The Miller® LiveArc™ welding performance management system is a new and innovative reality-based training system that utilizes a live welding arc. It’s designed to recruit, screen, train, re-qualify and manage the performance of weld operators — better, faster and more cost-effectively than traditional methods.
Advanced motion-tracking technology provides the critical feedback required for improvement of baseline welding skills. With an easy-to-use touch screen interface, users can guide themselves through assignment selection and pre-weld feedback to acquire desired techniques before moving to actual live arc training experiences.
When Miller® decided to build the LiveArc™ system, they looked to us for assistance in the design and development of the core software. In addition, we managed the overall product development using agile development practices.
From a software engineering point of view LiveArc™ was a unique, interesting, and challenging system to build. The interface needed to be touchable with bulky welding gloves while being clean and easy to understand for the user.
In addition to the UI and UX challenges, LiveArc™ needed to read real-time data at 8 millisecond intervals from a 3D spatial camera, process the data with complex algorithms and plot all this to the screen for the welder to see.
Ultimately, the LiveArc™ system was delivered as a standalone system containing the computer, touch screen, operating system and the LiveArc™ software pre-loaded. The LiveArc™ application was built using Windows Presentation Framework (WPF) with the data being stored in a combination of a Microsoft SQL CE database and JSON files. It originally ran on Windows 8.1 and was successfully migrated to Windows 10.
From a project management standpoint, the LiveArc™ project offered some interesting challenges. The LiveArc™ team was comprised of electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, product specialists, embedded software engineers, and application software engineers - requiring individuals with many different and unique skills to work together to bring LiveArc™ to fruition. We applied its deep experience with agile management practices to guide the team to a successful project delivery.
In the end, we met all the project management and software engineering challenges head-on and helped Miller® build a state of the art weld training system.
About Miller Electric
Miller Electric is an arc welding and cutting equipment manufacturing company based in Appleton, Wisconsin. It has grown from a one-man operation selling products in Northeastern Wisconsin to what is today one of the world's largest manufacturers of arc welding and cutting equipment.