Professional maintenance work is usually performed as a series of well-defined steps that form a maintenance procedure. These procedures are documented in a corresponding maintenance manual. To map this approach to training software, Telespazio Germany has developed a perfectly suitable virtual maintenance trainer (VMT) concept. The scope of our VMT simulations is defined by a set of maintenance procedures. The simulated equipment is represented in 3D graphical models. The user can navigate in the 3D world and interact with the model in different ways; for instance, inspecting a component, operating a control, removing and replacing parts, finding faults and repairing faulty items accordingly. Students can do all this in free play, but the main didactical feature is the computer-guided mode. The maintenance procedures can be loaded into the VMT and then can be used for:
- Automatic demonstration (the computer executes the steps)
- Computer-guided operation (the user executes the steps; the computer assists if necessary)
- Evaluation of the student’s skills (the user executes the steps; the computer monitors the user’s performance)
With these features, a VMT not only replaces the original equipment, but also provides the essential capabilities of a fully-fledged training tool.
Our VMT solutions can run on any laptop or desktop PC. A setup with two or more screens is preferred to improve the handling of complex tasks with different views in separate windows. This is also useful if the electronic maintenance manual shall be displayed during training.
The VMTs can interface dedicated hardware, ranging from touchscreens for more intuitive interaction, over a replica of single hardware elements of the original equipment, to virtual reality for fully immersive training, or even complete hardware replica.
- Recording and modification of underlying maintenance procedures
- Integration of existing electronic maintenance documentation
- Classroom-setup including demonstration, “snoop” and team-play
- Extension with a dedicated Learning Management System (LMS) or integration with an existing LMS