VIDEO: AR Welding Training System Tackles Skills Gap

RealWeld uses smart tech to serve as a virtual welding instructor.

In welding, training is vital. But how do you get that training? Lincoln Electric is the world’s oldest trainer of welders. Their VRTEX simulation system trained welders in everything except an actual spark. They now have a new system called REALWELD, which uses a camera and tracking system on a real welding gun. The system gives voice feedback to the student during live welding. “It’s like having a welding instructor in every booth,” says Chris Gandee, Manager of Educational Services at Lincoln Electric. “You’re doing real live welding while you’re getting coached from the machine.” This machine is the next step after the VRTEX virtual reality system. According to Lincoln Electric, smart virtual technology is speeding competency in hands-on training.

In the US Army, Gandee saw welding instructors add value to their courses thanks to the system. Since the usual curriculum learning time was accelerated, new material was added to the course.

According to Gandee, manufacturers are looking for a more intelligent welder today. Do your welders know the science behind the weld? Fundamental knowledge behind the craft improves the quality and performance of the welds.

This system connects with today’s internet-enabled young people. Without advanced technology, it can be difficult for today’s students to engage with learning experiences. This system, and other AR/VR industrial training experiences, are pieces in the critical puzzle of the manufacturing skills gap.

Check out the video to watch Jim Anderton try his hand at ‘burning some rod’ on the REALWELD system.

Written by

James Anderton

Jim Anderton is the Director of Content for Mr. Anderton was formerly editor of Canadian Metalworking Magazine and has contributed to a wide range of print and on-line publications, including Design Engineering, Canadian Plastics, Service Station and Garage Management, Autovision, and the National Post. He also brings prior industry experience in quality and part design for a Tier One automotive supplier.