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New AR Suite by City College Plymouth To Address Shortage of Welders

The institution is using augmented reality technology to help influence students into becoming a part of the welding industry where there is high demand.

Welders shortage
The college is addressing the shortage of welders by providing training to individuals with a new augmented reality based kit. It is part of a £350,000 technology package being offered by the institution. Workers from different manufacturing industry companies will be upskilled at the company’s new facility. The project is being financed by the Getting Building Fund.

AR welding simulator
The institution has acquired 17 AR-based welding simulators from Seabery Solutions, a Spain-based technology services provider. Each of the units cost around £25,000 and are being seen as suitable investments for the purpose they will serve. It will enable a larger number of welders to receive fast training and improve their skills.

The augmented reality kit is also being considered as a safer option. It is more affordable because there is no need to procure physical material to practice on, and hence more eco-friendly.

Interesting youngsters
The use of cutting-edge augmented reality technology can also potentially raise the interest of youngsters when it comes to becoming welders. This includes both men and women, with the latter considered as more dexterous.

According to Antonio Fernandez, business development director at Seabery, women welders have been proven to be better. He elaborated that women possess better hand skills and their welding skills are more useful for more delicate requirements.

According to Fernandez, the technology being used is safer, faster, more affordable and environmentally friendlier. He emphasised the requirement of getting more welders and raising the skill levels of professionals.

AR Welding Suite
Fernandez also said that the kit resembles a welding operation closely, and remarked that it can be utilised in the future when the welding industry embraces robotics. Elaborating further, he said that currently the welding industry lacks personnel who are capable of handling robotics. However, he is optimistic that the new AR-based system can address that issue effectively.

Known as the Augmented Reality Welding Suite, the system will let welding trainees pick up the latest manufacturing skills that can prove to be quite useful for industries such as defence, marine and the construction sector.

Upgrading skills
The new suite can also facilitate a platform that can be used by veteran welders to upgrade their current skills. They will also be able to extend a helping hand towards fabricators, marine engineers, product engineers, and piper fitters. The system will ensure that they become capable of handling new demands of the welding industry.

Lance Chatfield, Academy Manager, Higher Technology at City College, said that introducing individuals to new welding tasks will help them gain better skills. Moreover, experienced welders will also be able to learn new skills to stay more relevant to new industry requirements.

According to Chatfield, manufacturing companies are in need of more welders and City College is putting in the efforts to fill the gap. The institution is partnering with engineering stalwart Babcock for this purpose.

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