Advances in workforce development, training and simulator technology are fast-tracking the time it takes for an operator to get from entry-level to expert.
The fact is, engineering failures in the control room or on the field can lead to tragedy. Nexen, a company based out of Canada, is one trend-setting business training its workforce with operator training simulators.
Nexen oil extraction wells and processing facilities produce premium synthetic crude. Plant processes are controlled using a distributed control system. But before workers can get their hands on any of these advanced technologies, they must spend 160 hours training on Schneider Electric’s SimSci Dynsim dynamic process simulator.
Getting a complete hands-on experience allows operators to learn how to react to real-world situations. It also provides trainees with a simulated environment in which to explore why some things work while others don’t.
High-risk continuous process environments in the oil, gas, chemical, energy and mining industries are at the forefront of high-technology training. As new employees are plucked from the Millennial generation, immersive virtual environments will be increasingly familiar to the workforce.
Operator training simulators can help bridge the culture gap by providing an experience that allows anyone, from any generation, to learn and retain information. As we move further into the future, expect virtual to become the new reality.