The challenges facing industrial skills training teams generally fall into three areas:
- Required curriculum additions
- Recruiting and retention
Spray painting instructors, training directors and other team members continually look for ways to decrease costs: costs associated with materials (e.g. paint, thinners, work pieces, and air filters), facilities, and time.
Changes in the political and regulatory environment, specifically additional safety requirements and mandates to be eco-friendly, push the limits of the amount of knowledge transfer that can occur during a traditional training program. There’s another exacerbating force: the pool of skilled tradesmen is aging, posing the question of how to recruit and attract the next generation of workers.
The SimSpray™ training system accelerates the learning of fundamental spray painting skills. SimSpray produces a realistic experience in which students reproduce the body positioning and muscle and joint movements required to create the ideal mil thickness on a finished piece. During traditional training, students need to select, move, and mount a part before they practice painting. With SimSpray, students' hands-on practice time significantly increases since a few taps on a touch screen monitor are all that’s required to begin another practice session. When coupled with professional instruction, the ability to continually repeat tasks enables students using SimSpray to become more proficient painters in a shorter period of time.
- Training Costs
By training in a virtual environment, students learn how to spray paint without consuming any materials, reducing costs associated with paint, cleaning supplies and parts.
- Training Time
During traditional training, students move, mount and prepare a part before practicing painting. SimSpray only requires a few taps on the screen to begin another practice session. By eliminating prep and clean up time, students have more hands-on training time enabling them to become more proficient painters in a shorter period of time.
The Paintometer screen calculates totals for time logged into the system, time painting, paint/coating applied and wasted, number of parts painted, and VOC emissions. This function assists training programs in calculating return on investment in SimSpray.
- Green Technology
SimSpray offers an eco-friendly means of training and can make a positive contribution to efforts to build green painting/coating training programs by eliminating volatile organic compounds (VOCs), reducing energy use and negative impact on natural resources.
SimSpray includes a review screen for instructors to examine the painted work piece. This gives student and instructor the ability to see a student's progress throughout their training. Transfer efficiency, mil build and proper technique are scored at the end of each coat.
SimSpray’s coverage map allows instructors to review mil thickness on a workpiece. This can be viewed while the student is painting, or at the end of each coat. Red indicates where the paint applied is too thick, blue indicates where the paint is thin, and the ideal coverage is shown in green.
SimSpray contains many options in the user interface for instructors and students to customize their painting experience. SimSpray reinforces proper setup to teach students correct material selection and equipment settings before painting.
SimSpray includes processes for a different coating purposes. SimSpray Standard includes HVLP primarily used in autobody painting. SimSpray Industrial comes with HVLP, Airless, Air-Assisted Airless, and a Conveyor Line, for larger industrial coatings projects.
Students choose from a variety of parts including car parts, wavy and flat panels, I-beams and ASTM panels. Each parts allows students of different skill levels to practice on diverse shapes and sizes.
Projects and Project Editor
Instructors can set up projects for each part detailing the number and type of coats and specific parameters for each coat, including mil build, air pressure, fluid pressure, and travel speed.When a student goes through the set up process, he/she can choose the project that the instructor has created for them.
SimSpray offers a wide range of colors to paint the part with.
To create a realistic experience for students, SimSpray offers 3D immersive environments in which to paint. This gives the student an enhanced experience of painting in real life.
Before a student begins painting, they must enter proper equipment settings (air pressure, fluid pressure, tip size and cup configuration). If they enter in the wrong settings, SimSpray prompts them to correct it.