Running a business means juggling a lot of things at the same time – one of them being balancing the incomes and expenses. Meet something that will help you do it in the area of employee training – ladies and gentlemen – a VR training simulator.
The third decade of the 21st century brings more and more specialization. The discrepancies between hard-to-learn professions and the lack of a qualified workforce make it especially difficult to find good employees for almost every sector. The only reasonable way out of this for many companies is to train their employees themselves. But this solution is often costly, time-consuming, and very often causes production breaks and equipment damage. A VR simulator may come in handy.
What is a VR simulator?
VR simulator is simply a connection between virtual reality technology and its carrier. Its most basic version comprises goggles, seats and joysticks. However, a VR simulator can be more advanced – we can add a steering wheel, additional hand sensors, a motion platform to compensate machine’s movement, a trendy “cage” around it – it all depends on the requirements of our clients. A person who wants to dig in just needs to put the goggles on – and whoosh! – they’re instantly immersed in a different reality. For instance, they can be an operator of a port crane, a tank driver, a pilot – the possibilities are endless.
VR simulators & savings
Let’s now stop a bit and clarify that we’re discussing virtual reality simulators, not “traditional simulators”, the ones with a seat and big screens. Those types of simulators are very expensive, the cost of a screen is very high and mounts up to 30 thousand euro. On the contrary, VR goggles are cheap – they cost 1-2 thousand euro, and what’s more, they allow for the so-called three, or even six degrees of freedom. This means that a person can look down, right, or lean out and the perspective of the view will change and will be exactly the same as in the real life. Screen simulators don’t have such functionalities.
So a VR simulator costs several times less than a screen simulator. And still, practicing on a VR simulator is of course several times cheaper than practicing on a real machine. Take for instance a ship to shore crane at the port. Renting a crane for one day at a port costs thousands of euros (it’s difficult to provide exact numbers, take for instance Port Everglades where some machine rentals cost up to 800 dollars per hour). A simulator does not generate those costs – the operating costs of it are inconsiderable, they comprise of such factors as electricity price and costs of the room where the simulator is located.
Training simulators & availability
VR simulators save a lot of money because they can work 24/7. The more the simulator works, the more of its costs are returned. This round-the-clock availability of a VR simulator is completely different when compared to a regular machine – the real equipment is simply not that easy to rent.
VR & the reality of training
While we’re on the subject of discussing real operating machines, using them in the training of new employees is not only very costly but also dangersome. A person that is operating a complicated machine for the first time is very often stressed and therefore susceptible to forgetting health & safety regulations. In effect, this means potential damages and even human injures. VR simulator is the best way to avoid such situations, it familiarizes the real equipment 1:1 because the machine it reflects is exactly the same as the real one. This is why VR simulators are safe and enable trainees to make mistakes infinitely.
A VR simulator will not require production breaks. What happens very often is that for the purpose of training a factory needs to stop a production line in order to conduct training. The training itself needs to be short because each minute is very costly, and there is nothing worse than a quick training of a complicated procedure or new equipment.
A VR simulator is the best way to get around all those difficulties. We can create any kind of machine that will be available 24/7, safe and cheap, with the same functionalities as the original machinery. Thanks to the VR simulator, a trainee can go through dangerous situations that rarely happen in everyday operations, like for instance accidents, crushes, breaking crane ropes, etc. This type of training gathers a lot of information heatmaps with trainee’s statistics, giving precise feedback on what should they put particular focus.
A case from Gdańsk
Just to give you a solid example, we delivered several VR simulators to the Centre of New Competencies in Gdańsk. Thanks to our products, the trainee can make their first steps on: a rubber tyred gantry crane, a ship-to-shore crane, a port crane, a mobile crane, and a reach stacker. Within the first year, the cost of training was reduced from 80 euros to 50! And the saving will be even greater in the future, the longer a simulator operates, the biggest savings are.