The Growth of Serious Games

The Growth of Serious Games

Serious games might be a new concept to some, but Sue Bohle saw its potential more than a decade ago. She is executive director of the Serious Games Association and produces the Serious Play Conference, which gathers both those who create serious games and simulations and those who implement them.  One of the speakers tapped to speak at both the events this year is Simutech Multimedia CEO Samer Forzley.

The tremendous growth and potential of serious games in education and training programs is rapidly climbing. According to the industry analyst firm Metaari, revenue from programs based on hands on, experiential learning known as serious games hit $3.5 billion in 2018 and is predicted to grow to more than $17 billion by 2023.

The potential of using video game technology and gamification methods is just beginning in workforce development for the manufacturing industry. However, as Randstad noted in its whitepaper on how technology impacts the workplace, Simutech Multimedia is leading the way in the industry.

To hear more about the future of serious games being used in manufacturing and the impact it will have, be sure to attend Samer Forzley’s presentation at the Serious Play Conference either this week in Montreal or later this month in Florida!

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Product Updates July 2019

Product Updates July 2019

We’ve told you all about our new 3D simulation training tool, Troubleshooting Industrial Sensors (TIS), but the news is about to get more exciting. We’ve updated the software to make the user experience that much better. Like previous Simutech training modules, the TIS instructional simulation allows users to encounter real-world situations in a controlled and safe environment.

So what’s new? 

  • Improved navigation in the greenhouse
  • Updated environmental controls 
  • Improved wiring 
  • Brand-new sounds 
  • Enhanced right-click menu
  • Message opt-outs 
  • Specifications for all components 
  • Calibrate the light and humidity sensors
  • Ability to replace all components, including wires
  • Adjustable overload settings 
  • Louvers repair functions 
  • Help system implemented
  • Options menu to change screen resolution

Stay tuned for more updates in the upcoming weeks.

Still deciding if this software is the right training tool? The software is designed to help users understand analog inputs, increase troubleshooting efficiency, and decrease downtime all in a safe and fun environment. Get a taste of the software with a free demo!

About Simutech Multimedia
Since 1995, Simutech Multimedia has helped over 500 global manufacturing companies and 200 schools onboard electrical maintenance staff, in a safe, software-based environment. Using a proven systematic method, their simulation software has helped these companies hire and train maintenance staff faster—leading to increased safety, lower rates of injury and reduced downtime on the factory floor.

For media inquiries, contact:
Debra Schug
Marketing Communications Manager, Simutech Multimedia
Phone: 312.818.8876
Email: [email protected]

For sales inquiries, contact:
Simutech Multimedia at [email protected]

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Simutech Multimedia CEO to speak at Serious Play Conference as leader in the field of gamification in manufacturing

Simutech Multimedia CEO to speak at Serious Play Conference as leader in the field of gamification in manufacturing

We are thrilled that our CEO Samer Forzley has been asked to speak at not just one, but TWO of the Serious Play Conferences this summer!

Now in its 11th year, the Serious Play Conference brings together both those who create serious games/simulations and those who implement game-based learning programs. The speakers at the leadership conference are the most experienced developers and designers in the industry, the top academic researchers and senior program heads from education, corporate, healthcare, government/military, museums and other emerging areas.

Our CEO is honored that he’ll be addressing both Serious Play Conference crowds in Montreal on July 11th and Orlando, Florida on July 25. But his message is an important one at this time when the manufacturing industry continues to struggle to attract and retain skilled next-gen workers. As the plant floor becomes increasingly automated, the number of skilled laborers will continue to tighten and exacerbate the skills gap problem.

Simutech Multimedia believes the best way to solve this problem is train people now with immersive and effective training programs that incorporate 3D simulation and gamification techniques. If you are going to either conference, please let us know!

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How simulation software can help fix the perception of manufacturing

How simulation software can help fix the perception of manufacturing

In his latest video, CEO Samer Forzley discusses the changing image the public holds about manufacturing. Until recently, and for some it still holds true, people thought of manufacturing jobs as performing dirty work in dark and dingy environments.

