ExxonMobil Uses Virtual Reality to Train Employees

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BATON ROUGE – The 10/12 Industry Report says that ExxonMobil will use virtual reality-based modules to train workers remotely to perform jobs at its new $500 million polypropylene plant in Baton Rouge. The modules will immerse operators in a computer-generated environment to perform critical tasks, and will simulate a physical presence in a nonphysical world to guide them through various scenarios.

“We had no idea how important this would become,” said Kenneth Miller, a retired ExxonMobil engineering manager. ““During the pandemic, this ability has provided an added value that we didn’t anticipate.”

Developers collaborated closely with ExxonMobil experts to develop each VR component and create a realistic space. Roughly 50% plant personnel have participated in the process.

Keith Wannamaker, a manufacturing manager at ExxonMobil, said the technology can attract a younger generation of workers. 

The plant has hired some 60 new operators, Wannamaker said, “and they’re very excited and comfortable with the idea of using the technology.”

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