Immersive Technologies’ Global Business Improvement Award Recognizes Outstanding Results in Mining Operator Training
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. is an international mining and natural resources company. A member of the S&P 500 Index, the Company is a major global iron ore producer and a significant producer of high- and low volatile metallurgical coal.
Cliffs Natural Resources has received Immersive Technologies’ 2012 Business Improvement Award for outstanding results in mining operator training. Cliffs was selected based on the measurable results attributed to their ‘Haul Truck Cycle Time’ continuous improvement project as well as their continued strategic focus on operator safety and ability to achieve results throughout numerous mine sites.
The Global Business Improvement Award is the highest recognition in the industry for mining companies using simulation for operator training. It recognizes achievements of mine sites focused on improving operational safety, efficiency and productivity through strategic and focused training initiatives. Cliffs was chosen as the recipient from more than 230 global mining operations in 33 countries. One project alone, the ‘Haul Truck Cycle Time’ initiative to improve load and spot times resulted in substantial cost savings across three sites.
“At Hibbing Taconite we identified massive annual savings through improved load and spot times. We also have achieved significant reductions in haul truck maintenance costs through improved component life,” said Jack Croswell, General Manager, Hibbing Taconite, which is partly owned and managed by Cliffs.
“We expected good results from the new miner training but we achieved much more than expected from the experienced driver training as we could train to more issues than we had originally planned.
The simulation also provided us a platform to support our continuous improvement process as we were able to reinforce good operating practices while simultaneously developing operators in our targeted projects. We could train with the simulator and then measure success with our Modular Mine Management system,” Croswell said.
Cliffs was also recognized for their commitment to the community partnering with local colleges to introduce Advanced Equipment Simulators to students facilitating the future success of new operators who will graduate with a higher level of machine familiarity and operator competency.
“We are proud of the results Cliffs has achieved and their initiative proves that their training program is outstanding at a global level. The dedication shown by the teams at their numerous sites shows a push for excellence that is paying dividends for their operations now and laying the foundation for continued competitive success,” said Cory Cook, Immersive Technologies Regional Vice President-North America.
The success of Cliffs training initiatives was attributed to the commitment of management and trainers as well as the involvement of credible, experienced and disciplined team members focused on positive results in operator training.
“The simulator brought a new perspective to operator training and promotes an effective use of technology to help equipment operators perform their jobs safely. The dedication of individuals who truly understand the value and their commitment was instrumental in making this project a success,” said Tim Gribben, Director – Knowledge Management/Operations Support, Cliffs Natural Resources.
“Savings were obtained through cycle time reductions at three properties, further benefits can be achieved through stable operation and improved behaviors through targeted training. By incorporating the simulator tool into our curriculum I am confident we will see more savings down the road,” Gribben said.