Finalist 2020

HYDAC VR Training (HVRT)

HYDAC Pty. Ltd. / Deakin Motion Lab, Deakin University

Instructor guided, and self-guided, hydraulics maintenance training in virtual reality

HYDAC VR Training (HVRT) gives staff and students a previously unavailable opportunity to participate in instructor guided, and self-guided, hydraulics maintenance training in virtual reality. HVRT users can work from home or off-site (especially during the current pandemic).

HVRT supports real-time instructor feedback, self-guided training and skill verification, through direct hands-on interaction with a fully functional model of a hydraulic mining transport system used in Australia: the HYDAC Wheel Lock Hydraulics Pressure Unit (HYDAC Wheel Lock HPU) which provides a hydraulic wheel locking unit with pressure to secure iron ore train waggons while they are loaded.

Design Excellence

HYDAC Wheel Lock HPU is one of the more complex hydraulics devices engineered and constructed by HYDAC Australia incorporating several of HYDAC’s systems. The HYDAC Wheel Lock HPU VR model and user experience design went through an iterative six month development cycle, involving Deakin Motion Lab staff, HYDAC engineers and end users.

The VR model directly translates the real-world HPU device’s engineering plans down to its minute details. HVRT users communicate via voice, use natural hand gestures, and assemble and disassemble complex machinery with tools and hand movements that mimic real processes, whilst being guided by instructors and task panels.

Design Impact

HYDAC HVRT extracts the environmental emissions resulting from HYDAC’s training activities by digitising the equipment that otherwise required the transportation of several tonnes of equipment to training centres.

Socially, HYDAC HVRT makes hands on hydraulics training more accessible to students and thus contributes to increasing the number and quality of students working in advanced manufacturing.

The HVRT system also allowed the Deakin Motion Lab development team and HYDAC’s engineers to meet virtually from different locations during the pandemic and co-design the training environment over several iterations and without the need for face to face meetings.

Design Transformation

HYDAC HVRT sets a new benchmark for advanced hydraulics training in the advanced manufacturing industry in Australia.

With up to 20 participants per session, users get affordable and mobile access to a cutting edge training environment, featuring an Australian designed and engineered hydraulics solution made in Victoria which already provides an important service for the Australian mining industry.

The VR Training environment was developed in collaboration with Deakin University, one of the leading Victorian Universities providing VR training solutions to industry and a track record of successful projects with industry.

Design Innovation

Hydraulics training requires expensive and heavy equipment. Hands on training on complicated hydraulics machines is limited to specific locations and specific times.

The design of HVRT provides an unprecedented opportunity for physically distanced students to gain access to an expanded training program based on complex hydraulics machinery that was for economic reasons not possible up to this point.

The project reduces the need for travel and provides access to staff training in remote areas such as the mining sites in the Pilbara, where this type of machine is located.

Other Key Features

Other HYDAC VR Training features include:

  • Communication via ip voice connection, hand gestures and tools (laser pointer)
  • Manipulation of machine controls via hand gestures and tools (wrench, allen keys, electric impact wrench)
  • Map based teleportation facility for training in small rooms
  • Detailed task lists and procedural task videos for self guided training
  • Fault detection exercises

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