FleetWatch welcomes any initiative aimed at raising skills in the industry and is thus thrilled to hear that the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) in Rosslyn, Pretoria, has implemented an augmented-reality welding solution for its trainees. The system is supplied by Sangari South Africa, an education solutions provider.
The truck and trailer manufacturing industry is a ‘welding intensive’ sector and the Soldamatic augmented-reality welding simulator is being used to up-skill trainee welders without the need for a formal training environment.
For those not aware of it, the AIDC is an implementation agency within government that has pioneered numerous world-first automotive projects. It was established as a government support centre to increase the local automotive industry’s global competitiveness and to promote Gauteng as the automotive industry investment destination of choice.
“The simulator does not incur costs such as welding rods, steel plates and oxygen and there is no need for special clothing or ventilation,” said Bez Sangari, CEO Sangari South Africa, sole distributor of the product.
“The system provides augmented-reality 3-D vision in a simulated workshop environment. Payback for a large training institution is about 18-24 months, which is achieved because no materials are used and the unit requires no special environment.”
The simulator consists of a hardware unit the size of a standard PC with a built-in screen that allows the trainer to view the student’s progress in real-time and is recorded. The trainee wears the augmented-reality headgear simulating a real welding environment.
The headgear generates realistic welding graphics such as the weld pool and beam. It emits simulated sparks and smoke and simulates heating at the affected area, all seen through the student’s headgear. It also simulates cracks, filler material, gravity and undercutting.
“Welding skills can be trained for specific applications and the student’s performance measured in a fair, reliable and unbiased manner. The unit includes 93 different training lessons and customised lessons can also be added,” says Sangari.
Both the trainer and trainee are able to analyse and assess the welding performance in a video format afterwards and evaluate skills such as the welding velocity, stick out, travel and working angles. When required, maintenance and upgrades of the software can be done remotely.
The system supports SMAW, GTAW and GMAW processes and a variety of welding joints such as V-butt joint, Lap, T-joint, pipe to square butt joints and pipe T-joints and a variety of angle welding exercises.
When one thinks of the number of welders employed in organisations such as trailer manufacturers and others, FleetWatch can only applaud this initiative.