When people think about VR they tend not to think about applications for training and rehearsal of maintenance tasks. Yet Virtalis has been developing innovative software in these areas throughout its entire history. Our systems have saved time and money and have been proved to improve safety in both industry and in the defence sector. Virtalis is working to make these uses and success stories more widely known.
The savings become even greater if investment has already been made creating digital data for other purposes, such as design. We were able to draw on the CAD data from BAE Systems for the Type 45 destroyer to create a virtual environment where people could practice routine tasks on a vessel that had not even entered the manufacturing phase and which, as it was first in class, would have no crew continuity.
It is possible to add Bill of Material information to the parts within the virtual enviroment, along with other information on how often maintenance tasks should be carried out and the tasks involved in doing these. This allows for a greater appreciation of the work required and allows for "practice makes perfect". This was particularly seen with the avionics maintenance trainer at RAF Marham, which also has various pieces of virtual test equipment so that scenarios can be set up to challenge maintenance engineers.
Our customers often describe their Virtalis VR system as a communication hub, where barriers are broken down and everyone is able to interact and speak the same language. This is never truer than in this area.
"The entire ship is modelled in 3D, so a trainee can explore any location on the virtual ship from the Foc'sle to the Wardroom. All safety equipment and pipe-work is portrayed, presenting an extremely useful tool for fire-fighting training and damage control drills. A trainee can investigate any item of equipment that is captured by the 3D model, both internal and externally. It therefore presents users with an extremely effective means of becoming acquainted with the layout of the ship and the relative locations of important machinery and hardware. It should be possible for fire-fighting teams to undertake 'mission rehearsal' prior to actual exposure to a fire. Similarly, it could enable the ship's engineering staff to determine the most effective and expedient way to effect the extraction of major items of equipment. Marine engineers can focus their acquaint in the various machinery rooms, while weapons engineers can see where all of the ship's sensors and weapons systems are located."
Lt Cdr Matthew Solly RN, the Training Manager for the new Type 45.