Career Development

Training operators and maintenance staff with 3D visualization

Virtual reality is changing the way many plants view training.

By Seán Ottewell

The ongoing drive for higher efficiency and greater safety in an ever-more-stringent regulatory environment is prompting chemical makers to consider new ways to improve training of operators and other staff. Use of 3D visualization and virtual reality can significantly help, believe a number of vendors, including Siemens, Invensys and Honeywell.

"We definitely see the chemical industry progressing in terms of adopting 3D visualization techniques for its training needs," says Bonn, Germany-based Andreas Geiss, vice president COMOS industry solutions for Siemens.

However, the conservative nature of the chemical industry means that 3D virtual reality training and its applications are taking longer to become universally adopted, notes Manchester, U.K.-based Peter Richmond, EYESIM Product Manager for Invensys. "Although it is now commonly accepted as best practice to use simulation-based training for control room operators, the inclusion of field operators, through 3D virtual reality training applications, has taken longer to be rolled out."

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