Book Image

Operator Training Simulator Handbook

By : Joseph Philip
Book Image

Operator Training Simulator Handbook

By: Joseph Philip

Overview of this book

Operator training simulators in the process industry have been around since the 1970s, but you may not find a book that documents the development of these systems and the standard best practices. The Operator Training Simulator Handbook covers best practices for OTS engineering and OTS training development and delivery, starting from the basic the jargon and the different types of OTS systems. It will take you through the best approaches to project specification as well as building, maintenance, planning, and delivering these systems by sharing real-life experiences and dos and don’ts. As you advance, you'll uncover the various challenges in the planning and delivery of operator training models and understand how to address those by working through real-world projects. This book helps in specifying the best fit for purpose, choosing a cost-effective system when acquiring an OTS. You'll also learn how you can turn your OTS projects into digital twins before finally learning all about documentation in a typical OTS project, covering the sample structure that you can use as a starting point in your projects. By the end of the book, you'll have learned best practices for developing operator training simulator systems and have a reference guide to overcome common challenges.
Table of Contents (11 chapters)
Section 1: Introduction, Definitions, and Classifications
Section 2: Best Practices for the Development of OTS Systems
Section 3: OTS' Future, Training Model, and Reference Documents

What is good for me?

Having gone through the different types of simulators, you might be asking, what would be the best one to choose?

Well, it mainly depends on two primary factors:

  • What will the simulator be used for?
    • A brownfield or greenfield plant
    • Is the simulator purely for training?
    • Are the operators experienced or do we need to train new ones?
    • Are engineering studies, process debottlenecking, and process optimization of any sort required?
    • Do we need the OTS to debug the ICSS?
  • What is the available budget to spend and the time allowed for the project to run?
    • It is important to put aside the budget for building the simulator and then running it.
    • Define the exact time available to build the simulator and its usage plan afterward.

On the first front, before embarking on an OTS project, users must clearly define what the simulator is going to be used for.

If the plant is an existing one (brownfield), then the need for a simulator will come either from the need to upgrade the ICSS or a change to the process units (or both), or the need to train new operators. In all these cases, it is very likely that a generic model or a lower-fidelity model will not serve the purpose.

Additionally, if we need to train a few new apprentice operators who are new to control rooms, a generic (cheap) simulator might be sufficient.

If the plant is being newly built (greenfield), then we need to decide whether we need operator training; most likely, we will need a higher-fidelity OTS. However, if we only need to check out the ICSS IOs, then a tie-back simulator will be sufficient.

The budget that is available comes at the end: low-fidelity models are around $100k, while the high-fidelity ones would be no less than $500k. Of course, it will all depend on how big the process is and the number of IOs in the ICSS.

Another very important cost that needs to be considered is the running cost, as follows:

  • The cost of a training instructor.
  • The usual day-to-day upkeep of the simulator, consumables, backups, and more.
  • Travel and living for trainees.
  • The catering cost during the training session.
  • The cost of keeping the simulator up to date. This could be the highest cost but will ensure the continued use of the simulator.

Hopefully, this section will be useful to you if you want to invest in an OTS project and help you decide what will be good for you. But the following case studies will give some examples that will clarify this and bring some real-life examples home.