Addressing one of the biggest challenges facing mine operators today—“how can we increase productivity without compromising safety or increasing cost”—training simulator developer Immersive Technologies says it can provide compelling results that prove putting more focus on operator behavior and skills will deliver higher output. They recently released several case studies showing that their simulation training and professional services can deliver cycle time, spot time, swing time and bucket fill factor improvements.
“We know that equipment performance is heavily dependent on operator skill, knowledge and attitude. Our unique approach ensures our customers focus on the right issues that will deliver the highest returns. We work closely with mining customers and OEM’s to ensure the technology is properly integrated and quantified results are achieved,” said Bryant Mullaney, Global Professional Services Manager, Immersive Technologies.
The newly added case studies span three countries and three commodities. One of them describes details of a customer under pressure to show marked improvement in overall production across all of its mine sites, with an identified risk regarding the absence of a formal dragline operator training strategy.
The customer and Immersive developed and implemented a structured training curriculum through Training Systems Integration (TSI) and to drive ROI through targeted training, using simulators. In-pit data was collected by means of an onboard data capture system and analyzed to define the optimal training interventions. Targeted one-on-one skill training sessions were conducted to close gaps for each dragline operator.
A comparison of operator performance in the six months before and six months after the training showed a 4% improvement in cycle times, 10% improvement in swing times and 5.7% improvement in bucket fill factors, according to Immersive.
At another site, an initial training needs analysis demonstrated an opportunity to improve haul truck spot times.
Data analysis revealed that only 20% of the workforce were responsible for the bulk of lower-than-expected productivity. Immersive facilitated a cross-functional team consisting of stakeholders from production, maintenance, training and continuous improvement. Upon the completion of the training initiative average spot times were reduced by 9 seconds.
Yet another study spanned three mine sites where truck operators underwent simulator based training to improve truck cycle times. Simulator data was used to track progress of production-specific skill and knowledge retention. In-field data was collected and analyzed both before and after training. The end result was an average 24.3% improvement in spot times across all three sites.
“Following work with 230+ sites globally we believe that significant quantifiable improvement can be achieved at any mining operation. We understand that every mining operation and training center has different needs and priorities that require customization, flexibility and consultation to maximize outcomes. We provide customized solutions, which can include trainers, consultants, supervision and technology including flexible hire of simulators,” Mullaney noted.