blog post image

Covid and the Conflict

At our core, we’re a glass half full company. We look at chaos or hurdles (something that arises frequently in the field) as opportunity for growth and exploration. Sometimes the obstacles are small and easily dealt with, while others are more complicated with potential lasting implications. Although the trickier conundrums may take extra brain power and time to figure out, we don’t shy away from conflict.

When Covid-19 struck, less than one month before our best-selling IKDU 101 class, it presented a new challenge for bringing education to our customers. Education is one of our core values. We are a “Learning Organization (” Since 2012, hundreds of students have come through our IKDU 101 class, and April kicks off this tradition each year. It’s our season opener, if you will. To say we were disappointed that we wouldn’t be welcoming our customers for a week of training and fellowship was a bummer!

We took this disappointment, however, and made the best of it by offering a robust series of webinars for free. These webinars spanned over 2 ½ months and were based on actual in person training we do, adapted for remote viewing. They were made available to our customers live, with Q & A, and recorded and placed for viewing on our YouTube Channel (you can see them here, by the way: We like to think we make excellent lemonade with the lemons given (thrown?) to us. It was not a question of whether we would keep engaging with our customers, but how. As much as we are glass half full, we are also relationship driven and oriented. Our number one concern while education/training and in person visits were halted was “How do we keep our commitment to our core value of building “true” relationships with you, our customers, during this time?” So, in addition to webinars, our Technical Sales Team and Key Account Specialists continued to call customers to check on them, email, video conference and make visits where permitted. We are considered essential business, as many of you of reading this are, and quickly adopted safety procedures for Covid-19, so we could still make in-person visits. We not only went when we were called, but also sought these visits out, to keep your equipment up and running. It was a confusing and difficult time for all, but not without much fruit.

IKDU & OPSI: The Rebirth

One fruit born of this time was the serious consideration given to the structure and content of the education of our IKDU classes, along with OPSI, our sister company Optimus Solutions’, education courses. With a goal of equipping maintenance and operation personnel with the basic through advanced understanding of their rotary equipment with our various course offerings, we brought our sold-out classes to the market. After every class, we always take in feedback and adjust accordingly, but Covid-19 brought a special pause that afforded us an opportunity to really examine our courses. Being the kind of company we are, not afraid of change, even embracing it as a vehicle for new success, we began to ask if we could bring even more victories to our customers with a revamp of our education. We are truly proud of the education we have brought forth up to this point and that is why we are excited to announce that this unprecedented year has allowed us to make some significant changes! 

One significant change, beginning in 2020, is the introduction of our certification program. Our certification program will be an optional avenue for the student and their manager that wish for the student to demonstrate a solid, documented understanding and proficiency in the principles taught at IKDU and OPSI. Beginning with our October 2020 class, you will now have two options for graduation from IKDU and OPSI: graduation with certification and graduation without certification. For both options, you can expect to see these enhancements:

  • The class will be focused on either Kiln, Dryer or Ball Mill, depending on audience.
  • Revamped materials and agenda.  Topics listed below:
    • Intro to Rotary Basics (specific to equipment class)
    • Unit Neutralizing and Thrust Management
    • Principles of Measurements
    • Inspection and Trouble Shooting
    • Unit Position:  Component Geometry and Relationships of Wear
    • Continuous Improvement and Reliability
  • Limited to 10 people per class
    • Allows social distancing and necessary safeguards
    • During labs: we will utilize same safety and cleaning processes we use on customer sites.
  • IKDU 101 will have same lecture/lab ratio that we have utilized in the past: 50% lecture and 50% hands-on labs

For those interested in our certification program, you will have the option to become certified on Thrust Neutralization and Management through the following means:

During / at completion of class:

  • Attending all class Lectures and Labs
  • Completing a written exam – 75%+ grade required for passing

On-site utilizing your own rotary equipment at a later date:

  • Successfully perform a “Float” or “Move” supervised by an authorized IKD Technician

Periodic recertification and testing will be required to stay current in your certification. Another important note, is that we will continue to offer Continued Education Unit (CEU) hours for these classes.

If you’re ready to go ahead and jump back into training, consider reserving a spot for our October IKDU 101 class or scheduling private training! We will be offering the certification portion for free through the end of 2020! After 2020, there will be fee associated with the certification process. Now is a great time to take advantage!

In addition to offering our courses as we typically have, in person at our Louisville, KY training facility, we will now also offer the option for live video conference of the classes’ lectures, with adjustments being made on customer site equipment.

Despite all the rapid change and tumult of 2020, we are wildly excited to bring you both an improved version of our tried and true educational experience along with something completely new and fresh altogether. We know as a team, we can navigate all this change and keep you confident and knowledgeable of your rotary kiln, dryer or ball mill. Let’s do this!

To learn more about IKDU visit:

To learn more about OPSI (Optimus Solutions) visit: