How do you train operators to work in a plant that doesn't yet exist? You let them use a simulator! The Valeraldehyde plant, part of the major Valerox project in Stenungsund, is being built right now. To ensure a fast and efficient start-up of the plant, the idea is to train the operators, even before the plant is complete.
The technology is called OTS – Operators Training Simulator, and is the first of its kind within the Group. It is a computer based simulator, enabling virtual training in the new plant. Previously, a development project with one of our formaldehyde plants has been executed, but this simulator is the first turn key installation and the first one with an actual operator’s station connected to it.
“It’s important that it is very realistic, so it looks exactly like the environment where the process operators will work in the actual plant”, says project leader Johan Rönnberg.
The project was kicked off two weeks ago when the project group met with the supplier of the OTS. The project is expected to be finished by end of October this year, meaning that the simulator will be ready for use by the operators then.
It is of great importance that when the plant is ready, so are the persons who will work in the plant. And by extension, the simulator can lead to higher capacity and improve exchanges:
“There are scenarios in a plant that can’t be practiced, or is very hard to practice – shutdowns, hazardous scenarios, new operating points and start-ups for instance. With the help of a simulator, this is made possible”, Johan Rönnberg explains.
“It is great fun to be part of this – it’s a real technology step for Perstorp! And with the many benefits of an OTS it’s likely that this will pave the way for future simulators”, Johan Rönnberg concludes.