InTech

SEP-OCT 2017

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By Peter Richmond I mmersive technology advancements ex tend far beyond commercial and consumer use cases, having the potential to transform complicated industrial content into vivid, realis- tic experiences. As part of this wave of immersive technology, virtual reality (VR) training has been used for many years with excellent results in all aspects of workforce training to train astronauts, pilots, and military personnel. Advances in computer and graphical pro- cessing capabilities have made creating these virtual worlds more affordable and accessible to a broader range of process industries. Now, industries like oil and gas, refining, and power generation that need to preserve and institution- alize their workforce knowledge and effectively sustain operational excellence, have turned to VR models to assist with on-the-job training for a range of critical functions and tasks. Develop- ments in this sector are only going to increase in the future, so it is important to explore why and how VR implementations will continue to take shape in these industries. How is VR used? One of the main objectives of simulation-based training is to reduce the time to competency and to transfer a high level of skill, plant knowledge, and situational awareness to each member of the team as efficiently as possible. Immersive training systems (ITS) using VR technology put employees at the heart of proceedings to acquire and prac- tice essential plant operation and maintenance skills. By setting aside the manuals and informa- tion sheets, trainees also stand a better chance of retaining information. Early adopters of VR training are applying ITS in a wide range of applications and across indus - tries. The technology is incredibly scalable and can provide training value for anything from a single piece of equipment using interactive three- dimensional techniques to an entire virtual plant with a virtual control room and high-fidelity dy - namic process simulation. Additionally, the same 3D model can be deployed in several ways de - pending on the overall training department re- quirements. For instance, a complete ITS system Making training more immersive and meaningful 22 INTECH SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 WWW.ISA.ORG Virtual reality training provides a view of equipment and system data simultaneously.

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