Troubleshooting Course Materials

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Do it yourself training course teaches how to troubleshoot machines and processes
and includes a real machine for hands-on practice.

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About this troubleshooting course

How does a MIMIC machine help in learning troubleshooting?

Learning materials included in the troubleshooting course

Instructor On A Disk Package

Troubleshooting course contents

What users say about Systematic Troubleshooting

FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions) about the troubleshooting course

Curriculum for
community colleges

Mechatronics for community colleges

Links to information about maintenance and troubleshooting

IDEAS! on training and troubleshooting

About the creators of these courses

Available packages and preview materials

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This program combines the best features of many teaching techniques to produce a highly effective experience that is easy for both the leader and learner.

Course content is delivered on video using film, photos, artwork and text to improve attention and learning.

weld line
Example of machine and
process video shot.

Socrates taught that people learn best when they contribute. For this reason, the video is programmed to stop frequently for student discussions and questions. Positive reinforcement is given for student answers. This stimulates participation. The Leader’s Guide explains what to do or say at each stop point.

A wide variety of activities is provided including working with a candy bar process, flying a plane, solving digital logic problems, finding root causes of a failed bearing and solving a murder case.

plane starting
Mimic becomes bomber
while pilot and copilot fly

The video is programmed with frequent auto-stop points for class interaction. These include questions, discussions and numerous hands-on activities with the Mimic machine and course materials. When the students finish each discussion or activity, the leader re-starts the video. The leader's guide tells what to say and do at stop points.

The instructor leads the class using a color-coded guide with a complete transcript of the video and instructions on what to say and do at each stop point. This enables the leader to anticipate and prepare for the interactions at the stop points. It also gives the leader an option to omit the video and personally present any parts of the course.

Students use an Activity Book that includes instructions and forms for use in activities. The book includes summaries on how to use each type of sketch and table.


This is the package for the professional trainer or manager who is comfortable with presenting the training and would like full control of the content. In addition to what's in the Basic Package, the program includes a Presenter's Notebook, a Training Planner and a Powerpoint presentation with script on CD. Each of these materials is described below.


Once you have taught a couple of classes, or if you are an experienced trainer, you can tailor the course to fit your own presentation style, the type of students you have and the needs of your company. A complete Powerpoint presentation for doing an entire workshop based on the material in the Presenter's Notebook is included with this package. It includes all the slides as well as a presentation outline and notes.

The Trainer's Development Package also includes a “Trainer’s Toolbox”. This includes optional activities to expand and enrich the learning experiences of your students. The materials also help them to apply the principles in STS to the equipment and processes they work with on the job.

The materials include: Industrial Applications, Training Planner for creating programs that accomplish your needs (even if you’ve never designed training before), Root Cause Analysis, how to find a corrective action that will prevent the problem from ever happening again, STS Performance Test evaluate how well your people understand course concepts and can apply them for solving problems.

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The Text-Workbook that contains the complete content of the course, including all hands-on activities also comes with the course. Instructors use it to learn the content and activities in the course and as a reference during class sessions.

This comprehensive 244-page learning tool is a combination of easy-to-read instruction, illustrations, activities and discussion questions. It includes all materials needed for classroom activities or self-study, including answers for all activities.


This 208-page reference is ideal for the new instructor, because it contains complete instructions for planning a class, a full script on everything to say and detailed instructions on all activities and how to use the MIMIC machine. Master copies of overhead transparencies are included.

For the more advanced instructor, fifteen case studies in various fields are also provided as well as a script for tailoring the program to the requirements of production workers. Information for configuring the MIMIC for your own custom activities is included. Answers for all activities and performance evaluation materials are provided. If you want to use a combination of self-instruction and group sessions, instructions are included for this format.


The Systematic Troubleshooting course involves activities that require working with machines and processes, making sketches, interpreting information, filling out tables and teamwork with a partner. This Activity Book provides all the materials a participant needs and facilitates the building of an information file on the equipment they are troubleshooting. A reference section, with materials you can copy for use on the job, includes concise explanations of each form and table.


Bootstrap is a computer-format version of the original self-instructional Text Workbook. The Text-Workbook is the basis of the Systematic Troubleshooting course. This format is great for people on the road or who are never without their laptop. And, because class time is reduced, it saves costs of lost time on the job, instructors and training rooms.

Laptop in use

Technician uses laptop to troubleshoot operatating sequence of packaging system.

The Text-Workbook is designed for use with the Mimic. The problems presented require an understanding of the Mimic, its systems and the processes it controls.

The course is designed for teams of two working together or individuals working alone. Partners pool their mental resources and learn from each other. In the final activity, one person sets up a problem for the other to solve and critiques the partner’s performance. Then they reverse roles. People working alone will have easy access to all instructions and answers for activities and reviews.

Content is in a PDF format divided into twelve segments, each with cover sheets, hands-on activities and review questions. A print version of the Text-Workbook is included for those that prefer paper and pencil.

The five data tables in STS are all in Microsoft Word table format, so information can be keyed-in and displayed on computer screens. The masters for these tables are in templates that can be used over and over without losing their original structure. People who like to make sketches and color-code them in their favorite CAD program can do so. Or paper and pencil in black and colors can be used. Drawings can, of course, be scanned into a computer.

In addition to the Text-Workbook, STS Bootstrap includes a guide for the supervisor. It gives suggestions for introducing the course, motivating students and explaining expectations.

When students have completed each group of study assignments, activities and review questions, the leader meets with them to answer questions, discuss applications and review activities. Optional tests of performance and knowledge may be given at the end of the course. Test results required may be explained up front as well as changes in job status or pay that may be expected by those who complete the course successfully

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