Industrial leaders learn new applications for 3-D technology

Source: PlantServices.com

Aug 25, 2009

A dozen leaders from maintenance and reliability services gathered at Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) to learn how Interactive Three-Dimensional (i3D) technology can be used to keep water flowing, cool air blowing and valves pumping.

Shon Isenhour, business consultant with ABB Reliability Services North America, in Charleston, S.C., discovers how i3D and touch lights are being used in health and industry training classes at Fayetteville Technical Community College.
Shon Isenhour, business consultant with ABB Reliability Services North America, in Charleston, S.C., discovers how i3D and touch lights are being used in health and industry training classes at Fayetteville Technical Community College. By using his hands, Isenhour can expand the size of the image to see a detailed three-dimensional image. Here, he turns, flips and inverts views of an aircraft turbine engine. FTCC is the only community college in the United States to offer this type of curriculum.

The event was co-sponsored by SkillTV.net and FTCC. Participants came from Maryland, Illinois, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Yes, they donned glasses, but they didn’t watch a movie. Instead, they got a glimpse of how the same technology that produces 3-D games can be used to train technicians, engineers and even health care professionals. They were mesmerized by a computer simulations of a pump that could be flipped inside out, up, down, sideways — in what appeared to be mid-air — so maintenance technicians and engineers can readily identify problems and make corrections to actual equipment on the job. 

During discussion, they explored business applications of projected holograms.

“The technology we saw can change the way we think about how to solve problems moving forward,” said Alan Morris, Vice-President of Business Development for A3 Technologies, Inc. in Charlotte, N.C. “Our discussion on how to apply this type of visualization technology in diverse applications is always invigorating in groups with varied backgrounds and expertise.”

Because of its proximity to Fort Bragg and other military bases in North Carolina, FTCC has partnered with the Base Realignment and Closure Regional Task Force (BRAC RTF) in Fayetteville to offer advanced technology to support military and economic development efforts in the surrounding 11-county region, known as the All American Defense Corridor.

Joel Leonard, producer and host of SkillTV.net, the online resource for the maintenance and facility engineering industry, brought the engineers, project partners and educators together for the one-day session. Interviews with some of the attendees will be posted on SkillTV.net. Leonard will also be sharing information about the school’s programs on the Internet, in Plant Services Magazine and at upcoming conferences in Texas, Washington and Italy.  

College officials say by combining i3D technology with traditional book learning, students get a better understanding of what they’ll actually face in real life. FTCC has already incorporated the i3D application in dental hygiene and local industry programs with companies like Goodyear and The North Carolina Bio-Tech Center. Officials add that simulation-based learning uses real-time interactive photo-realistic visualization to give students hands-on learning experiences.

Shon Isenhour, business consultant with ABB Reliability Services North America, in Charleston, S.C.,  said the “FTCC i3D work makes training simulations real to the student, which allows them to more effectively apply what they have learned and engrain it so that it sticks with them long term. This technology in the program has the potential to develop computer-based training that does not put you to sleep sitting up.”

For more information about the program, visit www.faytechcc.edu.

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