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Appointment Underlines Latin American Market Importance

12 August, 2005 - Lima Peru

Mining simulator technology leader Immersive Technologies has appointed a business manager to oversee its rapid growth in the Latin American market.

The new General Sales Manager for Immersive Technologies Latin America region, Alfonso Castaneda, has spent more than 17 years in sales and management positions with technology and mining equipment firms. Previous roles include Latin American Sales Manager for Micron PC, and Director Business Development Latin America & Europe, with Veratron Inc.

A Peruvian who studied electronic engineering at the University of Ricardo Palma, Mr Castaneda also spent two years as International Sales Manager for DrillPro International Inc before joining Immersive Technologies. He speaks Spanish and Portuguese, and has traveled extensively throughout Latin America.

Since supplying an Advanced Equipment (AE) training simulator in 2002 to Caterpillar equipment dealer Finning International, Immersive Technologies has achieved strong penetration of the Latin American market. It has since supplied two other simulators to Caterpillar equipment dealer sites, one to a Komatsu dealer, and three to mines in Peru, Chile and Colombia.

Mr Castaneda said mine operators in Latin American countries – currently investing heavily in expansions and new capacity development to meet burgeoning demand for minerals from China, India and other parts of Asia – were seeing significant benefits from the application and use of AE Simulators in their training programs.

“The mining industry in Latin America has recognized the benefits of simulation training of heavy equipment operators and has made significant changes to training procedures to include an Immersive Technologies simulator as part of training and development programs, with very high returns and impressive results,” he said.

Mr Castaneda said mine users of AE Simulators had already recorded:

  • Reduced risk associated with the use of actual equipment for training.
  • Reduced training time for operators, allowing them to commence work earlier than normal.
  • Higher fleet utilization, and increased production, linked to reduced reliance on fleet machinery for training purposes.
  • Improved operator safety and response to emergency situations such as vehicle fires.
  • Reduced non-preventative maintenance costs, resulting from better operating practices.

“Many operating situations are impossible to train for without the risk of damage to equipment, or injury to operators,” Mr Castaneda said.

“One example is the incidence of fires. A site found that 80% of its operators failed to handle a truck fire correctly. It had lost trucks to this type of incident. Two weeks after simulator training with an Immersive Technologies AE simulator, a new operator was able to manage a fire correctly and saved the truck.

“Immersive Technologies AE simulators, with their advanced level of duplication of machine operating platforms and associated software which enables mine operator’s site conditions and features to be reproduced, give mining companies the opportunity to train personnel in any situation without exposing either equipment or people, to risk or damage.

“There is strong recognition of the advantages to be gained from such technology, and we are seeing a solid rise in business as a result.”
Significant growth in sales of Immersive Technologies AE simulators in Latin America mirrored the rate of expansion in other key markets, said Immersive Technologies Chief Executive Officer, Peter Salfinger.

“We are committed to supporting our fast-growing business in Latin America,” Mr Salfinger said.

“Several companies that have bought simulators for use at mines in other countries are now also using our simulators in Latin America. I am particularly pleased to see a high level of repeat purchase and use in such an important market.”

“The continuing build-up in the use of our simulators will necessitate ongoing investment in customer service and support and we are committed to making this investment,” he said.

“Apart from facilities and people, we have established the first mining simulator training group user forums, we have developed customized customer support programs, and our research and development strategy is built around customer feedback.”

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About Immersive Technologies

Immersive Technologies is the world's largest, proven and tested supplier of surface and underground Advanced Equipment Simulators to the global mining industry. The company has achieved this unique position by focusing on its mission to make every mining and earthmoving equipment operator in the world safer and their employer more profitable through its simulation technologies. Immersive Technologies' Advanced Equipment Simulators are helping hundreds of mining companies around the world to increase their equipment operators' safety and site profitability through effective simulation training.

Immersive Technologies provides its customers with the most effective Advanced Equipment Simulators available. This is made possible through the formal exclusive licensing and technical information alliances Immersive has established with the leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), including: Caterpillar, Hitachi, Komatsu and Liebherr. These unique alliances provide Immersive Technologies with exclusive access to the OEM's proprietary and confidential machine technical information that is required to correctly simulate the OEM's machines and is not available through other public or dealer channels.

With advanced simulator modules deployed in 39 countries, Immersive Technologies is dedicated to provide outstanding service. To deliver on this commitment the company has customer sales and support offices located close to its customers in Perth and Brisbane Australia, Salt Lake City USA, Calgary, Ottawa & Vancouver Canada, Monterrey Mexico, Lima Peru, Santiago Chile, Bochum Germany, Johannesburg South Africa, Jakarta Indonesia, Kolkata India and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Immersive has the global mining experience, innovative technology, product range, OEM relationships, proven support commitment and industry vision to partner with you to ensure your simulator training solution delivers the significant results you expect.

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