Xstrata enlists simulators in the war on dust

XSTRATA Coal New South Wales has worked with Immersive Technologies to develop a version of its operator training simulator that specifically targets dust level monitoring and control.
Xstrata enlists simulators in the war on dust Xstrata enlists simulators in the war on dust Xstrata enlists simulators in the war on dust Xstrata enlists simulators in the war on dust Xstrata enlists simulators in the war on dust

The PRO3 simulator, image courtesy of Immersive Technologies

Lou Caruana

In targeted scenarios in the simulation training program, an equipment operator observes dust levels from “drone trucks” in front of the operator's machine, and must take appropriate action. The actions taken by the operator are automatically monitored and assessed, with real-time feedback and debriefing or reporting after the training.

Another scenario simulates excavator dust generation during dumping. Operators are given instruction and then assessed on their technique in maintaining the correct dumping height to produce the least amount of dust from the truck tray being loaded. The higher the operator rolls out the bucket, the more dust is generated.

The new features are in latest version of SimControl, the software at the heart of the PRO3 simulator.

Xstrata Coal NSW training manager Darryl Cooper said: "The idea of employing our advanced equipment operator training simulators to educate staff on actions that can reduce dust emissions to acceptable levels was explored and then implemented, with excellent results so far.

"Working with simulator supplier Immersive Technologies, we have adopted industry leading practices for integrating simulation technology into our group operations training program. We have made a significant investment in a fleet of PRO3 simulators and a dedicated, skilled team of trainers and coordinators to deliver sustainable results.

“This has been achieved in the second year of implementation, and is now being leveraged with quality feedback and collaboration with our supplier of simulation technology, leading to these new development initiatives."

Immersive Technologies regional business development manager Phillip McBride said improvements developed in consultation with Xstrata Coal had now been released in SimControl 4.4, a software upgrade distributed to Immersive customers under service agreements.

"This new functionality quantifies equipment operator risk associated with negative environmental behaviours and facilitates rectification of the negative behaviours,” he said.

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