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Photo: Vinicius "amnx" Amano

Distributed embodied training for process operators

Northvolt's establishment in Skellefteå means a need for up to 3,000 operators, and recruitment needs to be done on a broad basis. Training and on-boarding should be distributed and at a fast pace before the real production environment is even completed, which means major challenges logistically and educationally. Can "XR" solve these challenges?

Recent times have seen a rapid development in performance, user-friendliness and thereby possible applications of "immersive" technologies, so-called XR technologies (VR, AR, MR). There are already many examples that show that these technologies are becoming applied in the process industry. We see for example that these technologies allow for “embodied” learning scenarios, but also that they have positive sustainability aspects as they potentially allow distributed distance training. Could these technologies be used to solve Northvolt's challenges regarding large recruitment and training needs?

To examine how XR technologies can be part of Northvolt's training and on-boarding work, and build a long-term sustainable business plan around this, this project is carried out by a cross-disciplinary consortium representing different fields: interaction design and lifelong learning (RISE), XR development (Arctic Gamelab, in this project represented by Creative Crowd), business models around industrial solutions (LTU Business) and local connections to industry, business and education through Skellefteå municipality.

In this first step, the potential of this will be explored from a number of aspects through a feasibility study. This will then result in a basis for further developement, that has been build on a thorough examination of the possibilities, but also challenges that exist for implementing XR in process industrial on-boarding and training. The documentation includes suggestions for the most suitable technology (hardware/software), how the XR environments can be integrated into existing educational infrastructure, which business models are suitable, and how the XR experiences should be designed based on learning design and interaction design. This information will then be able to be used as support for one or more major research and development projects, with the intention of developing, testing and implementing a pilot of a sustainable distributed XR training system for Northvolt. Such a system can also have major implications for industrial establishment and industrial change nationally in the long term and is therefore relevant not only for Northvolt, but for the Swedish and European process industry in general.

The project has been conducted with support from the Strategic innovation programme Processindustrial IT and Automation "Strategiska innovationsprogrammet Processindustriell IT och Automation", a joint effort by Vinnova, Formas and the Swedish Energy Agency.

Summary

Project name

Distributed Embodied Training

Status

Completed

Region

Region Västerbotten

RISE role in project

Project manager

Project start

Duration

2021-04-09

Partner

Northvolt AB, LTU Business, Creative Crowd AB, Skellefteå Municipality

Funders

Vinnova SIP PiiA

Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

4. Quality education
5. Gender equality
7. Affordable and clean energy
8. Decent work and economic growth
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
10. Reduced inequalities
Fredrik Trella

Contact person

Fredrik Trella

Researcher Developer

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Contact person

Fredrik Nilbrink

Senior Software Developer

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