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Grundfos reduces training time from 6 weeks to 4 days with VR

Before using VR, Grundfos employees would spend weeks learning how to operate a machine together with a trainer - both timely and costly. With virtual reality, Grundfos gives employees an untethered, on-demand training experience. 

The Challenge

A key challenge in large companies these days is based on efficient retention and redistribution of key knowledge in order to ensure valuable knowledge is not held solely by individual employees but is distributed through the company on a global scale.

Grundfos developed several focus points with the purpose of ensuring key knowledge was achieved, retained and efficiently distributed throughout the organization. Two of these focus points being speed and optimization of production. This required a consistent and high-quality solution for training of employees across the organization. Traditionally, when training a new employee, it required expert assistance from a senior employee who would manage the training in the use of a specific machine. Furthermore, the specific machine used for training was removed from the work-flow, interrupting the production flow and causing slow learning processes and erratic quality.

Therefore, it was important not just to distribute and retain knowledge, but to standardize the learning experience in order to increase the overall quality of employee training on a global scale by offering the same training process to all Grundfos employees.

The platform includes seven different virtual reality training applications, all aiming at educating employees in several processes in different locations. Most of the applications are targeted production workers, where training consists of completing a series of virtual versions of physical installations of machines, such as montage, measures of depth and centering, assembling construction parts, and packing a completed pump and preparing it for transportation.

By utilizing Virtual Reality, the training sessions become interactive and intuitive, which creates the optimal conditions for a successful “learning-by-doing” process as the applications allow employees’ physical movements to be mirrored in the virtual environment. Users complete a series of steps with interactive guidance from voice, text or visual guides, which can be altered depending on needs and competencies, thus adjusting the level of difficulty.

The Solution

At SynergyXR we work with the philosophy of learning by doing. In order to improve retention of new knowledge we aimed to make training instructions interactive and intuitive. Virtual reality presents some interesting opportunities for such a solution and the HTC Vive was an obvious choice, due to its handheld controllers. In cooperation with Grundfos, we developed a training module for their employees to use. The platform will ensure a higher standard of training and understanding of tasks and thereby preserve key knowledge, which is a priority for the company.

Training employees in virtual reality has shown impressive results at Grundfos. The benefits of VR training compared to traditional training can be divided into two categories, cognitive and structural value, both contributing to business -and employee value.

Cognitively, VR fosters experience-based learning due to its interactive and immersive nature, which has been proved to increase the employee’s ability to retain new knowledge. Employees simply learn faster. Furthermore, training in a virtual replica of the real world, means that employees can fail without any consequences and material damage. For Grundfos employees, this creates a feeling of personal safety, making the learning experience more motivating, as expressed by the employees themselves.

Structurally, Grundfos has been able to standardize and digitalize knowledge on a global scale. The training applications are currently implemented in Hungary, China, Serbia, and Denmark, and employees can complete the training in five different languages. Thus, employees receive consistent high-quality training across countries and factories. Furthermore, VR training means no downtime on machines when training, no accidents and costs of such, and finally, VR training are found to significantly reduce the training time for new employees at Grundfos.