Improving Engineering Instructions with Mixed Reality: A Case Study
As technology advances, engineers are increasingly using mixed reality (MR) to train and educate workers. MR combines virtual and real-world elements to create a more immersive and engaging learning experience. In this article, we’ll explore how MR can improve engineering instructions, with a case study of GE Aviation’s use of MR in their maintenance training program.
GE Aviation’s Maintenance Training Program
GE Aviation has been using MR to train its maintenance workers for over a decade. The company’s maintenance training program teaches workers how to repair and maintain aircraft engines. Traditionally, this was done through hands-on training on physical aircraft. However, with the development of MR technology, GE Aviation was able to create a more immersive and engaging learning experience.
GE Aviation created an MR environment that allowed maintenance workers to practice repairing and maintaining engines in a virtual world. The program included 3D models of aircraft engines, as well as tools and equipment that mimicked the real-world tools used in engine repairs. Workers could use these tools to practice different tasks, such as removing parts from an engine or replacing them with new ones.
The Benefits of MR for Engineering Instructions
There are several benefits to using MR for engineering instructions. Firstly, MR allows workers to practice in a safe and controlled environment, without the risk of damaging physical equipment. This is particularly important when training on complex machines like aircraft engines, where even small mistakes can have serious consequences.
Secondly, MR provides a more immersive and engaging learning experience. By using 3D models and interactive tools, workers can better understand how an engine works and how to repair it. This leads to improved retention of information and better job performance.
Finally, MR can help reduce costs associated with traditional training methods. Traditional hands-on training on physical equipment can be expensive, as it requires access to physical machines and tools. With MR, workers can practice in a virtual environment, reducing the need for physical equipment.
Case Study: GE Aviation’s Maintenance Training Program
GE Aviation’s maintenance training program is a great example of how MR can improve engineering instructions. The program has been in place since 2011 and has been used to train over 1,500 workers. According to GE Aviation’s senior director of learning and development, the program has had a significant impact on worker performance and safety.
"Our maintenance training program using MR has been incredibly successful," said the senior director. "Not only has it improved worker retention and job performance, but it has also reduced the risk of accidents in the workplace."
In conclusion, mixed reality technology can greatly improve engineering instructions by providing a safer, more immersive, and engaging learning experience. The use of 3D models and interactive tools allows workers to better understand complex machines and perform their jobs with greater accuracy and confidence. As GE Aviation’s maintenance training program demonstrates, MR has the potential to revolutionize the way engineers are trained and educated.