Co-Lin welding students get virtual reality addition
Published 8:00 am Tuesday, June 20, 2023
This fall welding students at Copiah-Lincoln Community College three campuses will practice welding skills before they pick up a welding torch. Through a grant awarded by Accelerate Mississippi the Workforce Center at Co-Lin purchased and oversaw the installation of a total of 20 virtual reality stations distributed across the school district welding labs at the Wesson Campus, Natchez Campus, and the Simpson County Center. This valuable tool will benefit Workforce night class students, as well as Career Tech day class students.
“These simulators will not by any means replace hands-on lab welding. They are meant to enrich the training that students will receive under the guidance of Co-Lin’s knowledgeable instructors.” Copiah-Lincoln Community College Workforce Center Director Luke Laird adds, “We look forward to watching our students benefit from the ability to practice as often as needed with the instantaneous feedback this system provides. The benefits don’t stop there. Co-Lin will be able to cut material costs and reallocate the funds to other training needs.”
According to the vendor website, “The simulator offers a fully immersive environment for trainees in the virtual world with a clear perception of depth, blended with a real welding gun, sparks and molten pool ambiance based on the distance, angles, machine settings, etc. to train & improve their welding techniques.” The lessons provide a variety of welding process options along with the appropriate torch hand control. Sessions allow the student to build muscle memory, practice related processes such as slag removal. Both the student and instructor benefit from the insights available in the video playbacks. Once installation was completed, training was conducted for all welding staff instructors and workforce staff in preparation for fall classes and demonstrations for the community and employers.
“Students will complete virtual lessons before entering the welding lab. If they have a skill that needs improving these virtual lessons will be available for them to use for extra practice with valuable feedback from the Skillveri simulators,” according to Wesson Campus Welding Instructor Don Blandon.
The Workforce Center is now enrolling for evening welding classes at the Wesson, Natchez, and Simpson County Center which start on August 8. Interested individuals may learn details by visiting www.colin.edu/weldingworkforce or calling 601-643-8707.