The training problems of maintenance personnel

An interview with Yulia Chudinova, CEO of SIKE.
The interview is about training technical specialists whose activities are related
to the operation of complex and dangerous production equipment.
─ Why did SIKE decide to focus its efforts on the development of systems for the training of car mechanics?
Yulia Chudinova: ─ Now a lot of attention is paid to the professions from the "TOP-50" list, and the leading position is the "Car mechanic" profession. At one of the most important stages in the training of car mechanics ─ studying the structure of cars (especially modern ones), the existing material and technical base: textbooks, models, training simulators, stands, and other resources do not allow to fully form the necessary level of knowledge.

Therefore, an idea arose to develop a training product that solves this problem. Our experience in developing simulators (electronic learning systems) for learning the structure of technological equipment, which our company (SIKE) has been dealing with since 2006, was taken as a basis.
─ Okay, then let's start from the beginning. How did the idea of electronic training systems for learning equipment structure come about?
Yulia Chudinova: ─ Here we also proceeded from the problems of training specialists in technical fields.

An important stage in the training of a specialist is learning equipment structure.

Understanding the structure and principles of operation of equipment is the basis of future professional activities: repair and maintenance of equipment, operation, and design of new types and assemblies. Enterprises use complex, expensive, and often dangerous production equipment and the problem arises ─ how to train a specialist?

An idea arose to develop computer simulators for learning equipment structure, which we implemented in our 3D Atlases and continue to develop.
─ How affordable are computer simulators for educational institutions?
Yulia Chudinova: ─ To train competent personnel who can apply knowledge, and show personal qualities in a specific situation, including a non-standard one, a material, and technical base is needed: training simulators, stands, and training grounds with real equipment. But filling and keeping the material and technical base up to date requires a certain expense.

We offer 3D Equipment Atlases as a replacement for traditional textbooks, and training hardwares and as an alternative to training grounds with real equipment, which takes up a lot of space, wears out, and is several times more expensive than 3D Atlases.

Answering your question about the affordability of the 3D Atlas for educational institutions, if you compare the cost of the 3D Atlas and the effect of learning in it, it is more profitable to purchase 3D Atlases for a computer class than to teach only using textbooks or than to organize a training ground.
─ Why are 3D Atlases better than the usual methods of studying equipment?
Yulia Chudinova: - Currently, the learning equipment structure is difficult due to the lack of appropriate material and information resources.

The pedagogical process is not provided with sufficient technical and didactic means.

Among printed media, there are only instructions. There are no textbooks, problem and exercise books, posters, etc. Among video materials, only commercials that do not have an educational nature can be present. Often there are simply no models or demonstration samples of equipment.

However, even with all these tools for training, they are not optimal for learning equipment structure. Textbooks cannot form a holistic view of the structure and the principles of operation of the equipment, they do not provide a three-dimensional understanding of the structure of mechanisms, and videos and models cannot "cover" the whole variety of equipment.
─ Can 3D Atlases be seen as an alternative to real production units when it comes to the process of learning equipment structure?
Yulia Chudinova: ─ It is possible, there are several reasons for this.
Firstly, complex equipment is often used in industry, many units, their structure, the relative position of elements, and the connections between them can be hidden and not available for study.

The 3D Atlas uses high-quality 3D models, with a high degree of detail, and meticulous, to provide an understanding of the location of elements, and their appearance.
It is possible to examine in detail each item of equipment in 3D and study its description, and purpose.

Secondly, there are usually 20 students in a group, so even if you study the structure of equipment at a real site, students may not see, and do not have the opportunity to study everything in detail, and disassemble the equipment meticulously.

3D Atlas, on the other hand, provides an individual learning path, and also allows you to simultaneously conduct training with many people.
A student can choose a particular piece of equipment, study it in detail, and test his or her knowledge.

Thirdly, to understand the elements (name, location, appearance), a teacher is required, since it is simply impossible to independently understand where which element is, what it is called, and what it is needed for.

3D Atlas is easy to use, which provides the possibility of self-study without a teacher. The teacher has only to put a grade based on test results obtained in the 3D Atlas.

The visibility, interactivity, and high quality of the 3D Atlas content gives a high degree of involvement in the educational process.

Finally, if the equipment is expensive, it needs to be maintained, and not every professional educational organization is ready to provide them with an educational process.

"Material visualization meets the needs of students, so such systems are needed in today's curriculum."
"We use 3D Atlas from start to finish, as all Atlas equipment fits our program."
"Such systems are very effective in terms of the quality of education."
"We had videos, e-tutorials, but there were no 3D models."
"Students independently study the equipment, its main elements, and then they are tested."

We publish the full version of articles with real reviews of representatives of educational institutions in our news section on the website.
─ Returning to the problem of training car mechanics, what training tools do you offer?
Yulia Chudinova: ─ Now we are developing a series of car repair and maintenance simulators. The task is to form competencies in the "Car Mechanic" specialty.

The first simulator of this series, "Car Mechanic: Brake System" has already proven itself with both users and experts of various competitions.
However, the simulator is focused on obtaining and practicing skills in the repair and maintenance of a car, and the study of the structure of a car in it is not considered.

It was decided to develop a separate system aimed at a detailed study of the structure of a car: 3D Atlas. In the "Car Structure" 3D Atlas students learn the name, purpose, appearance, location, and construction of all elements of a car.
─ What parts of a car can be studied in the 3D Atlas?
Yulia Chudinova: ─ According to the latest data, about 50% of all cars in the Russian Federation are representatives of the domestic market, therefore, a front-wheel drive passenger car of domestic production, which is one of the most popular cars in the Russian domestic market, was taken as the first project.

Now, 3D Atlas allows you to study the following car systems:

1. Engine compartment.
2. Steering.
3. Transmission.
4. Brake system.
5. Exhaust system.
─ What forms of education can be used by an educational organization that has implemented the 3D Atlas in its educational process?
Yulia Chudinova: ─ In 2020, we integrated the 3D Atlas into the distance learning system. We focused on the emerging e-learning market and met the expectations of our customers. Therefore, even now the "Car Structure" 3D Atlas can be used locally and remotely for training, practical exercises, laboratory and independent works, knowledge control of students, and professional certification.
─ What are the plans of SIKE? What development will the 3D Atlas get?
Yulia Chudinova: ─ SIKE will continue to develop the 3D Atlas. We plan to expand the range of tasks that it solves. To do this, we conduct mass testing of the 3D Atlas both on students of educational organizations and among clients – manufacturing companies. Based on the comments and suggestions received, we will draw up requirements for the 3D Atlas for further implementation.

Using the link below, you can leave a request for free access to the "Car Structure" 3D Atlas and see its capabilities!