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Online Training from Key Technology Delivers Value to a Multinational Food Processor

April 12, 2011 – Recently, a major multinational food processor was searching for new optical sorter technology to improve their product quality and food safety, and evaluated several suppliers.  After a thorough analysis, the processor selected Key Technology and installed Key’s high-volume Manta® sorter and lower-volume Optyx® sorter.  Both sorters feature cameras and lasers to maximize the detection and removal of foreign material and product defects from the production line.  The food processor also purchased a subscription to Key’s PROliance™ Online Training program, as a way to effectively train their plant personnel on the maintenance and operation of Key’s equipment.

“The fact that Key offers online training programs for Manta and Optyx influenced our decision to purchase this equipment over sorters from other suppliers.  Of course we considered other factors, such as the sorters’ effectiveness and ease of use, but Key’s online training did play a part in our decision,” noted the food processor’s production manager.  “From my point of view, technology is great, but if you don’t have a way to train personnel, it’s not that useful because you won’t operate the equipment as well as you could.  Good training is essential to good manufacturing.”

Key’s Online Training program offers a flexible, web-based interactive curriculum designed for operators, maintenance personnel, sanitation crews, supervisors, and others working with Key equipment.  More than 60 self-paced training modules – each designed to take less than 20 minutes to complete – cover the hardware, software, and G6 user interface of Manta, Optyx, Tegra®, and ADR® Automatic Defect Removal System as well as Iso-Flo® vibratory conveyors

“This training program is very comprehensive.  It teaches our staff all aspects of operations and maintenance.  The photos and diagrams are very clear and the text is easy to read so people from all levels of education are able to understand the material.  A short test after each module verifies that each person has learned the material before they go onto the next module so we’re sure we’re training our staff at a competent level,” said the production manager.  “To date, we’ve trained about 30 people using this program.”

From the 28 training modules that cover this food processor’s Manta, Optyx, and G6 user interface, they customize the program for each position since a supervisor may not need exactly the same training as an operator.  This ability to pick and choose the most appropriate modules helps maximize retention and reduce the training time.

“The cost of Key’s online training is less than in-person training, but that’s just one of many benefits,” noted the production manager.  “This program allows us to train employees consistently and continuously, which helps us sustain the highest levels of performance.  And unlike in-person training, which is typically done over a one- or two-day period, we limit online training to an hour a day, right before the shift starts.  This helps employees retain the information and we don’t lose a whole production day at once.”

“We purchased the Key sorters to improve our ability to remove foreign material and defects and produce the highest quality product.  The online training program further improves this capability because it helps us operate the equipment at peak performance,” concluded the production manager.  “After one year of operation, both Key sorters have exceeded our expectations.  As for online training, it’s saving us a lot of money and making us even more effective as a producer of high quality, competitively-priced foods.”

Key’s Online Training Program is a part of their PROliance suite of services, support, upgrades, parts, and training solutions that help processors maximize equipment performance, increase uptime, enhance maintenance efficiency, and extend equipment life.  For more information on PROliance, visit http://www.key.net/PROliance/default.html.

About Key Technology, Inc.
Key Technology, an ISO-9001 certified company, is a leading designer and manufacturer of process automation systems, integrated electro-optical inspection and sorting systems, and processing systems. Key® systems help processors to improve quality, increase yield, and reduce cost. With worldwide sales representation, the company maintains demonstration and testing facilities at its headquarters and manufacturing divisions in Walla Walla, Washington, USA, and at Key Technology BV in Beusichem, the Netherlands. The company's common stock trades on The NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol: KTEC.

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