IMTS 2010: Virtual welding tool offers hands-on instruction
Lincoln Electric simulation tool allows training with instant feedback, no product waste
To help improve the training of the nation’s future welders, Lincoln Electric has developed a new way to teach welding techniques through a new virtual welding system called VRTEX 360. The system incorporates technology Lincoln recently acquired from VRSim Inc., an East Harford, CT-based leader in the development of training software and graphic simulation for industry and academia. This next-generation virtual welding training system was developed in partnership by teams at Lincoln Electric and VRSim Inc.
According to Erin Justice, Lincoln’s manager of virtual welding solutions, “having a sufficient supply of trained welders is critical to our country’s industrial and infrastructure needs, and virtual welding provides a new and exciting approach to training that is desperately needed.”
The VRTEX 360 is a VRAW (Virtual Reality Arc Welding) training solution provides a “virtual” hands-on training experience that allows students to complete more passes than traditional training and provides real-time welding technique feedback similar to a video game to both trainers and students.
The VRTEX 360 feeds computer-generated data with a virtual welding gun and helmet equipped with internal monitors. The student practices welding in virtual environments, including simulated welding booth training environment or field welding applications. Training using the VRTEX 360 can be conducted in various settings, including classrooms, an important consideration especially for schools and training centers with limited resources and shop space.
“In addition to attracting the next generation of welders, we are also doing it in an eco-friendly way,” Justice said. “Our green virtual welding system saves energy, reduces the use of costly materials and avoids creating waste.”
More information about the VRTEX 360 and virtual welding is available at Lincoln’s dedicated website – http://www.VRTEX360.com.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.