GM’s Opel Is Using Video Games to Train Employees
Video games have become a huge part of our culture, but their worth goes far beyond entertainment (and improved hand-eye coordination). GM’s own European brand, Opel, is actually using video games to train employees to prep for assembly.
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It’s pretty simple. Opel will be using a Wii controller and a Microsoft Kinect camera to train new employees before sticking them on the assembly lines.
“We want a system that allows employees to virtually train in a familiar environment,” remarked Frank Arlt, the lead on the VISTRA (Virtual Simulation and Training of Assembly and Service Processes in Digital Factories) research project at GM’s Opel.
Virtual training will replace some prototype training, but not fully. Doing so will cut down costs tremendously, which will translate into savings for the consumer. But cutting down on prototype training and ramping up virtual training won’t hurt the assembly process. In fact, it will help.
According to GM, an evaluation of VISTRA revealed that mistakes go down by 40% when people are virtually trained.
It’s not clear whether General Motors will extend the project to its American assembly lines, but if they do, we may all consider picking up some shifts there. Getting paid to play with video games? Not a bad way to spend the day.