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

Some use cases

Without further ado, let's look at some case studies that will help you to understand what OTS will fit the case better.

Case study 1

An end user needs to upgrade their ICSS with no major change to the control logic and no change in the ICSS supplier, all operators are experienced, and no major process change is expected.

In this case the need is just to train the operators on the new interface. This does not justify major spend on a full replica simulator. A tie-back simulator will serve the purpose of operator HMI familiarization.

A tie-back simulator will have access to the new HMI system that can be used to train the operators with a very small investment compared to other expensive systems.

Case study 2

We'll stick with the same end user as in case study 1; this time they need to upgrade their ICSS to a different ICSS supplier, all operators are experienced, and no major process change is expected.

Now that the ICSS HMI has changed, the operators will need to understand better the new interface. Since the process has not change, then a medium-fidelity simulator to familiarize the operators with the new HMI and being able to validate the new control and alarm system will be sufficient.

In case study 1 we just needed to use the HMI system to get the operators introduced to the new HMI changes and for that we just need a tie-back feedback, that is, when a pump is started, the start command is feedback to say the pump is running.

In case study 2, we will need a bit more accurate feedback as the HMI is new to the operators and we will need to operate, for example, automatic sequences. If we use tie back, then that will give the operators wrong impressions of the process. Reasonable feedback will do the job. If we start a pump, then a level in the suction will need to be reasonably calculated. So, if the liquid is modeled as water, rather than oil for example, it should be fine. Of course, the timing of the level going down will not be same as in the real space, but that will be fine for what we want to achieve here with savings in our investment.

Case study 3

We'll stick with the same end user as in case study 2; this time they want to be able to debug the ICSS, tune all the PID controllers on the simulator, and be able to test ICSS changes on the simulator before pushing these changes to the plant ICSS.

Due to this last requirement only, a full replica simulator will be able to satisfy the new requirement.

Let's take tuning the PID controllers; for example, if we don't model the size of the plant then our tuning will not be correct.

Similarly, if we need to debug the new ICSS, then the process feedback will need to be the same as in the real space so our test will be valid.

Case study 4

In this case study we will consider a running plant where a few operators will be retiring soon, and the company will need to recruit new operators; they are getting a few apprentices to train them to be able to replace the retiring operators in a few years' time.

Here the end user can go for a cheap generic simulator to train the apprentices on the basics of the process and plant operation and when that is done (or in parallel), to be sitting in the control room next to the experienced operators to be trained on day-to-day operation.

Training new operators on basic process operation and control can be done on any generic plant. If we need to train the operator when a controller is in manual control, then you can set the output directly in the controller faceplate. That can be done on any controller.

Similarly, when the controller is in Automatic model, we need to show the operator how the set point can be changed and the controller will control the process until the process vale (measured vale) is very close to the set point. Again, this can be shown on any system and not necessarily a replica simulator.

Case study 5

The end user in this case is building a new plant and will need to recruit operators from other sites or newly recruited operators. The end user wants to be able to do process studies and ICSS debugging and upgrade capabilities on the OTS.

There is nothing required to satisfy the preceding needs other than a full replica simulator.

In this case as we need to do engineering studies, on the process or the control system, we will need a full replica simulator to be able to test the process successfully.

I would hope by giving these case studies, you will have some examples on what OTS type to choose when you want to invest in one. OTS can be expensive and it is vitally important to choose a solution that is fit for purpose.