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New VR training lets engineers explore the latest technology

I’ve just finished filming the inside of one of our Hybrid VRF air conditioning units for our latest virtual tour, to help engineers understand the components, the technology and get online training on how to install and commission the units.

We’ve gone inside the outdoor unit to show the compressor, the circuit boards, the expansion valves and chamber, etc, so that the people installing, commissioning and maintaining these sophisticated pieces of equipment have a clear understanding of how they work. 

We’ve now done the same with other large equipment, and in a move known as ‘gamification’, we’ve created a virtual reality tool that allows engineers to move around inside the unit.

We can take up to 90 engineers at a time through our interactive online learning session

Ben Bartle Ross Ben Bartle-Ross Technical Trainer

A new approach to learning

During the pandemic, we revamped our entire training and put a lot of emphasis on self-learning before anyone comes to a classroom or training centre. 

We realised that our previous method of learning involved our trainers talking to engineers over a PowerPoint presentation that went through the theory of how products work and focused on individual technical aspects.

Whilst that worked well with face-to-face with interaction, it was simply not the same for an online training course, so we went back to square one and looked at what was important and what the best ways to convey that information is.

This led to the creation of our online learning portal which enables engineers to learn in small, individual modules at a time to suit them. Letting them learn wherever they want also cuts down significantly on the need for them to travel to one of our training centres around the country.

We’ve found that by helping engineers to learn in their own time, they can arrive at the next stage of training with all the knowledge on how heat pumps and air conditioning works.

1283 QR Code
See the VR Training for yourself Scan the QR Code to see the training on your phone or PC. Or put your phone into a VR headset for the real deal.

Increasing the numbers

We can then take up to 90 engineers at a time through our interactive online learning session to enhance that knowledge. Our instructors can then test what they have learnt and give them specialised guidance on what works, and what doesn’t.

Then, we can get them into our training centres to actually get their hands on equipment that we have created faults on, so they can test their knowledge on live products.

This works really well with our straightforward heat pump and smaller air conditioning systems, and we have significantly increased the number of engineers that we have managed to train.

What we also realised though, is that a lot of our equipment is very large – and simply too big to fit into even our biggest training suite in our Hatfield headquarters.

We also can’t send thousands of engineers to our manufacturing plants in Scotland, Italy, Turkey, Thailand or Japan, so by using virtual reality, we are bringing the larger equipment to them.

Honey I shrunk the tour

So far, we have filmed virtual tours of the insides our commercial CAHV heat pump and residential ecodan heat pump, along with our MEWall IT Cooling system, and our unique Hybrid VRF air conditioning.

Each of the films allows us to focus on individual components within the products, so anyone can look at the footage and navigate their way around the entire system, pausing for useful information along the way.

And we’re not stopping there as we will look at all the myriad of other equipment that we can’t quite squeeze into our training suites, such as chillers, air handling units (AHUs), more ground and air source heat pumps, our Lossnay ventilation systems, other IT Cooling systems and our new refrigeration units.

Click on this link for an idea of how the system works and do get in touch if you would like to see the virtual reality system in action.

We think it’s virtuality perfect!

Ben Bartle-Ross is a Technical Trainer