Internal training at J&J – how we are creating “lean, mean, bulk solids engineering machines”

July 22, 2015

Jenike & Johanson strives to provide high quality customer service. A vital component in customer service is a focus on excellence. A lot goes into achieving “excellence” – critical items include:
training_excellence_blog copyOur firm’s product is simply “our knowledge”. In other words, we have a highly specialized understanding of what makes powders and bulk solids flow, segregate, attrit (break-down), move/transport, and cake. As many know, this understanding is generally not taught in academia, and as result, those experienced have usually learned through the costly and frustrating process of trial-and-error.
For those that are inexperienced, how do they learn?

  • From a book? Probably too limiting.
  • From a webinar, course, or seminar? May be too generalized.
  • From a one semester course? Often too focused on theory and not industrial application.

Which begs the question, how do our new project engineers learn about powder and bulk solids handling?
Let me help you understand our training program. Our comprehensive training program is structured for effective learning and skill development to produce well-informed and qualified engineers that can successfully execute our business tasks. Ultimately, this is a means to provide effective service to you — our customers!

Our training program incorporates customized training plans, specialized learning activities, and continual feedback from both the trainer and trainee. Our engineers’ pathway to mastery advances through four levels, namely: awareness, learning, competency, and expertise. These levels are defined below in the graphic.


With awareness, our new engineers focus on the “why’s”. For example, if they understand why ratholing cannot occur in a [popover image=”/your-need/poor-flow/Hopper-flow-pattern-mass-flow/” link_text=”mass flow bin” title=” ” content=”Mass flow bin for reliable powder discharge” direction=”right”], then understanding how mass flow is achieved during the learning level is far easier.

We just completed a project engineer “training blitz” in June with about a dozen of our staff, whereby for three full weeks our engineers were trained comprehensively in the awareness and learning levels for bulk material handling. Though this event comes at a high cost of resources and operating expenses, its value is priceless as its outcomes effectively help us to serve your needs in a more competent, timely, and accurate manner. Note how these directly affect “excellence.”



Our engineers are deemed competent when they have been certified by senior staff engineers to meet required qualifications to perform tasks, such as site visits, bin/feeder/chute design, or silo material-induced loads analysis. A key demonstration of achieving the competency level is for the trainee to become a trainer in that subject matter and instruction of those in the learning stage is required. This follows the axiom, “if you can effectively teach it, you must know it.”
We have dozens of competent engineers at Jenike & Johanson that work hard to exceed your expectations, but not everyone is considered an expert in all areas. To effectively serve your engineering needs, we have a tremendous collection of experts in a wide variety of technical expertise surrounding industries (e.g., pharmaceutical, cement, mining, plastics, foods, powdered metals), codes/standards, and specialized material handling technologies (e.g., pneumatic conveying, fluidization, agglomeration, drying, purging).

SiteVisit_CollageYou may notice that we have a few engineers on-site during a visit to your plant. This is likely our training program “in action” whereby a senior engineer is mentoring a newer engineer. There is nothing like on-the-job training to maximize learnings and practice the trade – note that we do this in a carefully controlled manner to ensure our customer receives an exceptional service, as this is our unequivocal objective.

We strive to provide you with engineering excellence in any technical area involving powder and bulk solids handling. The sustainability and growth of Jenike & Johanson intimately relies upon our engineers’ effective learning of powder and bulk solids flow, processing, and conveying behaviors. Without properly trained engineers, we are just another company.

As the director of education, I have the responsibility of ensuring our engineers are “lean, mean, bulk solids engineering machines”, thus, if you find an instance where we are not meeting your expectations, please bring it to our attention immediately. You can contact me at or our chief executive officer, Herman Purutyan, at

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