Perhaps, those images of plant floors in the early 1900s were still somehow pervading the public’s perception and could possibly be why so many for so long had steered young people away from joining the industry. Many of us in manufacturing knew this was untrue and began to push out a lot of content to try to refute those claims.

As our communications manager Debra Schug has recently written about for Smart Industry, it seems that antiquated perception is starting to change. A recent poll by West Monroe Partners shows younger people in Minnesota now view manufacturing as tech-savvy and tech-forward. This seems to be a positive finding, however, the second part of the same poll shows these respondents believe that automation will replace their jobs, making manufacturing not an attractive career choice for them.

Automation-driven manufacturing also appears to be widening the skills gap, with less and less people having the knowledge and know-how to deal with advanced technology and equipment. That’s where Simutech Multimedia’s simulation software can help. We have products that can help you learn how to troubleshoot and fix a PLC and our latest 3D simulation software that is focused on industrial sensors.

To see more of Samer’s video, please watch it here.

 

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LiveWorx 2019: IIOT and the future of manufacturing work

LiveWorx 2019: IIOT and the future of manufacturing work

Simutech Multimedia heads to LiveWorx 2019 in Boston this June!

As we anticipate Simutech Multimedia CEO Samer Forzley presenting at LiveWorx on June 11 in Boston, we wanted to give a preview of his presentation on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and its impact on the manufacturing workforce.

In the first part of our IIoT series , we took a look at how IIoT is transforming the plant floor and why it is still important to invest in workers by equipping them with the skills needed to troubleshoot failing equipment. In the next part of this series, we will take a look at how IIoT could affect the future of manufacturing work and steps for organizations to take to start preparing for that change.

Because the industry is, on a whole, undergoing digital transformation, many organizations are starting to take a look at their processes and figuring out what can be improved by adapting new technology and connecting the whole enterprise. However, many businesses don’t realize until they are in the weeds that preparing operations to face Industry 4.0 and come out on top will necessitate more than changing some production lines, but rather the entire operation.  

Having a roadmap to navigate the uncertain future is more critical than ever, so we’ve put together a few concepts for the new rulebook:

  1. Leadership: Manufacturers must recognize that transforming traditional operations starts with leadership and having a plan. We are moving into a new era, which will require a strong vision from leaders to get the buy in from everyone in the organization before the change can begin.
  2. Flexibility: Operations will need to be flexible and able to go into different directions at the same time. For instance, increasing technology in the workplace can alienate workers, so employee engagement will also need to be increased. Putting in place a systems-thinking framework can be helpful for workers to understand how the whole business is related to each other and changing one area will affect other parts, so everyone being open to change will help the business as a whole.
  3. Collaboration: Organizations in the industry will have to work together more and share best practices with each other. Overcoming challenges that the uncharted territory of digital transformation will bring alone is likely to be a rough road to travel. Instead, companies will need to discuss their lessons learned and bounce ideas off one another.
  4. Cultural change: Organizations will have to acknowledge that they are undergoing a total transformation, in both their production processes and their culture. One of the biggest misconceptions of Industry 4.0 is that it involves just equipment. Also, the time and commitment required to change an organization’s culture can be vastly underestimated.

These are the changes that IIoT might bring to manufacturing, but what can your business do now to prepare? First, take the proactive approach by equipping your workers with the technical skills they will need to face the future. According to Deloitte’s new study, 2.4 million manufacturing jobs are predicted to go unfilled in the next decade. This unprecedented number is being caused by a number of factors, including vast amounts of Baby Boomers retiring, a dearth of skilled workers and the younger generation not seeing manufacturing as a viable career.

But not just any training program will do. How well you train your workers will directly correlate with how well your company and workforce will be prepared for the IIoT future ahead. So what should you be looking for in a training program?

