Sør-Trøndelag University College (NORWAY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 201-205
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
The modern society is extensively depending on welded products like bridges, constructions of pipes and buildings. Our safety depends on quality of materials, welder’s basic competence, and their continuous skills upgrading towards new welding processes and materials. Unfortunately, no high quality, easy accessible, integrated and multi purpose online welding simulator tools are available on the market in Europe to help Vocational Education and Training Schools, instructors and welders to make up user friendly quality management assurance designs that offer objective risk analysis of industrial production process training. Most software tools available are used for calculating welding costs, heat input, preheating temperatures and welding parameters based on material selection, welding process and material etc, and the software tools are rather simple and one-purpose only.

This article reports the main developments of a new type of online simulator tools that offer easy access to the best cost-efficient production process solutions that minimizes manufacturing defects, while maintaining the best tolerances of the production parameters. The advantage of online simulator tools is that students and instructors may dynamical play with the essential production parameters in order to visually understand the tolerance window occurring in real life production facilities, and make up alternative decision routes that may handle both technical and economical production tasks. Advanced mathematical calculations are hidden, by utilizing advanced online Computer Algebra Systems, such that skilled welder specialists that don’t have any special mathematical knowledge may use them by accessing easy to use high-end graphical interfaces. The simulator services follow explicit international guidelines and quality standards in manufacturing as specified by European Welding Federation. This includes:

• Visualization of complex mathematical information through easy to use graphical presentations
• Effective use of problem based learning to identify which technical parameters that are critical in the production process
• To simulate the consequences of students selection of parameters by pointing explicitly out which parameters it is critical to fix and which parameters that are flexible
• Engage the student to observe how important it is to select the proper production technology

The new simulator services offer:
• Instructors new pedagogical methodologies by including learning activities which explore flexible easy to use on-line dynamical and/or interactive services for i) activation of prior experiences and ii) demonstration of skills.
• Mixed groups of students as well as the individual student, new learning experiences exploring services for iii) application of skills and iv) inclusion of skills into real-world descriptions.
• Stimulate the students to dynamically play with the essential variables in order to visually understand the tolerance window that occurs in a real life production facility
• Gives the user a possibility to create alternative decision routes in real life projects. Such a tool will offer the user the ability to select the technical tasks as well as the economical tasks involved in the decision process.

The prototype will be available in 2009. This pilot research is co-financed by the European Commission and the Lifelong Learning Program.

xml, simulator, welding, mechanical industry, activity based training, workplace learning.