Story by SSgt David Owsianka on 08/08/2019While most people expect to see sparks flying throughout a room where welding is completed, one metals technology room at Dyess Air Force Base creates no sparks or mess within the operating area.
The 7th Equipment Maintenance Squadron metals technology section recently received an augmented reality welding system to improve real-world welding.
The metal technology section provides welding support for the C-130J Super Hercules and B-1B Lancer aircrafts, aerospace ground equipment and all other facilities across the base.
"This is very important for our unit because it allows our Airmen to receive the training they need without an extra body assisting the individual as they weld," said Master Sgt. Joshua Briscoe, 7th EMS metals technology section chief. "The welding system will tell the Airmen what they are doing incorrectly and how to improve their techniques."
Airmen who arrive to the unit after receiving their technical training will be able to use the system for their upgrade training to become more proficient at welding. For Airmen who go through their upgrade training on the system, it will save the metal technology section approximately $25,000 in gas and material costs and about 120 manhours per Airmen.
The augmented reality system is split into three training operations for welding: metal inert gas, tungsten inert gas and arc welding.
Metal inert gas welding is the process in which an electric arc forms between a consumable wire electrode and the metals casing them to melt and join. Tungsten inert gas is a welding process that uses a non-consumable electrode to produce the weld. Arc welding is a technique where metals are welded using heat generated by an electric arc.
As Airmen complete the training, they will wear a mask, a simulated welder and a plate to simulate the welding techniques they will use in real life.
"Instead of us having to use material for training purposes as we try to perfect welding, the system shows us the proper techniques we need to use in order to weld properly," said Airman 1st Class Taylor Dow, 7th EMS metals technology apprentice. "It's also the closest thing to actual welding we are going to get without legitimately welding as we save materials and manhours."
The metals technology section will continue to train with the augmented reality welding system to see how it will benefit the section.
"I believe the new Airmen who use the system will become consistent in welding much faster than how Airmen were previously trained," Briscoe said. "These younger Airmen are going to be much more proficient at their job much faster than before, and it's because of the augmented reality system."