LiveArc Reality-Based Welding Training System
As the need for skilled welding operators grows, Miller Electric Mfg. Co. is helping build their skills with its new LiveArc™ reality-based training system, designed to recruit, screen, train and manage welding trainee performance — all via a live welding arc. The LiveArc system features advanced motion-tracking technology that provides critical feedback to improve welding skills, providing better, faster and more cost-effective results than traditional training methods.
By offering objective, quantitative feedback on key performance parameters, the system promotes trainee independence and learning, and allows users to gain the proficiency needed for skilled welding opportunities. The pre-weld simulation mode saves money for supplies (e.g., weld coupons, gas, wire) and provides a sound welding technique baseline for accelerating training when live arc welding occurs.
“For those looking to build a better workforce, whether it is in a vocational school or manufacturing company, the LiveArc Welding Performance Management System provides a unique solution in the marketplace today,” said Rich Thompson, VP marketing, Miller. “We know how critical it is to refine the abilities of both beginning and experienced welders to meet the demand for skilled welders in the industry. With LiveArc, we build careers.”
Intuitive navigation, performance feedback
Featuring an easy-to-use touchscreen monitor, the LiveArc system guides the welding trainee from assignment selection to simulated welding practice — and when he or she is ready, the trainee can engage in live arc welding. The system includes Miller-designed assignments, and allows welding instructors to easily develop additional assignments with customized parameters for specific weld joints and positions.
An industry-exclusive, 400-amp SmartGun features built-in LEDs that the system’s camera tracks in order to provide feedback on technique parameters, including work and travel angles, contact tip-to-work-distance (CTWD), travel speed and aim. The gun’s OLED display screen provides initial feedback to guide the trainee in proper gun position, and integrated pushbuttons act as a convenient alternative to touchscreen navigation. A joint calibration tool informs the system of the joint location, which allows the user to place the weld coupon in nearly any position.
To empower trainees and provide a quick learning curve, the LiveArc system’s intuitive user interface features easy-to-understand graphical icons and instructional pop-up messages. The assignment selection screen displays the list of available assignments and offers assignment completion status, a history summary of each assignment and access to detailed data about performance history. AWelding Procedure Specification (WPS) review screen informs the trainee of proper material selection and preparation, correct power source and wire feeder settings, and target welding technique parameter values. This screen also displays the instructor-determined target score and assignment completion criteria.
After both simulation and weld mode tests, a feedback screen provides trainees with graphical and numerical data as a means to improve individual performance. This screen also provides instructors with monitoring and evaluation capabilities to help build basic welding technique skill sets.
The system is designed to be robust and safe. The touchscreen monitor works with a gloved hand, and a protective monitor cover disables the power source when opened. The SmartGun trigger also deactivates in simulation mode, preventing accidental live arc welding; the user must intentionally activate the weld mode in order to weld.
The LiveArc system is compatible with any welding system that is capable of producing Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), Pulsed Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW-P), Short Circuiting Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW-S), and Gas Shielded Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW-G). It is positioned on a rugged ArcStation™ base that ships complete with drawers, gun holder, quick-release clamps and heavy-duty casters to simplify movement. Miller offers an optional welding positioning arm for training in out-of-position and overhead welding applications.