May 2015

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Virtual welder added


A new machine inside the welding shop at LBW Community College in Opp provides a learning opportunity without the waste.

“We recently added a new virtual reality welder to train students,” said David Brawner, LBWCC welding instructor. “It’s green technology and gives students a lot more training time without using metal or consumables.”

The Lincoln Electric VRTEX 360 virtual reality arc welding training system provides a hands-on training experience, allowing students more completion opportunities than traditional training, he said.

“With computer generated data, students ‘see’ a virtual welding job through the helmet’s internal monitors. The virtual weld is simultaneously displayed on the computer screen. Then, following the practice weld, the computer provides real-time technique feedback.”

Because there is no metal, shielding gas, rods, or other welding consumables needed for this type training, students have increased practice time.

“What would take several hours to cut the metal and prepare for a weld, students can now get in just a few minutes,” said Brawner. “The system saves energy, reduces the use of costly materials, and avoids creating waste.”

Purchased through a workforce development grant, the new equipment is adaptable for training basic welding students to advanced welders, he said.

“This equipment brings LBW’s welding program to a whole new level,” said Brawner. “With most welders in the field at or nearing retirement age, there is a high demand for trained welders all across the nation. Now, we can give our students a lot more practice in preparation for a welding career.”

For more information on LBWCC’s welding program, call 334-493-5354, email, or visit the website at

LBW Community College in Opp now offers green technology in the welding program. David Brawner, welding instructor, right, observes student Dillon Maulden of Troy practice a weld using new virtual welding equipment.

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Lurleen B. Wallace Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges or SACSCOC to award the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Applied Science degrees and certificates. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College.