What can we do about the lack of finding qualified technicians?

Virtual reality training may help entice a younger generation


“The results demonstrated that students trained using 50 percent virtual reality (VR) had training outcomes that surpassed those of traditionally trained students across four distinctive weld qualifications,” he reported. “In addition, the VR group demonstrated significantly higher levels of team interaction, which lead to increased team-based learning.

“Lastly, the material cost impact of the VR group was significantly less than that of the TT (technical training) group even though both schools operated over a full two-week period.”

None of this is new. The airlines have used realistic simulators (at $10 million a pop) for a long time now.

You can even learn to fly on the famous Microsoft Flight Simulator. This simulator is celebrating its 25th birthday.

Simulators are also used to train ship captains, train engineers, nuclear power plant technicians and Army troops.

Specific Learning

Simulators are great for training specific skills, developing specific judgment on dealing with scenarios – failures of different parts of the airplane, for example, and for creating muscle memory that all experts have in their skill area. That is among the training objectives of the welding simulator.

If you’ve ever seen a child playing a video game, you can get an impression of the potential impact of the virtual type of training.

The welding simulation is addictive with multiple levels. Each weld is scored from 1 to 100.

With dozens of options, each could be a level, “operators” really take to the simulation. They don’t want to stop. How is that for education?

Joel Levitt has trained over 6,000 maintenance leaders from over 3,000 organizations. Since 1980, he has been the president of Springfield Resources, a management consulting firm that services a variety of clients on a wide range of maintenance issues.

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