Moving operator training simulators to the cloud

Posted: May 31, 2019

Not too long ago, if your company wanted to train you and your co-workers, the standard method was to gather everyone in the conference room and have you sit quietly while a traveling consultant lectured. If you were lucky, you signed the attendance form and went back to work. If you were unlucky, the whole thing proceeded like a scene from The Office. Either way, it’s not likely you retained much.

Companies have moved on from this costly, ineffective form of training. Now, when you need to learn about workplace safety, harassment or insider trading, chances are you log into your corporate learning management system (LMS) through a web browser at a time that suits your schedule. You take the course and demonstrate that you’ve understood by passing an integrated test. HR can easily track not just attendance, but knowledge retention.

An important group left behind

In the process industries, there is often one group of employees still stuck with the old methods of on-premise training – the operators – and it shows in plant safety, availability and profitability. Operator error accounts for 42% [1] of unplanned shutdowns. The average cost per major incident related to operator error exceeds $80M [2]. Complex, highly automated production systems leave fewer opportunities for on-the-job training, while also raising the stakes of human error in abnormal situations.

Operators require advanced training simulators

Operating companies know they need to decrease time-to-competence. They know operators must learn the right habits to make the right choice in every scenario. They also know that training effective operators requires more advanced simulation technology than the HR department is used to. How can operators gain the benefits of modern training while addressing the particular needs of a plant?

Cloud OTS breaks down barriers

With AVEVA Cloud, advanced operator training simulation tools are now available as a service. When an organization moves operator training to the cloud, they see an improvement in four different factors, known as the four As:

  • Accessibility – any user can access the training, from anywhere in the world, at any time, with just an internet connection and a web browser
  • Availability – training on the cloud is always ready, on demand, whenever required
  • Applicability – specific, customized training can be offered more easily to suit multiple learning styles and different job roles
  • Affordability – the cost of training decreases because less equipment is needed on-site and travel expenses disappear

In addition, cloud-based operator training can easily integrate with the corporate LMS. This ensures consistency and efficiency in internal processes and regulatory compliance.

Tomorrow’s training succeeding today

Cloud OTS enables widespread use of dynamic, high-fidelity simulation models that mirror the controls and behavior of actual site operations. Companies can train the workforce of tomorrow in an integrated, efficient system that raises the competence of operators and engineers throughout the organization. Innovative companies are already reaping the benefits of cloud-based OTS:

  • Arizona Public Service deploys training to their operators spread across hundreds of miles, for more time behind the control board and less time behind the driver’s wheel. Operators gain experience on abnormal situations that occur rarely but with high consequence.
  • TOTAL reduced time-to-competence from months to weeks and can train more than 2000 operators per year through their OLEUM training group. Training materials are standardized and integrated with the corporate LMS.

[1]  ARC Advisory Group

[2]  J & H Marsh & McLennan

To learn more about how Total OLEUM is offering tailor-made training in an industry size processing plant, read the article in Hydrocarbon Processing.

1 ARC Advisory Group
2 J&H Marsh & McLennan


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