Engineering & Mining Journal

APR 2019

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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64 E&MJ • APRIL 2019 OPERATING STRATEGIES Simulators offer mining companies a controllable and measurable tool for teaching, upgrading and evaluating nec- essary employee skills without incurring the cost of real-world operations or the risk of damage to valuable production equipment. Rising industry interest in simulator training hasn't gone unnoticed by its suppliers. Recent announcements indicate a brisk rate of new product and service solutions aimed at fulfi lling spe- cifi c user needs. For example, Immersive Technologies recently noted its North American cus- tomers are increasingly obtaining quan- tifi ed results in targeted areas such as lower spot times, higher dig rates and reduced machine abuse events caused by operator actions. Immersive said long- time customer Rio Tinto Kennecott has been using its Managed Services and a transportable Immersive PRO4 simu- lator to train operators for wet weather conditions. The majority of Kennecott's haul truck operators have less than two years of experience in these conditions due to very light snowfall in recent years, and Kennecott is putting all operators through simulator-based training to build confi dence while running in heavy snow conditions. As operators are trained, data will be generated that help identify more opportunities for targeted training inter- ventions relating to safety, productivity and unscheduled maintenance. Immer- sive also said new-hire training is part of Kennecott's program and will continue to be a focus in 2019. At Peabody's North Antelope Rochelle surface coal mine in Wyoming, Immer- sive said a recently concluded Managed Services project returned positive results over the course of fi ve months that saw the mine achieve a 2.4-second spot time reduction and 57% improvement in op- erator-induced machine events (alarms). In Mexico, an underground hard rock customer reported that with the help of an Immersive Technologies' Embedded Trainer it achieved: • 96% reduction on rear-brake heating events. • 86% reduction on front-brake pressure drop events. • 79% reduction on transmission abuse events. • 4.5% reduction on fuel consumption, representing $444,181 of annualized savings. "The fusion of Managed Services and simulator technology is a powerful com- bination as North American customers have quickly realized over the last de- cade," said Anthony Bruce, regional vice president, North America. "The fully supported solution by Immersive Tech- nologies' Managed Services architecture drives quantifi able return on investment. It includes proactive supervision to drive best actions and access to select intel- lectual property for training and continu- ous improvement." New Sandvik Rig Simulator In February, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology introduced a compact, fl ex- ible simulator to safely train operators and maintenance teams on its DD422i, DD422iE and DT922i drill rigs. Sand- vik said the unit provides a low weight, safe training tool that is highly port- able, enabling it to be used where it is most needed, on-site. The new sim- ulator has been designed specifi cally to improve both operator and drilling performance, delivering real benefi ts for underground drilling applications, according to the company. The system, which weighs less than 50 kg, is claimed to deliver "real life" training in a simulated working envi- ronment, with drill rig operators and maintenance teams learning about rig capabilities before progressing to the actual equipment. The simulator acts like a real rig, operated with authentic controls and combined with the same control system software as that installed on the drills themselves. It comes with purpose-developed software that includes a range of specif- ic exercises for recording and measuring operator behavior. The trainer can initi- ate machine faults, incidents or hazards to train and assess operators, thereby en- suring they are able to respond correctly to any scenario with maximum effi cien- Simulator Training Pays Off as New Models and Services Expand Potential Value Sandvik's newest portable simulator is designed to train operators for its DD422i, DD422iE and DT922i drill rigs. The company estimates that use of the simulator can increase rig availability alone by 5% annually.

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