Virtual welding: Learn to weld with welding simulators

Learning virtual welding

Learning to weld? For many this can seem like a battle: hot and challenging to the max. But can the topic of welder training be addressed in a more relaxed and safer way? Is it perhaps possible to increase the quality of the training while at the same time reducing costs? One suitable alternative is the use of welding simulators.

In welder training, they are what flight simulators are to prospective pilots. Training takes place at a terminal with 3D glasses using welding torches and workpieces that are based on the real things. Trainees can master different welding processes such as TIG, MIG/MAG, or MMA welding virtually. There’s no noise, smoke, heat, or use of materials, which rules out injuries and makes the level of inhibition when handling the torch extremely low.

In addition, welding simulators provide the user with theoretical knowledge about the individual welding processes and also test this knowledge. A ranking list encourages students to have fun competing with each other.

Virtual Welding is available in two versions (StandUp terminal or Mobile Case) and in more than 20 languages. MIG/MAG manual, TIG, MMA, and MIG/MAG Robotics processes can be mastered.

Learn to weld with the virtual teacher

The practical welding tasks carried out on the simulator should be based on professional training content, such as the curriculum of the International Institute of Welding (IIW), so that they correspond to the international standard for welder training. A virtual teacher assists students with learning the skills and provides direct feedback.

This means trainees can gradually take on more difficult tasks until they finally weld without assistance in a realistic simulation mode. By systematically recording the results they can be analyzed later together with the trainer, making learning to weld easier than ever before.

Video 1: MIG / MAG, TIG and MMA: This is what learning to weld looks like in the 21st century

The advantages of virtual welding simulation at a glance:

No noise

No smoke

No heat

No use of materials

Thanks to Virtual Welding, aspiring welders can design a significant part of their training independently. In this way, trainees master the basic knowledge and the essential skills needed before working with a real welding system. Training organizations and welding course providers can therefore increase the quality of their training with welding simulators. By eliminating expenditure on materials and energy, significant costs are saved at the same time.

Field study confirms added value of the welding simulator

This has now also been confirmed by a field study at the Fohnsdorf Training Center, one of the most modern and innovative vocational training facilities in Austria. Fohnsdorf has been using Virtual Welding in its metalworking department since 2010 and now conducts 30 percent of practical welder training on the simulator.

Fohnsdorf Training Center

Learn to weld

The training center examined the effects of this by evaluating the data of 13 trainees over a period of two weeks – including metal, gas, welding wire, and energy consumption. The time the trainees actually spent welding was also compared, with a clear outcome in favor of virtual welding…

Welding simulators improve training quality and cost efficiency

But is a significant increase in efficiency even possible? The evaluation of a total of 1,577 real weld seams and 1,733 virtual weld seams showed that virtual training has increased the actual welding time for trainees at Fohnsdorf by 23 percent. After all, on the simulator there is no time-consuming preparation of test sheets, nor the need for cooling the sheets and cleaning the weld seams.

This infographic provides an overview of all relevant information regarding the field study at Fohnsdorf Training Center.

This meant the trainees were able to weld three times as many seams as on a real welding system in the same amount of time. The virtual trainer also gives every trainee individual support and direct visual feedback. All of this ultimately results in a significantly higher level of training quality.

Video 2: The virtual teacher gives direct feedback to the trainee. Up until now, this was almost impossible in a conventional welding course

What’s more, Fohnsdorf Training Center has also been able to improve cost efficiency through the use of the welding simulator. Consumables such as gas, wire, and metal sheets are no longer required, saving around 230 euros per training participant. Virtual welder training is therefore not only good, but also cost effective, making it the ideal preparation for, as well as supplement to, training on real welding systems.

Learning to weld with Virtual Welding from Fronius

Our R&D department at Fronius has been working on welding simulation since 2005, which is why Fronius is regarded around the world as a pioneer of VR technology in welding technology. All the aspects mentioned above are also reflected in our VR products. With Virtual Welding, we provide our customers with a universal virtual welding experience that can enrich any conventional welding course as well as any intensive welder training. The extensive study at the Fohnsdorf Training Center – conducted using Virtual Welding by Fronius – is testament to this.

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