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One of the key challenges that capital-intensive industries will face over the next five years is replacing the gray-haired workforce with the computer-savvy/gaming generation. High-fidelity operator trainer simulators that represent the production process, control system and the control room interface have proved to be very effective for control room operations training. However, for the remaining 50% of the plant start-up procedures that are executed in the field, no fully interactive training environment has been available — until now.
Industries like oil and gas, refining and power companies need to institutionalize their workforce knowledge in more efficient and effective ways. Leveraging virtual reality (VR) models to improve time-to-competency in critical areas like safety, environment protection systems, knowledge, performance training and reliability provides a vehicle to rapidly train the new workforce in ways that align with their interests and skills.
With continuing advances in hardware and software techniques, Virtual reality (VR) is accessible today as the best aid to multimedia training, process design, maintenance, safety etc., which are currently based around conventional two-dimensional (2-D) equipment views.
The real-time rendering of equipment views puts demands on processor time, and so the use of high fidelity simulators is becoming more and more of a standard in process understanding and training. Within many VR commercial projects in the past, the results have either been unrealistically slow or oversimplified to the detriment of the solution effectiveness. As the technology continues to develop, these issues are being eliminated, giving way to a new process simulation era that is based on commercially standard IT hardware.