Annapolis company gets Miller job Brewer to use software for training


Pacific Animated Imaging Corp. of Annapolis plans to produce a series of interactive computer-animated software programs for Miller Brewing Co. that will be used to train brewery workers throughout the United States, PAI said yesterday.

John Cadigan, co-founder and chief executive officer of PAI, said Miller representatives are scheduled to visit PAI's production facilities in Redmond, Wash., next week to make final program selections. Depending how many programs Miller decides to buy, the deal could be worth from $20,000 to $150,000 for PAI, Mr. Cadigan said.

"Our experience has been that most customers start with smaller orders, then place bigger orders when they get a chance to try our product out," Mr. Cadigan said.

Mr. Cadigan said he expects the first programs to be used in Miller's bottling operations in New York.

PAI, which is traded over the counter, specializes in making customized animated software programs to take the place of text-based training manuals for complex, technical processes. Previous PAI programs have been used to teach everything from refrigeration to truck mechanics.

PAI's customized programs are interactive, so a graphical clock on a PAI program, for example, could be "wound" by the user and the clock's hands would move in the correct, clockwise direction. Likewise, moving electronic parts, as interpreted by PAI programs, rotate and gyrate just like they would in real life.

"We take the training manual and bring it to life," Mr. Cadigan said.

If computers are set up to accommodate "touch-screen" technology, trainees can touch the computer screen to progress through PAI's software training program. Touch-screen technology replaces conventional hardware interfaces, like rollerballs and mouses. The touch-screen feature is an option.

PAI's training programs are designed to run on any desktop personal computer. Most software training programs with similar features require computers with decidedly more power than a desktop. PAI has provided training programs for a number of national customers, including Mack Trucks, Caterpillar Tractor and Mead Packaging.

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