Human error is a well-known fact of life, and an expensive industry problem. The increasingly complex systems used to operate modern industry, coupled with the knowledge drain created by retiring Baby Boomers, only exacerbates the issue.
This is particularly problematic for the continuous process industries, where many newer employees have limited experience with shutdowns or other abnormal situations. Chemical plants, for example, have been estimated to lose more than $20 billion a year because of human error.
That’s why experiential training is more important than ever. To enable new operators to gain the experience they need to successfully navigate standard operating procedures and abnormal situations alike, they will need to rely on tools like simulation, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), and e-learning. This means that industrial companies will need to change their way of thinking about how they prepare their workforce—moving from a training-centered, box-checking culture to a learning-centered, results-driven one. Essentially, this means having operators absorb information through hands-on experiences rather than being fed information through written words or demonstrations. This learning process will also be a continuous one, as operational technology continues to advance.
AVEVA’s Enterprise Learning software gives operators the tools they need for competency-based experiential learning. The methods employed in Enterprise Learning focus on learning by doing, with real-life exercises using simulation platforms.
Ready-made courses in this solution combine a range of modern tools to provide hands-on training covering fundamental concepts and basic unit operations for a variety of processes in the oil and gas, chemical, and power industries. For example, one component of AVEVA Enterprise Learning is AVEVA Process Competency Training, which is designed to accelerate specific training initiatives with quick-to-implement solutions.
Customized simulations can also be created with the software. Operations Training, a component of Enterprise Learning, provides custom training courses based on simulations of your plant’s distributed control system (DCS), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, human-machine interface (HMI) and dynamic process behavior. Another component—XR for Training—uses 3D AR/VR simulations to connect control room operators, maintenance, and field personnel in a single realistic learning environment.
Speaking of AR and VR, they have become a major part of modern immersive training systems. With these technologies, new operators can get real-world plant training even before plant commissioning. And it doesn’t hurt that AR/VR systems appeal to the new workforce you’re trying to attract and retain. Plus, AVEVA’s AR/VR Immersive Training Systems enable you to capture the operational knowledge of your experienced workers so that their knowledge can be passed down to the next generation in a way that will help them get the hands-on experience they need.
All of the simulation-based experiential learning modules of Enterprise Learning can be tailored to the specific requirements of a range of occupational levels—from operators and process engineers to management.
With so many training capabilities available in Enterprise Learning, the key benefits delivered by the software that companies need to be aware of include:
- Gaining team and personnel effectiveness insight by measuring and tracking what people and teams know and can do;
- Deeply engaging staff in their development process by using immersive VR digital twins;
- Reducing unplanned downtime through focused, learner-centric activities that are easy to implement;
- Protecting equipment through improved operation and response;
- The ability to develop standard operating procedures using simulation integrated with other tools; and
- Executing competency assurance via the most efficient learning methods.
Customers can install Enterprise Learning locally, access it via AVEVA’s cloud, or deploy it in a hybrid cloud environment. Of these three options, AVEVA contends that accessing the software via the cloud makes experiential learning more accessible and practical.
For example, consider the use of an operator training simulator (OTS), which is used to train operators on how to manage a refinery through the use of a simulation model that controls the plant’s responses. Accessing the OTS via the cloud means its availability is no longer a barrier. With cloud-based software, the expense and maintenance issues of OTSs are no longer the concern of the end user company, thereby reducing OTS training costs as there is no need for on-site equipment or travel. Plus, cloud-based simulators have no constraints on the number of operators who could be training at any given time. Any user can access the training from anywhere in the world, at any time. Simulations can also be customized for the distinct learning styles of different individuals.