How a Pandemic Made Training on Hardware Great Again
The rise of the 3D virtual training room
With continued lockdowns and an inability to travel, 2020 hasn’t been easy for most working professionals. If you are a field service manager, training manager, head of knowledge management or work at one of the millions of hardware companies around the world, 2020 has been especially challenging for you. Unlike “knowledge workers,” the work you do typically requires your physical presence and using your hands-on machines.
You work with atoms, not bits.
And so far 2021 hasn’t been easier. And we’ve had to adapt to the new normal. “Necessity is the mother of invention.”
If you are reading this, that means you likely work with machines. You build them. You fix them. You sell them. You help familiarize your customers with them. That’s your jam. Last year at this time you were still training your employees or customers in the conventional face-to-face format using real physical machines to teach on.
When you needed to explain the order of operations on a turbine engine, and you wanted to explain how high-temperature, pressurized gas enters the turbine you could point to a physical machine like this:
In some cases, if you were lucky, you would have a sectioned version of the engine to teach with in person like this:
But “thanks” to a novel Coronavirus, these are not an option anymore. So, what did we do? We had to remember our Skype account password, give Google Meet another try and eventually use that Zoom thing our PR team always sent us an invite for but we never really knew what it was. Everything suddenly changed.
New metrics to measure effectiveness for training are now required. For example, what is our limit for actually listening to one person on a Zoom or Skype call? How should we deal with conversations in these online platforms that are notoriously more stilted and disjointed then F2F meetings or frontal classes. There are always technical issues that distract and subtract from our ability to teach, or learn for that matter. The speaker has no simple way to know what percentage of their trainees are still “with them.”
Compound this with trying to explain how a machine works or how to troubleshoot a system and the current solutions are woefully inadequate. Zoom, Google Meet and other online meeting platforms allow only one speaker to share a screen and use a pointer at a time. Objects shared are limited to 2D drawings, presentations or images. If we are lucky, the teacher can use a 3D model, but even then, there are so many limitations. That’s exactly why LLS built the new frontline.io platform.
frontline.io was built for hardware customers as an outgrowth of the work our firm was already doing for world-leading hardware players like HP, Elbit and Landa. The cloud-based platform levels-up training and support by linking digital twins (advanced 3D models) with interactive procedures and tutorials. Our DNA is in building advanced 3D models for complicated machines including next generation UAVs, and a bunch of other military equipment so secretive we can’t even share ….
When our customers asked for a way to integrate their digital twins into their legacy training and service systems… we built it for them.
A digital twin is a highly detailed, interactive 3D model with all the color, shadings, textures and lighting we expect from real machines. Using Unity or Unreal Engine, today’s 3D models are nothing like your grandfather’s 3D experience.
Digital twins not only effectively replace physical machines, they allow your team and customers to engage with superpower-like functionality. For example, if someone on your team wants to better understand airflow in an engine, no problem. Use the X-Ray functionality to see inside the machine and to watch it working. Also unlike a physical machine, a digital twin allows you to isolate parts and view them in 3D, rotating, enlarging and studying them at every angle without using any physical tools.
frontline.io 3D virtual rooms are built around the digital twin and are exactly what our loyal customers asked us to build.
The virtual room can be experienced from the comfort of your PC or on your mobile device, and if you really want to jiggy, from VR headsets that allow for fully immersive learning. Now both teacher and trainees are huddled around a fully interactive high-resolution digital twin of a machine, which opens up limitless possibilities for true interactive distance learning.
Instead of struggling with basic 3D drawings where only one person can point to at a time, now each trainee can view the interactive 3D model from their own vantage point. That’s freedom!
frontline.io will help bring excitement to your trainees, allowing them to immerse themselves in understanding your machines better in ways not possible with physical machines.