‘Serious games’: Ottawa’s Simutech enters 3D simulation space

Simutech CEO Samer Forzley
Simutech CEO Samer Forzley

An Ottawa company that makes a simulator that teaches workers how to repair and maintain factory equipment is bringing a whole new dimension to its products.

This week, Simutech Multimedia announced it has launched a 3D version of its software application. Simutech’s troubleshooting platform is designed to train the next generation of industrial maintenance workers to diagnose problems and repair complex electrical systems on factory floors.

Rather than forcing repair workers to learn on actual machinery, the new 3D simulator allows them to practise using virtual wrenches, screwdrivers and other tools in a risk-free environment, says Simutech CEO Samer Forzley.

“We’re in the ‘serious games’ category,” says Forzley, who joined the company in late 2017. “It’s fun when we actually show it to the customer. They go, ‘Yeah, I can use this.’ And that’s very rewarding.”

The veteran tech executive says the new system is capable of integrating fully immersive virtual reality technology into the training process, but “customers are not there yet.” Forzley says the 3D platform also incorporates “very basic” AI algorithms that can learn how individual workers approach tasks and modify the training process accordingly.

“As the data gets collected, it will evolve, for sure,” he added.

Founded in 1995, Simutech now supplies training software to more than 1,000 customers, including major multinational corporations such as Amazon, Kraft, Pepsi and Toyota, as well as post-secondary institutions such as Algonquin College and professional associations. Last year, the company signed a partnership with the Canadian Elevator Industry Educational Program to develop a method to troubleshoot repairs on elevator doors.

Forzley says the company is now at 23 employees and expects to boost its headcount to 34 by the end of the year as its revenues grow and its client base continues to expand.

“We’re on pace for what we want to be at,” he says. “We’re in a good place.”