“By using a cloud-based solution, we can provide training at their site so they’re getting more time at the control board and less time behind the windshield.”
Training Manager, Arizona Public Service
Arizona Public Service (APS) is the largest electric utility in the US state of Arizona and has been in business for more than 130 years. It operates six power plants, two coal plants and four natural gas plants which are spread across more than 35,000 square miles.
With half of its 6,000-strong workforce preparing for retirement within five years, APS made innovative training an integral part of its operational excellence strategy. It knew it needed to act if it was to ensure the safe and efficient management of its plants, retain the valuable knowledge of its employees before many of them retired and upskill the large numbers of new employees needed to replace them.
But, how could it effectively deliver training to so many people dispersed across the state?
APS partnered with AVEVA to introduce cloud-based, generic power plant models using AVEVA Operator Training Simulator, on which they could teach process and procedure across all plants regardless of configuration.
The cloud-based approach eliminated the need for travel saving up to three days away from the plant per person, per training session. Without the need to travel, employees were able to spend more time learning with minimal impact on operational activity. And, since the training was always available individuals could repeat scenarios multiple times to fully embed new skills and ensure knowledge retention.
An effective, continuous learning program not only helped APS to achieve its strategic aims but it benefitted its customers too. After all, a vibrant workforce keeps electricity affordable for APS customers.