The virtual and augmented reality welding technology increases the rate of engagement in learning and allows students and lecturers to analyse and review welding techniques and performance in a digital environment. The result is that students then perform more effectively in the live workshop environment.
The advanced training technology at TAFE SA Regency, which includes virtual reality helmets, will be utilised to support new apprentices embarking on a career in fabrication and current welders, seeking to refresh and refine their skills.
The Centre will particularly support apprentices in Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (MEM30305). This TAFE SA qualification was the first in Australia to be endorsed last year by the Naval Shipbuilding College as having requisite welding content suitable for the Naval Shipbuilding industry.
TAFE SA will continue to work closely with Weld Australia and other industry partners to maximise the benefits of this training centre.
These simulators are another example of TAFE SA utilising the latest technology in an educational environment to prepare students with the skills and knowledge for long and successful careers.
The Advanced Welder Training Centre’s aim is:
- To provide detailed and instantaneous feedback to a student on their welding performance and to increase the rate at which they acquire an understanding of how they can improve
- For students to analyse the data on their welding angles, travel speeds and arc lengths so that they can adjust their performance and improve more rapidly
- For students to build muscle memory with welding techniques much more quickly and then to take those techniques straight to the workshop to be performed in a live environment
- To have a safe environment for students to learn techniques before entering the workshop. To assist in increasing the numbers of women and indigenous students who choose to undertake a Fabrication Apprenticeship and choose welding as a career
- To create a hub for industry engagement.
The Advanced Welder Training Centre will deliver training to apprentices, existing workers, high school students and other learners on 12 state-of-the art welding simulators with:
- Virtual and augmented reality welding technologies
- Instantaneous feedback to the leaner on performance and adjustments required, including on angles, travel speeds and arc lengths
- Different types of welding procedures including pipe-to-plate, overlapped plate and T-angled plate
- Software simulating welding for carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium materials.
Meeting Industry Needs
The opening of the Advanced Welder Training Centre coincides with a number of industry imperatives including:
- The increasing need world-wide for digitally literate workers, whether they be office workers or tradespeople
- The rise of industry 4.0 or the 4th Industrial revolution which includes innovations such as digital twins or digital versions of the real world where testing and refinement of techniques takes place before modifications are made in the physical system
- The need for South Australian apprentices to acquire skills in new ways of working and with increasing adaptability for emerging skills needs. Today’s welders may become the robotic welding programmers or the production data analysts of tomorrow
- The development of skills to support the workforces of prime contractors and the supply chain for the Future Submarines and Future Frigate projects
- The development of skills to support future growth in advanced manufacturing and construction.