Local employees are relying on innovative technology to perfect their welding skills.
Wallace State Community College held a virtual welding training for International Paper Friday morning. Participants were educated about the proper way to wield using Wallace’s virtual welding machines, instructor-based soft skills training and computer skills and customized videos produced from the Advanced Visualization Department.
“This right here is going to save material. When we’re doing the big process, it’s going to save gas,” welding instructor Eddie Harrison said. “They’ll still get a chance to really go through the process without actually using all of the metal.”
The college is able to fund the classes through a $21,967 grant they were awarded for training with Renosol Seating and Globe Metallurgical.
WCCS also provided training for Bush Hog and Honda Lock America.
Chris Smith, GM maintenance apprentice International Paper Riverdale Mill, said it was definitely worth the time and effort to take the virtual welding class. Smith said he was able to properly learn how to correct his techniques in rod-depth, speed, body positioning and more.
“A lot of us have developed less than great habits,” Smith at said. “This was an opportunity to correct those habits and actually see in real time as we were doing it what we were doing wrong.”
Smith stressed the importance of learning how to properly well.
“Depending on whether you were welding pipe or structural, as soon as put it in service those bad habits can cause a failure and put somebody in harms’ way immediately,” Smith said.
WCCS president Dr. James Mitchell said new equipment is vital to growth.
“We continue to provide customized training for business and industry in our service area,” Mitchell wrote in a press release. “In order to help enhance their growth and vitality, we must provide cutting edge training through technology.”
[wccs_img src=”http://img.wccs.edu/img/news/International_Paper_Training_sm.jpg” href=”http://img.wccs.edu/img/news/International_Paper_Training.jpg” alt=”WCCS welding instructor Calvin Griffin, left, views a display screen as an International Paper employee uses the virtual welder.” title=”WCCS welding instructor Calvin Griffin, left, views a display screen as an International Paper employee uses the virtual welder.”]