CECAMM - Experiencing the Lincoln Electric VRTEX 360 Compact Welding Simulator

by Rapid Welding 28. January 2022 09:47

Last week we had the pleasure of visiting CECAMM, the Isle of Wight’s centre of excellence for engineering education and training. Opened in 2017, CECAMM offers students the chance to gain knowledge and skills to enter their chosen field through engineering courses and apprenticeships, with the aim to create a world-class workforce and boost long-term economic success for the island.

The facilities at CECAMM are impressive to say the least. A modern purpose-built building, CECAMM has workshops and classrooms for study programmes such as Boat Construction and Design, CNC Programming, Fabrication, Marine Engineering and MIG, MAG and TIG Welding - it was for the latter programme that the college purchased three new Kemppi FastMig X's and three Kemppi MLS 3003 AC/DC Tig machines from Rapid for their welding bays!

There’s a huge range of industry standard equipment and machinery on hand to the students, and while CECAMM is a state-of-the art facility, learners have access not only to the very latest equipment but also older machines as well, affording the future generation of welders and engineers a broad range of experience and skills reflective of the demands of a real-world workplace.

Rapid has close ties to the Isle of Wight and a strong customer base, and we were delighted to have the opportunity to supply CECAMM once again with the latest cutting-edge training technology aimed at cultivating young welding talent efficiently, and this was the reason for our visit, to see the Lincoln Electric VRTEX 360 Compact welding simulator in action in a ‘classroom’ setting.  

Fully portable, the VRTEX 360 Compact can be set up anywhere and offers the following simulated processes:GMAW (Short Circuit, Spray, Pulse), GTAW (with Filler, Pulse with Filler, without Filler), FCAW (Gas Shield, Self shield), SMAW (E7018, E 6010, E60139). As one student interacts with the system, the rest of the group watches and learns through observation and group discussion. It was encouraging to witness a group of students in a session provide real-time feedback to each other, offering tips and making corrections – peer learning in all its effective glory.  One tutor noted that in a two hour session with the VRTEX 360 Compact, they hadn’t seen any of the students take their phone out once, highlighting instead the engagement shown and how the learning experience promoted discussion and inclusion, as well as a bit of healthy competitiveness! The VRTEX 360 Compact is definitely not going to be kept in a box for special occasions at CECAMM, this is going to be an invaluable training tool used on a daily basis! 

From a teaching perspective, the tutor explained that the VRTEX 360 Compact would make learning sessions much more effective and productive. Rather than teaching one student in a welding bay, they can teach a whole group of students together, before heading off into individual welding bays. It’s a great tool to digitally follow performance, progress, and improvements as well as maintaining a training record.

Fully portable, the VRTEX 360 Compact can be set up anywhere and even be linked to a big screen to allow for bigger audiences! The whole VRTEX 360 Compact set up is flexible enough to be taken into schools, encouraging young people to discover welding and consider it as a career choice. CECAMM are also hosting an open day this coming Saturday, so why not see for yourself the VRTEX 360 Compact in action?

As well as engaging our future welders, the VRTEX 360 Compact has other uses too. Qualified welders may want to prove their level of skill, or it may be a requirement of employment. The VRTEX 360 Compact allows greater flexibility in carrying out industry skill tests so welders can get to work.

Let’s talk waste! There can be a lot of waste in a welding college, and the cost and availability of steel to practice with can prevent delays in learning. Not a problem with the VRTEX 360 Compact system, which is easy to set up so welders can practice real-world cutting applications with no hold ups.


All in all, the VRTEX 360 Compact provides excellent welding training and optional thermal oxy-fuel cutting training in one virtual device. This one-of-a-kind feature allows the future generation of welders and engineers to develop their skills with the most current equipment available, helping them prepare for the future and hopefully successful and rewarding careers, They will certainly have an excellent start at CECAMM! 

Rapid’s Managing Director, Roy Edwards said,Taking the students from Playstation to welding station. This engaging and measurable teaching aid goes a long way to inspiring our future welders, helping bridge the very real skills shortage we are all currently suffering from. Well done to CECAMM for making this investment.” 

Discover your future - CECAMM'S Open Day is Saturday 29th January 22.

For more information about CECAMM and how to apply for engineering courses and apprenticeships, please visit their website: www.cecamm.co.uk 

Visit Rapid to discover more about the Lincoln VRTEX® 360 Compact Virtual Reality Trainer



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