Comprehensive and new-age VR/AR training from HYDAC

HYDAC, as a certified regional training centre for Asia/Pacific, has a comprehensive range of training options available from standard programs through to fully customised solutions as well as virtual reality (VR) training.

Courses on a variety of topics span the basics of hydraulics to thermal optimisation, filtration, electronics and predictive maintenance/Industry 4.0.

This has grown to a complete portfolio of training courses and systems integration, with the service side a focus point.

HYDAC technical training manager Paul Marley said that students learn not only in the classroom but also have the opportunity to get hands-on with equipment such as electrohydraulic training and cooling systems’ rigs.

Customised training solutions for companies can meet specific requirements such as having customers bring their equipment to the company’s Altona North carpark to on-site training programs where HYDAC develops its own technology assets to enable faster customer access to know-how.

Marley added that training courses for 2021 are new in that they have been revised and rewritten.

New on the table VR/AR training

Also relatively new are HYDAC’s VR and augmented reality (AR) training,

“I’ve been lucky enough to see the training and interact with guys from Deakin University who have been busy rewriting how the training works and how students will interact with it and it has all blown my mind,” Marley said.

“And bear in mind that my mind has already been blown by this about four times.

“VR/AR training is a game-changer, and it is developing fast here. I’m really excited about the future because what we’re developing here is unique.

“For example, fluid power and VR are at different faculties at a university and these technologies would never usually interact. And yet now they do.  And through this we’re developing a training platform with real qualifications and real skills as well as overlaying VR and AR training, which makes it all very exciting.”

Phase two of the VR project is centred on getting to full digital twin technology, which digitally reproduces real-world objects, devices and equipment.

Digital twin technology comprises enabling technology and a simulation model; it is a digital prototype of computer-driven applications such as operations or systems.

It has the functionality to construct simulations to track production processes from raw materials to end product while making a searchable production record available.

This will be followed by phase three’s transition to Microsoft’s HoloLens. The HoloLens permits collaboration and communication in real time with participants and trainers scattered across the globe through the streaming of real-time data during training sessions.

Marley explained that a “challenge” in Australia is the distance that has to be traversed to reach destinations.

“In Europe, as an example, it’s not difficult to get around, with all of the UK being the size of just Victoria,” he said.

“So, to be able to interact with someone without getting on a plane but instead simply putting on headsets is ground breaking.

“This creates the virtual reality of being in the same room where you can instruct them, you can talk naturally, you can even wave at them and they can see everything that you’re doing. This revolutionises what is possible.

“Nationally recognised face-to-face training could be enhanced and augmented with VR and AR training but not replaced.

“People have to actually repair something to prove competency, but with regards to safety it makes it possible to interact with people and show them an environment where PowerPoint would never work.

“It’s versatile in terms of how it can be used and there are so many ways it can be used. It’s a brilliant tool.”


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