Advanced training spaces make virtual a reality

29 Nov 2017 Reading time calculated text
news article

A new facility offers virtual reality training to improve the safety, efficiency and cost-effective deployment of MacGregor equipment

MacGregor has opened a specialist academy dedicated to providing advanced training for both customers and its own personnel. Located in Arendal, Norway, the academy has a purpose-built virtual reality (VR) showroom. Within this risk-free environment, participants learn how to complete real-time, complex manoeuvres safely and efficiently through simulated technical challenges.

Divided into two zones, the VR showroom features an authentic operating chair for offshore crane simulations, as well as an area where users can walk around a simulated ship, familiarising themselves with the safe operation of its equipment.

“Virtual reality technology has improved dramatically in recent years,” says Geir Roland, Director of Advanced Offshore Solutions, Global Lifecycle Support at MacGregor. “We can pass these advances on to our customers and employees at our new facility and through portable training programmes.”

“The software has been developed by our experts and is based on their expertise, physics engine computer software and field experience. We believe this offers a unique and powerful tool to the market,” adds Mr Roland.

The value of knowledge

VR training is particularly valuable for customers looking to maximise the operational benefits of MacGregor equipment on board their vessels. “Customers can offer their crew fully-immersive training programmes which are so much better than previous offerings,” says Jan Finckenhagen, Training Manager, Advanced Offshore Solutions, MacGregor Academy. “This will reduce the likelihood of causing injury to personnel or damage to equipment because they have already tried and tested it. Our aim is to help customers use their equipment safely and efficiently.”

Customers can explore and test a product’s capability before production begins using MacGregor simulation software such as C-HOW

Realistic 3D visualisations are achieved with the use of VR headsets, which enable users to view very small details of an operation, as well as the wider picture. The headsets are linked to large, wall-mounted screens, aiding the training process by allowing instructors to observe exactly what the user sees.

“When you use VR technology, it is just like being on a vessel or offshore installation. As you move around and turn your head you see exactly the same things that you would see if you were on board. It is a very convincing experience,” adds Mr Finckenhagen.

“You can also explore restricted, dangerous areas that you would not normally access. This provides otherwise unobtainable perspectives on specific operations, which can prove very useful.”

Realising product capabilities

Customers can explore and test a product’s capability before production begins using MacGregor simulation software such as C-HOW.

This facility is now MacGregor's simulation training hub, offering product-specific courses across a broad product range.