Lincoln Electric, AWS Partner to Draw Young People to Industry

November 28, 2011

Lincoln Electric has partnered with the American Welding Society (AWS) to provide a hands-on welding experience to attract new people to the profession. As part of this partnership, Lincoln Electric recently provided VRTEX 360 Virtual Reality Arc Welders for AWS’s new Careers in Welding Trailer that debuted at FABTECH 2011, North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, finishing and welding event.

The 53-foot expandable trailer, with 650-square feet of exhibit space, includes five VRTEX systems - one stationed outside the trailer and four inside. The AWS mobile exhibit was designed to inspire prospective students about careers in welding, especially young people just starting out, as well as people seeking a new career, by allowing them to try a safe, hands-on experience with a variety of welding processes.

The virtual reality weld training simulators allow users to get first-hand experience of the following:

  • SMAW (stick), GMAW (MIG) and FCAW (flux-cored) welding processes
  • Multiple weld joint configurations and welding positions
  • A variety of real world welding environments, including a welding school booth, construction site and process piping location, among others.

Lincoln Electric developed the virtual reality weld training solution to enable schools to engage and train new skilled welders more efficiently with lower costs, and to allow shops to easily integrate high-tech training tools into their in-house curricula. 

“Welders can learn more quickly when virtual reality arc welders are part of the curricula. It allows the student the opportunity to receive real-time feedback as they weld and reinforces the correction of improper technique. It also provides the student the opportunity to try many more welds without the impact or cost of materials and scrap in a real welding training lab,” said Deanna Postlethwaite, Marketing Manager, Lincoln Electric Automation Division. “We’re pleased to have AWS use our technology not only to showcase careers in welding but also to show the industry the many benefits of virtual reality training.”

AWS plans to take its mobile welding exhibit on the road for 18 - 24 weeks a year at key industry shows and events geared to future welders and career changers.