this number attended one of our courses, and we expect similar figures again this year. With so many professionally trained, highly skilled PANalytical service engineers worldwide, we are able to provide our customers with a unique global network of service and support: wherever you are, there's a PANalytical expert nearby."
Courses are held at PANalytical's newly refurbished training facilities at the company's headquarters in Almelo. Facilities include a course classroom, two theory rooms and a technical laboratory with around 15 PANalytical instruments, ensuring that engineers get a maximum amount of hands-on training during their programmes. As the Almelo HQ also houses PANalytical's manufacturing centre all participants have the opportunity to take an extensive factory tour as part of their course. The insight into how instruments are assembled that this provides is very helpful in understanding service procedures.
PANalytical courses utilize Performance-Based Equipment Training (PBET) methods. Mr. Kloese explained: “PBET objectives are derived from the analysis of real world performance needs. Course content is then built around delivering these objectives. There is skill testing along the way and an emphasis on hands-on practice, to ensure that engineers achieve high levels of expertise by the end of each course.”
Lasting one or two weeks, courses focus on instrument maintenance, repairs, calibration and routine operation. Subjects include all PANalytical instruments - from Axios to Venus 200; specific XRD and XRF applications; sample preparation; the principles of efficient troubleshooting and more.