Sør-Trøndelag University College (NORWAY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 4476-4482
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
The modern society is extensively depending on welded products. Unfortunately, no high quality, easy accessible, integrated and multipurpose online welding simulator tools are available on the market in Europe to help Vocational Education and Training (VET) schools, instructors and welders to make up user friendly production process training.

This article describes the main components of a new type of online simulator tools that are going to offer easy access to the best cost-efficient production process solutions that may reduce manufacturing defects, while maintaining the best tolerances in industrial production parameters. The advantage of online simulator tools is that students and instructors may dynamical play with the essential parameters in order to visually understand the tolerance window occurring in real life production, 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.

Advanced calculations are easily done in high-end graphical interfaces by moving easy to use sliders that vary between a maximum and minimum value. Each slider represents one production parameter. The simulator actions include the following elements:
• Development of simulator services for i) square butt welding, ii) v-bevel welding, iii) fillet welding, iv) x-bevel welding, and v) calculation of production costs for the four welding forms above
• Development of new pedagogical methodologies
• Delivery of training courses to the market
The new simulator and training solutions offer a range of new features. This includes:

• Instructors may utilize new pedagogical methodologies by including learning activities which explore flexible easy to use on-line dynamical and/or interactive services stimulating inquiry and problem based learning
• Students obtain new learning experiences by exploring services for application and inclusion of skills into real-world descriptions.
• The services stimulate students to dynamically play with the essential variables in order to visually understand the tolerance window that occurs in a real life production.
• The end user is offered the possibility to create alternative decision routes in real life projects. Such a tool offer the user the ability to select the technical tasks as well as the economical tasks involved in the decision process.

The simulator services contribute to the modernization of the VET system by promoting virtual simulator tools that address the technological needs in industrial training. Furthermore, it involves development of new training methodologies in combination with pedagogical sound implementation of predictive virtual welding simulators. The new training methods provide a new European learning environment and new training paths to VET schools, instructors and mechanical industry.

The simulator tools introduce a new industrial evaluation process both in front of the training and after the practical laboratory work has been completed, by comparing the proposed data with the measured real life results.

European Community supports the work presented in this paper as a pilot project under the Leonardo da Vinci program.

welding, mechanical industry, simulator, problem based learning, activity based.