Honeywell introduces AR/VR simulator to train industrial workforce

Industrial plant workers can look forward to an interactive training platform powered by the world's first holographic computer.

Industrial plant workers at Honeywell will now be using of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to get up to speed.

With as much as 50 percent of industrial plant personnel due to retire within the next five years, the multinational company is implementing an “advanced training solution” that combines mixed reality with data analytics, to create an interactive environment for on-the-job training.

The Honeywell Connected Plant Skills Insight Immersive Competency uses 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 that train and test personnel on their skills.. These include primary failure and switchovers, cable and power supply failure.

The solution is hoped to offer a natural way to interact and communicate with peers or a trainer, by simulating specific job activities through virtual environments (which are accessed through the cloud).

Honeywell says that this approach also improves skill retention, compared to traditional training methods, and reduces the length of technical training. Additionally, the employees’ training progress is tracked as part of a formal competency management system.

This is reportedly the first solution that directly links industrial staff competency to plant performance by measuring the training’s effectiveness based on real outcomes.

“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,” he added.

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