All of one mind

Apprenticeship at thyssenkrupp | thyssenkrupp worldwide | Instructors like Luis Carlos Gonçalves are there to ensure consistent training standards for all 4,200 employees across Brazil. Here’s how they do it.

The chances of an elevator free-­falling to the ground are, in today’s world, zero to none. Several steel cables, each as thick as your thumb, would have to break and the automatic emergency brake fail for this to happen,” says Luis ­Carlos Gonçalves. That is thanks in no small part to the work Gonçalves does each day. He is a maintenance technician and instructor at thyssenkrupp Elevadores in São Paulo, Brazil. “People riding our elevators should be both safe and comfortable.” That’s why ­thyssenkrupp Elevadores places such a strong focus on ceaselessly training its technical service employees. This is necessary to deliver the best product possible.

Gonçalves is the very best at what he does, and has the experience to back that up. He’s been an elevator technician for more than 20 years. His first job was at Elevadores Sûr, where Gonçalves started holding courses for newly hired staff in 1995. He would later help develop the in-house training program for service personnel. The company was then acquired by thyssenkrupp in 1999. Gonçalves was around to witness the massive growth that followed. The workforce expanded from an initial 1,300 employees to almost 4,200 today, and offices were set up across this tropical land.

Gaps in knowledge identified

Despite the many new faces joining the team, thyssenkrupp ­Elevadores has been able to provide a uniform standard of training and keep staff abreast of the latest developments thanks to its training program that is constantly being updated. “Our service technicians across ­Brazil complete a series of more than 20 standardized course modules,” says Gonçalves. Each of them focuses on one core subject, be it safety, control systems, or customer service. The training involves both theory and hands-on work with elevator components. For example, motors, control units, and complete cabins are made available in the training centers. The ­instructors also accompany their new colleagues to the customer on real assignments.

Our technicians in Brazil take a number of courses.

Luis Carlos Gonçalvesmaintenance technician and instructor

If that were not enough, there is a reporting system used by service staff to enter detailed information on their assignments. This system makes it possible to immediately identify where there are gaps in knowledge, and eliminate them. “If employees at a particular branch receive frequent calls to repair defective automatic doors, for example, this is shown on our company’s monitoring system and we can offer a special course on the subject if necessary,” says Gonçalves.

The elevator has to work to perfection for passengers to feel comfortable in the cabin.

Racking up miles

For years now, Gonçalves has flown several times a month to often remote locations to give courses and assist local instructors. Technical progress is creeping into every aspect of life and has changed the tools of his trade. He uses online conferences to reach out more effectively to people in other parts of the country, and provide them with new and proven knowledge. The company operates its own platform that allows people at several different offices to take part in courses. They can all see each other on the screen, chat, discuss technical issues, and study texts or charts. “It works like a charm,” says Gonçalves. “Many people are looking to sign up.” That doesn’t mean he wants to stop traveling to assist colleagues in remote areas. Meeting them face to face is important for him. “It’s great to see the progress made by people who you’ve personally trained.”

ThyssenKrupp Elevadores is headquartered in Guaíba.

thyssenkrupp Elevadores is headquartered in Guaíba.

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