LunchBox Sessions, the Canadian-based online hydraulics training platform, continues to grow, now with 13,000 current users across 97 countries. I recently caught up with Carl Dyke, the longtime Fluid Power World contributor, whose company, CD Industrial Group, created the dynamic sessions.
Dyke said that LunchBox Sessions is now being used on a regular basis in more than a dozen technical colleges in the United States, as well as in several colleges in Australia. Additionally, several original equipment manufacturers have chosen in the past year to use the training as their base platform for customer support, learning curriculum.
“Within a private space in LunchBox Sessions, we build in the OEM’s customer resources with live schematics. We also put in other tools and resources that allow the OEM to support their own internal technician group — and their client technician group, as well,” said Dyke. “So, the service is definitely branching out.”
There are currently three main topics areas: hydraulics, electrical, and overall machinery — where aspects of a specific piece of equipment, such as a loader or a crane are highlighted. Each session encapsulates a chunk of learning on one particular sub-topic and contains about two hours of content. In total, Dyke estimated that there are probably 80 hours’ worth of content each in hydraulics and electrical, and another 20-30 hours in the machinery-specific areas.
The newer content on LunchBox Sessions includes a lot of interesting items, including cartridge valves, slip-in logic valves, servo and proportional valves, and electrohydraulics. And on the electrical side, they’ve recently added content on CAN Bus, a popular networking technology for electrical controls, especially used in mobile equipment.
Before the end of this year, LunchBox Sessions plans to release some exciting content on the hydraulic side of wind turbines. There’s also been a lot of demand for content relating to aerial work platforms, so that is coming, too — starting with the hydraulic and electrical sides of scissor lifts.
Dyke said that many new sessions are created based on customer demand, what the users email to ask for after completing several sessions.
“The other way our new content gets developed is through the instructor-led side of our business,” Dyke said. “Sometimes, we’re brought into an industry to work consistently, time and time again on the same type of machinery. At that point, we’ve been developing the industry- or machinery-specific content to bring to the classroom. We’re always bringing a full classroom set of laptops with us everywhere we go. And simulations are a well-known side of our training, so we’re always building up that content. After a while, we have enough there to put it out for general public use on LunchBox Sessions.”