Operator Training Solutions from Immersive Technologies
First Quantum Minerals (FQML) understands the importance of having properly trained operators which is why they further invested in Immersive Technologies’ operator training solutions for the Sentinel mine and smelter project, part of the Trident Project in Zambia.
Nigel Gerrans, Training Manager at First Quantum Minerals says “we have been using Immersive Technologies simulators on our mine sites for five years and during this period there has been a continual improvement in the quality of their products and particularly in the training and advisory services they provide.”
“While Immersive Technologies’ simulators have been a key component of operator training delivery at FQML the company plans to integrate Immersive Technologies’ Complete and Scalable Training Solution including eLearning and Instructor Led Training.
“Due to the cost and sophistication of the mobile equipment that has been purchased for the Sentinel Project the selection of operators is focused on employing people who have the right skills and education levels to become good operators rather than relying solely on previous experience, which is considered ‘desirable’ rather than ‘essential.’ As a consequence of this approach, it is envisaged that there will be a large number of green operators employed,” Gerrans says.
The greater number of green operators at the Sentinel Project will require best practice training design and delivery to ensure operators perform at the highest levels of competency, safety and productivity.
“A training strategy that incorporates the use of simulators provides us with the means of giving the green operators extensive training on the equipment they are going to operate, in a very ‘real’ environment.
In order to make sure this training is effective we are working with Immersive Technologies on developing an operator training path that consists of five modules namely, employee induction, basic machine operation, machine health and abuse, safety and production.
“At the commencement of each module the trainee operator will complete the eLearning modules, followed by instructor led training, before commencing on the simulators. At the completion of each module the trainee will be assessed and will only progress along the training path if they are certified competent,” Gerrans says.
In order to maximize operator throughput and develop skills FQML will utilize eLearning as a key component of the training strategy. ELearning will introduce and train operators in basic mechanics and machine familiarization, machine operation and hazard identification, fatigue management, safety and emergency procedures.
eLearning will not only be used in the initial training of operators but also for refresher training that will be conducted annually for the existing workforce.
An operator training facility which incorporates multiple Advanced Equipment Simulators, a technical training classroom, which will house SimMentor™ for training brief and debrief, and an eLearning classroom has been designed to integrate the different training tools and systems to ensure all operator training solutions achieve maximum results.
“All operators, whether green or experienced will complete the same training path. We believe that the experienced operators will complete the training quicker than the green operators. This approach will ensure there are no skill-gaps in any of the operator’s training whatever background they are from,” Gerran added.
Immersive Technologies’ Training Systems Integration (TSI) will be adopted and implemented as part of the project. The best practice implementation program is designed to deliver not only on the effective use of the training resources, but also provides the mechanisms that focus the training function on achieving operational goals and objectives.
“Through TSI, our training function will be linked to operational needs and requirements by establishing a training committee and the effective usage of information generated by the load and haul, and maintenance departments.
This will include conducting operational risk assessments, to establish what the areas of high risk are, and designing and implementing suitable training scenarios to eliminate or reduce the risk in these areas. These assessments will also provide a baseline on which to measure improvement,” Gerran says.
FQML plans to invest more than $1 billion on the Trident Project. The project is about 140 kilometres west of the town of Solwezi and 150 kilometres from the Company’s Kansanshi mine in Northern Zambia. “The partnership with Immersive Technologies provides an opportunity to incorporate a high level of technology in the training of equipment operators for a Greenfield site operation in rural Zambia.
“In our opinion they are the industry leaders and able to provide the quality and knowledge we desire,” Gerran says.