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Student capabilities improving with augmented reality welding technology

Students of TAFE SA are making use of augmented reality-based simulation technology to enhance their welding prowess and accelerate the development of their skills.

The newly opened Advanced Welder Training Centre situated at the Regency Campus contains as many as 12 augmented reality-based welding simulators. These are capable of providing instantaneous assessments of students’ performances, boost security and improve the development of newer techniques for welding with the utilisation of multiple practice welding. The simulators do not require time-intensive preparation of materials.

Naval Shipbuilding College Program Director Bill Docalovich and TAFE SA second year welding apprentice Emily Dodd.

The training centre is specially meant for supporting apprentices who are pursuing Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication. The qualification programme by TAFE SA was the first of its kind in Australia to gain endorsement by the Naval Shipbuilding College last year. The endorsement was obtained on the basis of TAFE SA having the necessary welding content ideal for the naval shipbuilding industry.

There were a lot of advantages experienced by students who utilised the latest AR technology during the training.  – Penny Johnston, director of defence industries, TAFE SA

According to Johnston, the feedback received by a student based on their performance with the augmented reality simulator is quite fast. This enables them to easily understand how they can possibly improve their skills.  Data fed to the students was related to the improvement of aspects like travel speeds, arc lengths, and angles by which they can enhance their welding performance. This also enables them to achieve improvements faster.

The AR simulators will ascertain that local welders are prepared to respond to the growing demands for exhibiting their skills required for the advanced manufacturing naval shipbuilding program.

The Naval Shipbuilding College embraced the TAFE SA welding qualification last year, making it the very first in Australia to get that distinction. The simulator systems provided assistance to local welders and helped them become ready for their jobs. The local welders will be able to cater to the Australian government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan, which has a valuation of $90 billion.

The institution works as a promoter to aid in streamlining the educational and training bodies nationally, to measure up to the fundamental requirements of the Australian naval shipbuilding sector. The aim is to make sure that candidates are ready for their job roles. – Paul Whetstone from the Naval Shipbuilding College

The rate of technological advancements in the case of ship making techniques is quite fast. Thus it is important to have experienced people who are eager to step up to new technologies. – Paul Whetstone

He revealed that the centre launch was in line with the recommendations made by him and his associates, which stated that simulators be added to conventional training methods, for raising the rate of welding skills development among novices.

AR-based simulation technology is three times more affordable, speedier and much more efficient compared to conventional methods. TAFE SA will be able to improve welder skill-sets and provide training to apprentices. – Geoff Crittenden, chief executive officer, Weld Australia





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