What comes to mind when you think of virtual reality? Do you imagine the light cycle races from Tron? Do you envision the Star Trek crewmembers escaping to the Holodeck? Do you think of welding? While virtual reality's roots are firmly planted in the world of science fiction, the simulated environment is now being used for training the plant maintenance worker of the future.
Plant Services has been covering virtual environments for some time now, chronicling their impact on maintenance practices, training and much more. (Check out Mike Bacidore’s article, “Gaming environments simulate plant maintenance,” and Joel Leonard’s article, “Use virtual training to convert the gamer generation into a skilled workforce.”)
One of the most popular applications of virtual training is the VRTEX 360 virtual reality welding simulator from Lincoln Electric. Want to see how it works? Check out the videos below to experience, first person, what it’s like beneath the virtual welding helmet.
This video shows pipe welding in the 2G position on six-inch-diameter Schedule 40 pipe. The student is putting in the virtual root pass with virtual Fleetweld 5P+ (E6010).
This video shows what the student sees in the construction environment on the VRTEX 360. The student first looks around the environment and then proceeds to weld with the GMAW short arc welding process in the 2F position. Half way down the weld a long CTWD is used and porosity can be seen in the finished weld.