Leveraging Technology to Improve Workforce Competency in Mining, Metals, and Minerals
The high cost of doing business tops the mining industry challenges. In addition to maximizing returns, companies must improve performance, efficiency, and operational effectiveness. The cost is further amplified when you consider the workforce they manage:
- Experience and qualification are essential to operating plants safely, per HSE standards and at top performance
- Experienced operators are retiring and are being replaced by younger, inexperienced employees
- Assets are located in emerging countries with remote locations where the pool of qualified people is limited or require comprehensive training
- Fewer people are expected to do more work, so they need to become more efficient
As operators and personnel switch jobs and migrate between various operations, technology holds the key to engaging the next generation of operators. While it takes an operational controller roughly 1 year to be efficiently trained, the industry starts to see the operators switch jobs after 2 years on average. The Kinetic Heartbeat Group Report estimates annual mining turnover at 24%. The cost for replacing a new recruit is 33% of an annual salary and 150% for highly skilled positions.
Operator Training Simulators have been available in the marketplace for a long time. However, over the last five years the improvements in technology — the computers, the software and the market understanding — have meant that the use of OTS has become a reality for many processes. No longer are Training Simulators primarily the realm of airline pilots, nuclear systems and astronauts, but now they are available across the process industries, including mining, metals, and minerals. Plant management has found that a relatively small investment in OTS can save hundreds of thousands of dollars with paybacks measured in weeks or months. Operator training systems have been used to uncover any control system configuration, graphic or logic errors that might lead to unit trips, equipment damage, or other events that would result in an extension of the planned outage window associated with the upgrade effort.
Operator training simulators addresses these problems comprehensively by:
- Reducing costs of ownership and maintenance
- Improved ease of maintenance
- Easier upgrades capability
- Capture of best practices
- Higher, enhanced transfer of knowledge
- Improved safety, operator agility, and process flexibility
The Leveraging Technology to Improve Workforce Competency webinar focus on how Schneider Electric helps customers around the globe address these challenges. Key topics of the discussion will be:
- The Workforce Competency Challenge: How operator competency impacts operation.
- Planning for Structured Training: Defining training needs and means for the next generation workforce.
- Creating Value: Putting concepts into action – customer case studies.
An Operator Training Simulator (OTS) can address industry challenges by accelerating careers and keeping the next generation of workers more engaged and invested with updated training tools that speed training time. Well trained employees perform better and, in turn, create a better performing business and an improved bottom line. Watch the “Leveraging Technology to Improve Workforce Competency” webinar.
Livia Wiley is the Sr. Product Marketing Manager for SimSci software at AVEVA. She is primarily responsible for expanding SimSci’s brand awareness and marketing of its design, simulation & training, and optimization software. She has more than 20 years of experience in process simulation; assisting clients model, troubleshoot, and optimize their processes through technical and economic studies. Prior to joining Schneider Electric in 2014, she worked for suppliers of process simulation and automation technology, including Honeywell, Aspen Technology, and legacy SimSci. Livia holds a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University, and a M.Eng in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston.