At the Taco Comfort Solutions booth at this year’s AHR Expo, the company had a new twist—a virtual reality (VR) demo and a glimpse into the future of training. Mechanical Hub caught up with Dave Holdorf, Product & Application Instructor – East for Taco. Here is what Dave had to say:
With the success of the Taco training department in the residential and commercial realms, as well as our webinar series of Taco Tuesday and Taco After Dark, what could be next? We have asked customers over the years what can we do to make the training experience better? The number one answer has always been more hands on. I would then ask, “how do we do that, you mean like installing a circulator and zone valves, joining pipe and flanges and tightening bolts … you mean like work on a jobsite you were at earlier in the week?” VR gives us that ability now—building a system, repairing the seals and bearing in a split case commercial pump, things like that.
Imagine maintenance on that split case pump is coming up and you have never, ever taken one apart much less seen one in the wild, but it‘s now your responsibility to do the repair in an effective and allowable timeframe. What are the proper steps … is there a YouTube video you can watch the night before … so much pressure to get the job done right.
Now imagine a call to us and we can meet you in the “mechanical room” with that very pump in front of us. We’re standing right next to each other virtually, but you’re in Walla Walla, Washington and we‘re in Cranston, R.I. rebuilding it with you—greatly improving your confidence level, and ready for the next day. With this capability, you know the sequence, you know the names of the parts, what to look for and what not to do.
In the end, attendees of the show were surprised, but not too much. I mean, the training department has been up to so much over the last decade bringing content online and in person that it wasn’t surprising that Taco would try to increase out reach even further.
Of course, we’re just scratching the surface of where we can go with this!