Did you know that operator error accounts for the highest dollar losses per incident in the process industries? How do these operator errors come about? Among the reasons for operator error is a lack of experience and confidence of operators to handle operational mishaps whenever these situations arise. That, coupled with unfamiliarity with the process plant, can potentially lead to a recipe for disaster!
In recent times, it has been a paramount concern of ours that operator training be taken more seriously and realistically. Ongoing research and development have led us to develop an interactive 3D operator training simulation tool. The simulation tool is based on a virtual reality concept in that plant operators can familiarize themselves and “walk through” a plant without actually being there physically. The simulated environment is based on actual plant dimensions with exact 1:1 ratio of equipment size and precise equipment orientation. In addition, the instruments are placed at the same location as those in the plant with equal functionality.
The operating conditions in the virtual plant are mimicked and simulated via a dynamic process simulator to reflect the actual operating condition of the process plant. Therefore, operators are able to perform actions such as opening and closing valves, and the effects are simulated and shown in real-time in the virtual environment. Process disturbances can also be simulated with the immediate effects of the disturbance reflected accurately. The operators will then have to react accordingly to prevent the process disturbance from escalating.
The 3D operator training simulation tool also allows for multiple operators to simultaneously interact with each other and troubleshoot on unforeseen circumstances as a team. This allows for new operators to get a feel for how it would actually be like to operate the plant, all from a comfortable and safe environment. This in turn allows the operators to build experience and confidence.
The advantages of using the Synergy simulation tool can be summarised as follows:
- Increased production uptime/efficiency
- Reduction in process upset conditions, which might cause partial or total plant shutdowns
- Reduction in loss of containment events
- Reduction in casualties and hazards reported
- Reduction in time taken to train operators separately
- Reduction in travelling time for operators to the site (for familiarization/training)
- Reduction in operators’ response time to a process upset
- Enable early development of troubleshooting skills and intuition, instead of just acquiring these on the job
- Enable customized training modules
- Increase operators’ competency especially in decision making
Please contact Synergy’s Kuala Lumpur office for more information about the 3D operator training simulation tool.