  1. Creates problem solvers: Find a training program that teaches critical-thinking skills. In manufacturing, workers who can troubleshoot is important for dealing with failures that inevitably happen with automated production lines in order to correct problems as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  2. Effective: Simply put, make sure your training program works. Investing in people to put them through training that isn’t effective is a waste of time and money, not to mention a real morale killer. And this goes for not just new hires, but existing workers as well. Upskilling your existing workforce will be essential in the digital future ahead. If you invest in new technology without the training, it’s possible this new technology won’t be used at all.
  3. Uses new tools: Among the advanced technologies entering into manufacturing plants is simulation, which has proven successful in training applications. Many companies and industries, including construction, are realizing new tools like simulation more efficiently train workers.  
  4. Scale: Being able to teach more workers will become increasingly important as the skills gap worsens. As mentioned above, many manufacturing jobs are predicted to go unfilled because so many people lack the skills to do the jobs. You will have to find ways to assess and train a lot of people quickly and efficiently, so make sure your training program is up for the task.

Training is paramount to incorporating new technology into your processes, which can then transform your organization. To survive and thrive in the digital revolution, your business will need the help of your people. Your job is to make sure they are prepared to do so.

We hope you feel inspired to prepare your workforce for the IIoT future of manufacturing. If you’d like to hear more from Samer himself, we’d love for you to join us at LiveWorx this June in Boston!

 

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IIOT and the human element

IIOT and the human element

As we anticipate Simutech Multimedia CEO Samer Forzley presenting at LiveWorx on June 11 in Boston, we wanted to give a little preview on his topic of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and its impact on the manufacturing workforce.

Since we are in the dawn of IIoT, manufacturing is not what it was in your grandfather’s day. Advances in technology are making the industry smarter, cleaner and leaner, with more plants employing devices like PLCs and sensors and connecting them to the enterprise.

A report from Deloitte Insights entitled “The Smart Factory” explains this new way of operations as “ a leap forward from more traditional automation to a fully connected and flexible system—one that can use a constant stream of data from connected operations and production systems to learn and adapt to new demands.”

Some analysts are predicting that in certain industries, such as material handling, breakthroughs in robotics and artificial intelligence will be driving operations close to complete automation in possibly five to 10 years. More sensors, connectivity and analytics are resulting in enormous changes in production and the capabilities of what can be achieved in facilities.

Collecting data is not new in manufacturing plants, it’s been done for awhile now, but what was being done with the data is questionable. In some operations, historical data was collected, but just sitting on the server. However, now historical data can be put through a machine-learning algorithm to predict defects in products produced. The result? Safer and better products produced with less waste.

What’s more is that plant machinery, powered by AI, is enabled to self-correct itself, thus, preventing even more failures and reducing downtime. However, what IIoT isn’t great at is predicting atypical, but certain events. When introducing an IIoT solution into a manufacturing plant, the environment it is being released in is a wildly unpredictable place. As we all know, the real world is strange, and like the adage associated with Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

Anticipating million-to-one events might not seem like an enormous problem, until the number of IIoT devices employed are in the millions themselves. Then million-to-one events won’t be that unlikely.

When advanced automation devices fail, the results can be catastrophic. A worst-case scenario example of this is the recent Boeing accident, which early investigations are pointing to a faulty sensor at the root of the cause in tandem with other failures. The result has been a tragic loss of human lives as well as financial costs estimated at $1 billion for the company.

Of course, there is no comparison to the scale of the human suffering caused by this failure and the downtime caused by a sensor failing on a production line. However, what the two examples do have in common is when the equipment cannot fix itself and there is a major problem, human intervention will be needed to troubleshoot the situation.

No matter how close the industry is to “lights out” manufacturing, investing in workers and equipping them with the skills and know-how to fix an equipment failure will still be needed. After all, if the devices meant to boost productivity and efficiency are down, then they aren’t doing too much to help the bottom line, are they?

As for our customers, we are definitely seeing a rise in those looking to thoroughly understand PLCs and advanced automation devices, which is why we came out with our newest Troubleshooting Industrial Sensors Module.

But more than just simply meet a training need in the industry, we decided to use a 3D simulation platform for the module. We strongly believe that in order to be effective, training should be an immersive experience. Our newest module is designed to have a more realistic look and feel of an industrial environment, so users can understand the complexities of the modern manufacturing plant in a safe space.

In the next part of our IIoT series, we will take a look at how IIoT could affect the future of manufacturing work. And please join us at LiveWorx this June in Boston!

 

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