New welding simulators to give students the edge

Mar 28, 2019

TAFE SA’s new state of the art Advanced Welder Training Centre is now delivering training following the installation of 12 welding simulators, which are the most advanced simulators of their kind in the world.

The new simulators will ensure that local welders are ready to respond to the increased demand for their skills as part of the naval shipbuilding program and in advanced manufacturing.

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, where it counts.

TAFE SA Director Defence Industries, Penny Johnston, said that there were many advantages for students to use the cutting-edge technology as part of their training.

“This new Advanced Welder Training Centre offers an incredible training opportunity for students to learn using the most advanced welding simulators currently available,” Ms Johnston said. 

“The detailed feedback a student receives on their performance on the simulator is instantaneous and increases the rate at which they acquire an understanding of how they can improve. Students analyse the data fed back on their angles, travel speeds and arc lengths to adjust their welding performance and increase improvement.

“Students are able to build muscle memory with welding techniques much more quickly and the techniques learned can then be taken to the workshop to be performed in a live environment.”

The advanced training technology at TAFE SA’s Regency Campus, which includes virtual reality helmets, will be utilised to support new apprentices embarking on a careers in fabrication, including in shipbuilding and advanced manufacturing, and current welders, seeking to refresh and refine their skills.

The Centre will particularly support apprentices in Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication. 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.

Geoff Crittenden, Chief Executive Office Weld Australia, said that “this technology is three times cheaper, faster and more effective when compared to traditional training methods. By using this technology, TAFE SA will not only be able to upskill existing welders, but also train transitional workers and apprentices to be part of the defence program.”

“Without a doubt, the successful implementation of this innovative training initiative will revolutionise welder training in Australia. It will raise the standard of welder education in Australia, putting our welder training on par with the best in Europe and America.”

Ms Johnston added that welders are going to have a vital role in meeting the skill needs of the continuous shipbuilding program

“Students trialling the equipment have already provided very positive feedback and we will also welcome visits from school students and pre-employment groups through ‘taster’ courses which will help build the pipeline of students in training for welding careers.

“We look forward to working 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.”