Finland-based Neste is working on technology that may find its way into education and training in various industries around the world – including the printing industry, where it could be instrumental in training everyone from aspiring graphic communications students to press operators and other employees. Neste EduCycle is a learning tool that utilizes augmented reality. It helps users to see how our choices affect the climate. The project represents the next step Neste is about to take – expanding the company’s technological expertise in renewable raw materials to new areas such as plastics and chemicals. And because printing is at the forefront of sustainability initiatives, the technology could prove useful to commercial printing and related industries around the globe.
Using augmented reality, EduCycle facilitates understanding of the cycle of coal and the impact of our choices on the climate and the environment. By adding different elements – such as buildings, cars and trees – to the platform, users can see how nature reacts to these elements. The EduCycle prototype should be completed in the spring of 2017 in cooperation with Aalto University in Finland. It’ll be built utilizing renewable raw materials as much as possible. Neste is also committed to enabling the production of the prototype, and I suspect many in the graphic communications industry will be highly motivated to examine the final prototype and find alternate uses.
“Neste is the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and, in the future, we will be much more. This is why we’re working actively to develop the use of renewable raw materials, also in other products and services,” said Matti Lievonen, President and CEO of Neste. “The long-term objective of the project is to illustrate that there’s massive potential around us to use renewable materials and to build completely new kinds of products and services.”
In September, Neste and IKEA announced that they’ve joined forces to become leading providers of renewable bio-based materials and plastics. IKEA’s long-term objective is to use plastics manufactured only from renewable or recycled raw materials in its home furnishings – and Neste “has the solution to manufacture renewable plastics.”
We’ve talked at length about augmented reality in the printing industry, especially as regards to the packaging sector better engaging consumers. But we seldom mention training and education in the same breath. I suspect this will garner attention from learning institutions worldwide and various industries such as ours where employee training and reduction of downtime is so important. Some uses may be to show how the inside of a press functions, how various finishing technologies work, even how ink is laid down onto a substrate. It could also be used to show how the printing cycle affects our environment – and how our industry can become more environmentally conscious. Stay tuned.