Honeywell announced today a cloud-based simulation tool that uses a combination of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to train plant personnel on critical industrial work activities. The company says that the new cloud-based tool will help improve skills retention by 100 percent, and reduce training time by 150 percent.According to Honeywell, as much as 50% of industrial plant personnel will retire within the next five years. The new mixed reality trainig tool aims to bring new industrial workers up to speed quickly by enhancing training and delivering it in new and contemporary ways.
The system uses data analytics and Honeywell’s 25 years of experience in worker competency management to create an interactive environment for on-the-job training. It works with Microsoft’s HoloLens, the world’s first and only self-contained holographic computer, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets to simulate various scenarios for Honeywell’s C300 controller – such as primary failure and switchovers, cable and power supply failure – that train and test personnel on their skills.
“Megatrends such as the aging workforce are putting increased pressure on industrial companies and their training programs,” said Youssef Mestari, program director, Honeywell Connected Plant. “There is a need for more creative and effective training delivered through contemporary methods such as Immersive Competency, ultimately empowering industrial workers to directly improve plant performance, uptime, reliability and safety.”
Simulating specific job activities through virtual environments, which are accessed through the cloud, Honeywell’s solution offers a natural way to interact and communicate with peers or a trainer.
Similar to a flight simulator, trainees can safely experience the impacts of their decisions. This approach improves skill retention versus traditional training methods by up to 100 percent and reduces the length of technical training by up to 150 percent. Additionally, the employees’ training progress is tracked as part of a formal competency management system.
“Honeywell’s unique approach to industrial training and competency development, combined with Windows Mixed Reality platform and devices, is a good example of a major industrial player proactively and creatively driving digital transformation,” said Lorraine Bardeen, general manager for Mixed Reality at Microsoft. “This is the first solution that directly links industrial staff competency to plant performance by measuring the training’s effectiveness based on real outcomes.”
Unfortunately at this point we have not seen any footage or photo of the virtual reality training tool, other than the one official image you can see at the top of this article. As soon as we get more info, we’ll let you know.
Source: Honeywell press release