Safety and completeness are important quality characteristics for KLM Catering Services when loading and unloading ‘galleys’ (aircraft kitchens). It goes without saying that the standard times also have to be met. And that requires trained catering drivers.
Virtual reality for a safe and complete turnaround
In partnership with KLM Catering Services, UP developed a VR training course in which drivers practice unloading and loading by themselves. This makes it unnecessary to physically recreate a galley for each aircraft type. The drivers can also train with or without an instructor and independent of location.
“We see a bright future for training via VR. The fact that, with UP’s help, we’ve discovered how to make smart use of the power of VR is already a win for us.”
VR training for your sandwich
You board an aircraft through the kitchen, or the ‘galley’. Your mind is already on holiday and you barely remember to give the crew a friendly greeting. But have you ever stopped to think about the logistical process needed to supply you and your fellow passengers with coffee, a sandwich and all those yummy aromas? Probably not. Let alone thinking about the employees who take care of this and how they are trained. The process is more modern than you might think; it uses VR.
Practical experience is essential, but difficult to train
In order for catering drivers to change trolleys and containers in different types of galleys in accordance with the required standards, practical experience is essential. And that takes practice. But classroom training is not very effective for training when it comes to spatial awareness. Rebuilding all of the layouts for the different galleys is extremely impractical. Up to now, it has only been possible to practice unloading and loading under personal supervision. But all that is changing.
Interactive and realistic learning experience
The VR galley is a realistic virtual training environment consisting of an interactive 3D galley, complete with trolleys, containers, ovens, doors, position locks and buttons. You practice reading the position labels, translating them to the spatial location in the galley and executing the action as if you were actually there. Instruction and feedback are linked to the location and action. For example, a container lights up when mentioned in the instruction and a feedback video appears if you make a mistake somewhere.
An impression of the VR training course
The VR training course is fully 3D and consists of five lessons. These lessons take place in the VR galley of a Boeing 737-900. You are first given the opportunity to get used to VR and learn how to perform actions and move around. Animations and visual support make for a special learning experience. The final lesson is a test in which the catering driver unloads and loads the entire galley. Here, they apply all the knowledge from the lessons about equipment and special operations.
Direct feedback on right and wrong actions
The lesson can be taken independently or under supervision, as desired. Feedback on correct and incorrect actions is provided via video. But the trainer can also watch and provide direct feedback or extra assignments.
And you? Maybe the next time you board a plane and greet the crew, you might just pay a little more attention to everything in the galley.