The saying “a trade in hand finds gold in every land” has by no means lost its relevance in the present day. But when it comes to highly qualified welders, the shortage of skilled workers is an ever-present issue. Excellent welder training and the high degree of user friendliness of all our welding solutions are two ways in which Fronius is addressing this challenge.
Virtual training with the new Welducation Simulator is the perfect instrument with which to 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 these exercises, beginners can improve their welding skills in a safe environment and learn directly from their mistakes, perfectly preparing them for welding on a real seam.
High-tech training for the challenges of tomorrow
With the latest welding simulator, Fronius is for the first time not only focusing on virtual reality or VR, but also on augmented reality (AR). Another concept mentioned in this context is 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. Employing AR technology and using original welding torches, hosepacks, and the housing of a real Fronius welding system create a genuine welding experience. Trainees can use the Welducation Simulator to practice 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 practice 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 tablet with the simulator shows the standard interface of a Fronius welding system so that participants can become familiar with using real welding systems.
Safe, sustainable, and efficient
Welding is one of mankind’s oldest joining processes and it’s hard to think of life without it in workshops and industry. However, the arc, UV radiation, and welding fumes all raise safety issues. It is essential to protect all welders against these dangers as best we can. Risk minimization is becoming increasingly important during training, and the best way to ensure safety is to eliminate all risks. The Welducation Simulator offers a protected virtual environment in which trainee welders are not exposed to any risks or pollutants. This means they can have fun learning to weld before creating their first weld in the real world.
What’s more, virtual welder training is significantly more efficient and resource-conserving than conventional training. Expensive consumables, such as metal, wire, and shielding gas, are not required, and the bulk of the component training can be done on the simulator. The arc time achieved by trainee welders is as much as 65% higher. As the workflow between welds on the simulator is very simple, up to three times as many welding tests can be carried out on the simulator in the same amount of time they would take in the welding cabin, saving resources, costs, and time.
Practice makes perfect
Each welding task requires different techniques and manual skills. The stand supplied with the Welducation Simulator offers a variety of options for attaching various workpieces in different positions. An additional large stand is available to provide even more variation. Whether an overhead fillet weld or a single-V butt weld, participants can practice nearly any welding position.
Virtual training offers three difficulty levels: easy, medium, and difficult. For example, beginners with no prior knowledge receive plenty of assistance, while experienced users have to form their weld without any visual feedback on distance, angle of the welding torch, or speed. In addition, wide-ranging analyses help trainees improve their technique and identify mistakes. All welds can be recorded and recalled at any time.
The Welducation Campus provides the theoretical content
With its integrated Welducation Campus platform, the simulator provides a complete teaching concept comprising theory and practical training units. Trainee welders can also acquire knowledge and skills on their own with the help of courses, rather than requiring continual guidance from instructors.
The training tool manages the results and learning progress itself, but there is also room for personalized learning, as instructors can make their own theoretical material available in the Campus if they wish. By spurring one another on, and being assessed professionally, trainee welders learn quickly and effectively. The sophisticated assessment system delivers an objective and verifiable result, while the ranking of their own welding performance encourages trainee welders to realize their full potential.
By the way: at the SCHWISSEN & SCHNEIDEN 2023 trade fair, Fronius deliberately refrained from distributing giveaways. Instead, the company sent a strong signal regarding the shortage of skilled workers by donating a Welducation Simulator to two welding training institutes: Caritas in Austria and the BerufBildungsWerk Greifswald in Germany.