Advanced Tools Help Train Industrial Process Workforce

Advanced Tools Help Train Industrial Process Workforce

UniSim® 3D Connect - UniSim Operations simulator integration and connectivity to 3D virtual environment; provides credible and realistic experiences for field operatorThe ARC Forum, held annually in Orlando, drew approximately 700 total attendees including perhaps 60 members of the media for the 19th iteration—Industry in Transition. Media members devote Monday afternoon each year to meeting with a parade of companies presenting new products and ideas.

First up this year in my writing agenda is an update to industrial process workforce training tools. I’m seeing increasing sophistication in companies combining ideas and technologies from computer gaming with simulation of process plants to train the current and future workforce—especially the new people who grew up with gaming technology.

Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) managers announced its new UniSim Competency Suite, which improves operator competency and helps prepare them faster through realistic training experiences for console and field operators in the process industries.

Leveraging more than 30 years of experience in process simulation and operator training, Honeywell’s new suite of simulation software offers an integrated, robust training experience that will help industrial facilities address a growing shortage of trained operators.

“In the near future, many operators at industrial plants in developed countries will retire, while process industries in emerging economies will continue to face the challenge of critical skill shortages,” said Ali Raza, vice president and general manager for Honeywell Process Solutions’ Advanced Solutions business. “The expanded UniSim Competency Suite helps our customers train its workforce faster in a more realistic environment to drive safe, incident-free, efficient startups and ongoing operations.”

The UniSim Competency suite features proven simulation models as well as new technologies including:

  • UniSim Operations: Operator Training Simulator (OTS), a dynamic plant simulation system that allows users to accelerate knowledge transfer by consolidating an entire lifetime of experience into a concise process training curriculum; features realistic process, control and safety systems modeling
  • UniSim Curriculum: Customizable competency model that aligns and assists in improving critical requisite skills and behaviors; tracks operator progress; built from Abnormal Situation Management Consortium’s research into operator competency to help businesses define, deploy and manage a structured competency program
  • UniSim Tutor: Knowledge capture and propagation tool; provides a repository for domain knowledge and experiences; teaches and evaluates “what if” reflexes and diagnostic abilities
  • UniSim Field View: Interactive, navigable, panoramic view for realistic field operator training; uses actual facility photographs and extends UniSim Operations simulator training to include field operators
  • UniSim 3D Connect: UniSim Operations simulator integration and connectivity to 3D virtual environment; provides credible and realistic experiences for field operator

“Industrial plant owners and operators around the world recognize how simulation technology can help them achieve a significant competitive advantage in today’s demanding global environment,” said John Roffel, Operator Competency product director for HPS. “This suite provides our customers with the confidence and tools needed for operator competency management.”

Gaming Technology for Manufacturing Operations Training

Gaming Technology for Manufacturing Operations Training

Industrial Operations SimulationAVEVA has launched its Activity Visualisation Platform (AVEVA AVP). This new product, built on Industrial Gaming technology, enables: highly efficient facility familiarisation; staff training; construction planning and simulation; operations and maintenance planning. It aids the rehearsal of safety and schedule critical activities, without putting either personnel or the plant itself at risk.

This is a product that pushes the trend toward using advanced simulation to a new level for manufacturing operations training. This is welcome news–and one I hope pushes the industry forward. I’ve been watching for more uses of advanced gaming and visualization technologies incorporating into a variety of industrial uses.

The platform supports customers to create immersive, interactive multi-user plant environments. It generates its realistic simulations directly from 3D design models, even before the physical plant has been built. With operator error recognised as the leading cause of safety incidents, AVEVA has created a solution that addresses this by revolutionising the way in which Owner Operators and engineering contractors (EPCs) can train staff. This simulation solution will enhance plant operational safety while reducing costs and overall risk.

“Preparing people to work safely in potentially hazardous plant environments is absolutely essential,” said Derek Middlemas, COO and Head of Enterprise Solutions, AVEVA. “People learn best by doing and providing effective training is a vital aspect of plant operation. AVEVA AVP enables users to practise anything, from the simplest inspection walk-around to the most complex maintenance, safely in a realistically simulated live plant environment. Operations staff can now learn and practise tasks in complete safety before going onsite, instead of having to do so for the first time in a potentially dangerous environment.”

The oil & gas, power and process plant industries make extensive use of 3D models. Because the AVEVA AVP simulations are created directly from the plant’s original design model, they are visually convincing, realistic and accurate. Trainees can be immersed in a hands-on scenario and interact both with the model and with each other as avatars in a realistic virtual environment. They can quickly become familiar with ‘must know’ areas of the plant, such as access, maintenance locations and evacuation routes. They will even be able to answer practical questions such as ‘Can I drive a forklift around this area?’

Typical tasks might include:

  • Developing operations and maintenance procedures during the design stage
  • Developing and evaluating emergency response procedures
  • Training new staff before deploying to site
  • Refresher training or competency evaluation
  • Developing accurate risk assessments
  • Modification or revamp planning
  • Staff update training following plant modifications