Moving training from the field to a virtual environment proves to be safer, more efficient and less expensive
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Saritasa Technology Solutions, a software partner that provides innovative products and solutions to its customers, has developed a new virtual reality (VR) training system for Loadstar, a logistics and material handling service provider. products. The system provides a safe and interactive training environment that is faster, more efficient and safer than previous training programs.
Loadstar is the first logistics and product handling company to deploy virtual reality for staff training. In an industry that emphasizes on-the-job training and retention of workers in the field, Loadstar has taken a different strategy. They put safety and education first by bringing the onsite experience to trainees using virtual reality.
Saritasa has developed a comprehensive general purpose rail car loading and inspection application. Trainees can practice performing all the steps required for a standard inspection without having to travel to site or work with trainers. Using virtual reality, trainees get hands-on interaction, including visual quizzes and realistic animations. Virtual reality provides a more realistic experience and shortens the training process from weeks to days.
“We believe that the safety and well-being of our employees starts with training,” said Stephen Williams, Director of Operational Excellence. “Traditionally, our industry has relied on classroom sessions and manual on-the-job training. Some employees have described it as ‘death by powerpoint,’ and they’re not wrong. Loadstar is always geared towards the “future and we wanted to bring the latest technology to our training program to create the safest environment possible. Working with Saritasa, we have designed a state-of-the-art training program that is more cost effective and efficient.”
Prior to adopting virtual reality for railcar inspection and loading training, Loadstar utilized extensive classroom training with lectures, presentations and study materials. After the classroom training was completed, new employees had to apply the material they had just learned to real-life field operations. This process could take several weeks, as the training was entirely dependent on the number and type of wagons arriving on site on any given day. Now they are able to onboard and qualify operators in a fraction of the time.
The use of virtual reality not only speeds up hands-on training, but also standardizes training procedures. On site, the quality of training may vary due to a number of factors; the manager on duty, the quantity or type of wagons on site and the environmental risks. VR training eliminates any gaps and provides a solid foundation for every employee. It emulates on-the-job training to provide a pre-site training experience, reducing the time and cost required for on-site training.
“Developing a virtual training program for Loadstar is the ideal project for creative and skilled technologists at Saritasa,” said Aaron Franko, Vice President of Immersive Technology at Saritasa. “Railcar inspection training involves many steps, including examining around, under and over different types of railcars. Our 3D design team was able to reproduce a realistic environment while optimizing the performance of the helmet, and we are extremely satisfied with the result.
Loadstar provides product handling services to refineries, chemical plants, barges, terminals and distribution sites, loading and unloading cargo of all classifications into railcars, trucks, barges and vessels. Loadstar operates docks, tank yards, terminals and warehouses, managing ocean, rail, truck and pipeline logistics. The company is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Based in Newport Beach, Calif., Saritasa aims to empower global brands with innovative, personalized solutions that meet their needs and support an ever-changing technology ecosystem. Saritasa specializes in custom software development, mobile development, augmented reality and virtual reality development, IoT solutions, web, database development and DevOps. Founded in 2005, the Saritasa team employs over 140 employees and has delivered thousands of successful software, hardware and mobile application projects to a range of clients across multiple industries.
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