Streamlining Practical Training With Full-Scope Simulators
Conventional practical training for new employees is often time-consuming and less effective than one might hope. Full-scope simulators offer a better option. Proven competence and years of experience may be invaluable qualities but do not guarantee an individual’s abilities as a trainer. However, even the best trainers can’t compete with the power of a video game to capture and continue holding someone’s attention.
Similarly, virtual working environments are now widely used for training purposes in many industries. These simulated worlds also draw upon gaming technology to captivate learners and accelerate the learning process. A simulation can be relatively simple, designed to familiarise learners with just one aspect of a broader task. For example, it could focus on controlling the coolant temperature in a nuclear reactor or operating the bow thrusters on a cruise ship. By contrast, full-scope simulators could include all the exercises necessary to provide a learner with detailed experience of every task required to safely and efficiently operate a combined cycle power plant.
Some Industries That Use Full-Scope Simulators
Not surprisingly, the industries that rely most on simulated training scenarios are often inherently more hazardous. Allowing inexperienced staff to handle the controls when practising could put them, expensive equipment, their co-workers, and even the surrounding area at risk. Let’s look at some industries where full-scope simulations have already proved invaluable in operator training.
- Mineral Exploitation
Few locations are more dangerous than the bottom of a mineshaft and its connected network of tunnels. Simulations can provide mining companies with a safe and effective means for new underground workers to perfect their ability to operate machinery or drive specialised vehicles without even setting foot in a cage. Fire and explosions regularly threaten miners due to pockets of flammable gasses like methane, carbon monoxide and hydrogen. It is far safer and more expedient to learn how to use fire-fighting equipment and protective clothing in a simulated situation before being forced to put these skills into practice.
Once again, this is an industry prone to fires and explosions. Because it is surface-based, these don’t only threaten workers and their premises; they are also a danger to the surrounding environment and its occupants. Therefore, competence in handling the various process control mechanisms and practical experience in implementing appropriate emergency measures are vital for everyone’s safety. As in all high-risk occupations, experience shows these are best gained through practice using full-scope simulations.
- Marine Transportation:
Despite the many advances in the design of ocean-going vessels and the automation of their systems, the human element remains a crucial component when travelling by sea. Much like airline pilots, those at a ship’s helm must be able to handle the necessary bridge operations swiftly and correctly. They must also be familiar with cargo handling, dynamic positioning and rescue procedures.
A cruise liner or container vessel is massive. Even though fitted with state-of-the-art computerised systems it’s still slow to manoeuvre in an emergency. Accordingly, the marine industry increasingly relies on full-scope simulators to optimise crew efficiency.
- Desalination Plants:
Extracting the dissolved solids from seawater and brackish sources is not a new concept but has been practised by various civilisations for centuries. More recently, however, a growing water crisis has necessitated desalination on an industrial scale. Methodologies vary, and while flash distillation is still used, it is slowly being replaced by the more eco-friendly option of reverse osmosis.
Whatever the process employed, precision is essential to control it and minimise energy wastage. As in a chemical plant, this requires knowledge of the function of numerous control systems and how and when to adjust them. Once again, full-scope simulators offer a safe, economical, fast and effective way to ensure operator training is of the highest possible standard.
- The Energy Industry:
Electricity is an essential industry. Maintaining a sufficient supply to meet the constantly growing demand is a constant challenge. Coal-fired plants still predominate, closely followed by oil and gas. While wind and solar plants are more sustainable, they lack the capacity of nuclear fission. Whatever the fuel source, simulators remain the quickest, safest and most effective way to train operators.
Simgenics for Full-Scope Simulators
We are an advanced plant simulator development company specialising in training simulations for the above industries. We invite you to get in touch to learn more about how we can streamline your in-house operator training programmes.