VR: A Game Changer in Industrial Equipment Training

by | Nov 30, 2023 | VR Applications in Industry

Virtual reality (VR) training is revolutionizing the way industrial equipment training is conducted. It provides a safe and immersive learning environment for employees in heavy industries such as oil & energy, renewables, and mining & metal. VR enables organizations to create realistic simulations and drills, making training more accessible, cost-effective, and repeatable.

Incorporating VR into industrial equipment training programs offers numerous benefits. Firstly, it enhances employee development by providing hands-on experiences and practical training in a controlled virtual environment. Secondly, it significantly improves workplace safety as trainees can practice safety protocols and emergency procedures without real-world risks. Lastly, VR training leads to increased productivity by reducing training time and improving overall technical proficiency.

In this article, we will explore five practical applications of VR in heavy industry, along with real-life examples of companies successfully incorporating VR into their training programs. So, let’s dive into the transformative world of VR industrial equipment training!

Onboarding – Enhancing Safety and Familiarity

Onboarding is a crucial aspect of industrial equipment training, especially for new employees and visitors to production sites. Effective onboarding sets the foundation for a safe and productive work environment. With the advent of virtual reality (VR) technology, organizations now have a powerful tool to enhance onboarding processes and provide a comprehensive understanding of workplace hazards.

VR onboarding training allows trainees to embark on a guided tour of the production site, providing a virtual experience that familiarizes them with the layout, equipment, and potential hazards. Trainees wear VR headsets and are transported to a realistic 360˚ video environment, immersing themselves in the production site as if they were physically present. This interactive approach enables them to navigate through different areas, identify potential safety risks, and learn about the necessary safety protocols.

One noteworthy example of VR onboarding training is by Voton BV, a Dutch concrete piles manufacturer. They have incorporated VR technology to provide new employees and visitors with a detailed understanding of their production process and logistics. Through a VR tour, trainees can explore the facility, observe the machinery in action, and gain insights into the safety measures that need to be followed. This immersive experience significantly enhances their safety awareness and familiarity with the production site, ensuring a smooth transition into their roles and responsibilities.

Confined Spaces – Simulating Real-World Environments

Virtual reality (VR) training is transforming the way we approach confined spaces training in industrial environments. It offers a unique opportunity to simulate real-life scenarios and provide trainees with practical experience in a safe and controlled environment. By immersing trainees in virtual environments, VR training enables them to practice safety measures and understand the potential risks associated with confined spaces.

With VR training, organizations can recreate specific scenarios, such as working in narrow tunnels or confined equipment spaces, and guide trainees through the necessary safety protocols. Trainees can navigate through the virtual environment, making choices and experiencing the consequences of their actions. This interactive approach enhances trainees’ understanding of safety measures and improves their ability to respond effectively in real-world situations.

Benefits of VR Confined Spaces Training:

  • Realistic simulations that closely resemble actual confined spaces
  • Practice of safety measures and protocols in a safe and controlled environment
  • Interactive experiences that enhance trainees’ understanding
  • Opportunity to make choices and experience the consequences
  • Improved ability to respond effectively in real-world situations

By leveraging VR technology for confined spaces training, organizations can provide employees with valuable practical experience, reduce risks, and ensure compliance with safety regulations. With the ability to immerse trainees in realistic virtual environments, VR training is revolutionizing the way we prepare and equip industrial workers for the challenges they may encounter in confined spaces.

Evacuation Training – Safety in Emergency Situations

VR evacuation training is revolutionizing the way organizations prepare their employees for emergency situations. By providing realistic scenarios and interactive experiences, VR training enhances the effectiveness of emergency drills and ensures that employees are well-prepared to handle critical situations.

In VR evacuation training, trainees wear VR headsets and are immersed in simulated emergencies, such as fires or natural disasters. They must make quick decisions and take appropriate actions, just as they would in real life. This hands-on approach allows trainees to practice their emergency response skills and experience the consequences of their actions in a safe and controlled environment.

The use of realistic scenarios in VR evacuation training is crucial for creating a sense of urgency and preparing employees for the stress and pressure of emergency situations. By providing a lifelike experience, VR training increases engagement and retention, ensuring that employees retain the necessary skills and knowledge to respond effectively in real-life emergencies.

Benefits of VR Evacuation Training:

  • Realistic scenarios that simulate emergency situations
  • Interactive experiences that allow trainees to make decisions and take appropriate actions
  • Increased engagement and retention compared to traditional training methods
  • A safe and controlled environment for practicing emergency response skills

Overall, VR evacuation training is a game-changer in ensuring workplace safety and preparedness. By providing realistic scenarios, interactive experiences, and effective training, VR training equips employees with the skills and knowledge necessary to respond confidently and efficiently in emergency situations.

VR Generic Training – Engaging and Customizable Learning

Virtual reality (VR) training is not limited to specific industrial applications; it is also highly effective for providing engaging and customizable generic training. Organizations can leverage VR technology to train employees in various skills, such as forklift operations or CPR procedures, in practical and immersive situations.

Benefits of VR Generic Training:

  • Increased Engagement: VR training captures trainees’ attention and keeps them actively involved in the learning process, resulting in better knowledge retention and skill development.
  • Realistic Simulations: VR environments accurately replicate real-world scenarios, allowing trainees to practice their skills and decision-making in a safe and controlled setting.
  • Customization: VR training programs can be tailored to the specific needs of employees and organizations, ensuring that the training aligns with the desired learning outcomes.
  • Measurement and Assessment: VR platforms often include built-in assessment tools that enable organizations to track trainee progress and proficiency levels, providing valuable insights for performance evaluation.

A prime example of VR generic training is the Amsterdam Medical Center’s VR CPR training. By immersing trainees in realistic emergency scenarios, this training resulted in a remarkable 43% increase in correct CPR procedure recall. This highlights the effectiveness of VR in enhancing essential life-saving skills.

Furthermore, VR training providers offer a range of specialized subjects, minimizing the impact of training courses on business processes. Additionally, the accessibility of VR training through mobile devices provides convenience and flexibility for employees, enabling them to engage in training sessions whenever and wherever suits them best.

Technical Training – Immersive Learning for Complex Machinery

In the realm of technical training, immersive simulations through virtual reality (VR) have emerged as a game-changer for learning complex machinery. Traditional training methods often struggle to provide hands-on experience, making it challenging for trainees to grasp the intricacies of operating and maintaining intricate equipment. However, VR training has revolutionized the way technical training is delivered.

With VR, trainees can now step into a virtual world where they can interact with and explore realistic simulations of complex machinery. This immersive experience allows them to gain a comprehensive understanding of the equipment’s functionality, without the need for physical access or risking any damage. The ability to virtually perform procedures while receiving real-time feedback enhances technical proficiency and ensures trainees are well-prepared to handle intricate machinery in real-world scenarios.

One notable example of VR’s impact on technical training is KLM Engineering & Maintenance. By replacing thick PDF manuals with VR training, KLM has elevated their training program to new heights. Trainees are now placed right in front of an aircraft, where they can consult the virtual manual and perform procedures, gaining practical experience and making informed decisions in a risk-free environment.

VR technical training is a testament to the power of immersive simulations and real-time feedback. It enables organizations to overcome the limitations of traditional training methods and facilitate the development of highly skilled individuals who can confidently work with complex machinery.