Saturday, April 5, 2014

Workforce Enablement Technology White Paper - Part 3

Below is a continuation of the Workforce Enablement Technology Paper posted to the blog yesterday. Click here to read the start of the paper.

Virtual Reality
A relatively recent development in new employee training and on-going learning is the use of virtual reality simulators.Control room operators can virtually “walk through” a simulated environment with the ability to interact with field operators and maintenance personnel. In 3D, an operator can make decisions, take actions and understand their consequences in a safe virtual plant.

As the operator trainee practices, the application of the learning becomes more effective. Initial training time is lessened, and the operator has a better overall view of the expectations, and how his or her job fits in with other jobs, departments, or disciplines within the plant, and with related agencies and customers. Adult learning theory suggests that recognizing the relevance and real-life applications of training programs are primary motivators that lead to success. In this way, the OTS system allows the operator to get immediate feedback to decisions made and actions performed. The experience and knowledge accumulated within the plant operation is passed on to the new operator. These technologies allow many operators, including field
operators, to be trained at one time, even globally online, ensuring the knowledge is spread far wider than by the mentor.

Empowering Field Personnel
The training of field operators can also be enhanced through the use of an integrated control room Operator Training Simulator and an Immersive Training System for field operations staff. Full plant crew training is enabled with such an integrated system. It should be noted that workflow management technology to assist in monitoring and verifying field operations has been developing rapidly and is now being integrated into the training environments as well.

Handheld devices are now available that provide instructions to an operator in the field on how to perform certain tasks. For instance, a field operator can scan the barcode on a valve using a handheld device which verifies that it is the correct valve. Once the correct valve is located and scanned, step-by-step instructions on what procedure to perform on that valve are provided. As the field operator performs each step the handheld device logs the progress. On returning to the control room, the handheld device is docked
and its logs are uploaded for traceability. This provides consistency and ensures that the field procedure is being performed correctly on the right piece of equipment. Integration of such handheld devices with an OTS system allows for these new technologies to become integral to the training process.

Part 2
Part 3