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Young people welding with the Welducation Simulator

Virtual welding: new training prospects

The welding industry is facing a problem: even companies whose primary task is welding are unable to escape the clear shortage of skilled workers in every area. Furthermore, the challenging combination of metallurgy, physics, and electrical engineering is accompanied by certain dangers that could act to deter potential young welders from joining the industry. Taking a look through the augmented reality glasses of our new Welducation Simulator may provide the answer to both issues, while also protecting the environment.

Student welding with the Welducation Simulator

The old saying “a trade in hand finds gold in every land” has by no means lost its relevance in the present day. And when it comes to highly qualified welders in particular, the shortage of skilled workers is an ever-present issue that will probably continue to trouble us in the coming months. Excellent welding training and a high level of user-friendliness in all of our products are two ways that we are dealing with this challenge. 

Even more efficient, safer, and more sustainable—modern welding training now goes by a new name: Welducation Simulator.

Using our Welducation Simulator, welders can learn, train, and consolidate their welding skills step-by-step under realistic conditions without any risk to safety and with no additional costs for materials, gases, or wear parts. Virtual training is therefore the perfect instrument with which to realistically simulate complex processes and tricky situations in a risk-free and cost-effective way, and to repeat them time and again without wasting resources. Thanks to virtual training, beginners can improve their welding skills in a safe environment and learn from their mistakes. This is an ideal way of preparing for real-life welding situations, and facilitates a quick and effective response to the constantly changing requirements of the job market and the industry.

High-tech training for the challenges of tomorrow

Students welding with the Welducation Simulator

With our latest welding simulator, we are not only focusing on virtual reality or VR, but also on augmented reality (AR). Colloquially, there is also talk in this context of enriched or extended reality. This technique is characterized by the insertion of digital elements into the real world—be it on a screen or on a pair of glasses—directly in front of the viewer’s eyes. 

With AR technology, the use of original welding torches, hosepacks, and the housing of a genuine Fronius welding system creates real-world welding simulation. Trainees can use the Welducation Simulator to practice all three processes (manual arc welding, MIG/MAG, and TIG). They do this while using various materials (steel, stainless steel, and aluminum), material thicknesses, and welding positions in the welding simulation.

Common workpieces and adjustable welding parameters complete the realistic conditions, because the training is not only about achieving the perfect weld: as with a welding challenge in the real world, it is also necessary to complete tasks before, between, and after joining. This includes such activities as installing the return lead cable, setting the correct welding parameters, and retrofitting the electrode. The standard Fronius welding system interface is shown on the associated tablet so that participants can become familiar with using real welding systems right from their time in training.

Safe, sustainable, and efficient

Student welding with the Welducation Simulator

Welding is one of mankind’s oldest and most traditional joining processes and it’s hard to think of life without it, particularly in industry and trade. Nevertheless, there is a considerable safety risk, especially for beginners, due to the hot arc, the UV radiation that occurs, and the harmful welding fume.

It is essential to protect all welders against these dangers insofar as possible, although this is becoming even more important during training. Risk mitigation is the order of the day. The best way to ensure safety is to eliminate all dangers—and with virtual welding, all risk factors disappear completely. The Welducation Simulator offers a safe space in which users are not exposed to any hazards or pollutants and they can have fun familiarizing themselves with welding in a protected virtual environment before finally producing their first weld in the real world.

What’s more, the Welducation Simulator is significantly more efficient and sustainable than conventional training methods. Our welding simulator makes training sustainable, because expensive consumable materials such as metal, wire, and shielding gas are superfluous. A large part of the component training can take place on the simulator, while trainees achieve up to 65% longer arc time with the Welducation Simulator. And, thanks to simplified processes between welds, up to three times as many welding tests can be carried out on the simulator in the same training time than in a welding cabin. These measures serve not only to protect the environment, but also the bottom line.

Alongside the associated Welducation Campus platform, the Welducation Simulator offers trainees and trainers a complete teaching concept consisting of theoretical content and virtual training units with the simulator.

Teenagers sit in front of the laptop and learn

Practice makes perfect

Each welding task requires different techniques and manual skills, so learning different welding positions is an essential part of welding training. The stand supplied with the Welducation Simulator offers a variety of options for attaching various workpieces in different positions. A large stand is also available to provide even more variation. Whether an overhead fillet weld or a single-V butt weld, participants can train on nearly any welding position.

When carrying out virtual training, it is possible to choose between the three difficulty levels Easy, Medium, and Hard. For example, beginners with no prior knowledge receive extensive assistance, while experienced users are required to form their seam entirely without visual feedback on the distance, angle of the welding torch, and speed. Wide-ranging analysis options help training participants improve their technique and identify mistakes. Welding can be recorded and replayed at any time via the Welducation Campus.

Students welding with the Welducation Simulator

From individual to group dynamic

Furthermore, the Welducation Simulator offers a complete teaching concept consisting of practical training units with the simulator and theoretical content in the Welducation Campus. The Welducation Campus in combination with the simulator eases the training burden, in particular in times of skilled worker shortages. Trainees can acquire knowledge and skills on their own with the help of theoretical content and prepared courses rather than requiring continual guidance from trainers.

All results and learning progress are managed in this comprehensive training tool, and there is also room for personalized training programs, because trainers can create their own tasks entirely as they see fit. By spurring one another on and interacting in this way, as well as being assessed professionally, trainees learn swiftly and effectively. A pedagogically sophisticated evaluation system makes it possible to compare training results; this allows the trainees to be assessed objectively and transparently. The ranking of their own welding performance also encourages trainees to achieve their full potential.

By the way: This year, we decided not to hand out any giveaways at the SCHWEISSEN & SCHNEIDEN trade fair, instead choosing to send a strong signal on behalf of our visitors against the shortage of skilled workers. When the trade fair comes to an end, we will therefore be handing out one Welducation Simulator to two welding training institutes respectively—namely Caritas in Austria and the BerufBildungsWerk Greifswald in Germany. In doing so, we will be making welding training significantly more appealing to many prospective professional welders.