Area residents as well as business professionals are invited to learn about the latest innovative technology within the welding industry as Owens Community College unveils new state-of-the-art VRTEX 360, a virtual reality arc welding training system from Lincoln Electric, during an Open House demonstration July 18.
Owens is the first academic institution in Northwest Ohio to utilize the new virtual welding training system.
The event will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the College’s Arrowhead Park Learning Center on 1724 Indian Wood Circle in Maumee. The event is free and open to the public.
VRTEX 360 is a computer-based educational training system that is designed to allow students to practice their welding techniques in a simulated environment. The technology promotes the efficient and effective transfer of skills from the virtual training environment to the welding booth. Additionally, VRTEX 360 is designed to reduce the utilization of material waste, scrap and energy consumption associated with traditional welding training.
The new technology enables students to simulate SMAW (stick), GMAW (MIG) and FCAW (flux-colored) welding processes in multiple configurations and positions. Additionally, the virtual welder can mirror a variety of welding environments, including a simulated welding booth training or field welding exercises. The realistic, hands-on training experience is designed to complement actual training conducted within welding booths.
During the welding simulation, participants wear a VR Welding Helmet, which features internal monitors that immerse them in the virtual environment. Welding technique and performance is measured through sensors in the hand-held VR Welding Gun. Detailed information about the student’s welding technique for each pass is scored within the areas of position, arc length, work angle, travel angle and travel speed.
Owens’ new technology will be used to conduct initial assessment of skills for employees of business and industry as part of Workforce and Community Services corporate training initiatives, as well as to enhance experience learning opportunities for students pursuing an associate’s degree in Welding Technology and certificates in GMAW welding, GTAW welding, SMAW welding and Welding Pre-certification on the College’s Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses.
The addition of the new virtual welding technology is a continuation of the College’s ongoing investment to expand access to higher educational opportunities within field of welding. In 2011, Owens unveiled a new $1.1 million Welding Design Center on the Toledo-area Campus. The new state-of-the-art educational center features the latest in technological and academic resources specific to welding for several degree and certificate programs.