First Polymer Training Skillnet (FPT Skillnet) is leading the way in injection moulding with the introduction of a bespoke Virtual Reality (VR) module to their training programmes. One of the first in the world to adopt VR technology in this space, FPT Skillnet have worked with Mersus Technologies to design and deliver a ground-breaking VR-based industrial training platform that allows users to understand a machine’s complex operations and processes in a safe and controlled environment.
The benefits of VR Technology
For almost twenty-five years, FPT Skillnet with the support of Skillnet Ireland, has been at the forefront of plastics training, providing both theoretical and practical knowledge in injection moulding. Adding VR to the numerous programmes will enable participants to interact with a virtual machine before dealing with real-world equipment, thereby eliminating the risk of breaking or damaging expensive moulds.
For graduates entering the workforce and those honing their expertise in injection moulding, operating expensive machinery can often be stressful. However, the integration of VR into training offers a risk-free environment for practice, enhancing the learners’ comfort and familiarity with the equipment. This training bridges the gaps between complex theory and real-world practice, allowing participants to experience the complex inner operations and processes of a machine in a 3D environment. This confidence-boosting tool allows participants to become more aware and relaxed, significantly improving their performance and overall learning experience.
Catherine Collins, FPT Skillnet Network Manager, commented “We are committed to innovation and continually improving our skills training to ensure we deliver world class upskilling to Irish polymer companies. We recognised the tremendous potential of VR technology to enhance our existing industrial training methods providing an exceptional immersive learning experience developed with the experts at Mersus Technologies. We are delighted with the positive response from industry and are looking forward to including the VR module in all injection moulding training programmes going forward”.
Supporting learner retention
Importantly for companies, this VR tool expedites learning, ensuring that employees’ time away from the workplace for industrial training is maximised. The immersive experience reinforces the learning process, facilitating a deeper understanding and long-term retention of knowledge.
Aoife O’Sullivan, Head of Network Development and Innovation at Skillnet Ireland said “Embracing emerging and immersive technology as part of strategic talent development is central to supporting the competitiveness of Irish business. FPT Skillnet are leading the way in this space. The addition of VR to this programme enhances the learning experience, drives collaboration and supports overall learner retention.”
The FPT Skillnet VR initiative was supported by Skillnet Ireland. Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.