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Best Practices in Operator Training

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Best Practices in Operator Training

The biggest challenge faced by organizations in today’s industrial environment, is to improve their production capability while maintaining reliability in standards. As a result, both their processes and control systems (Equipment) are becoming increasingly complex.To keep in line with these changes in processes and complex systems, they are adopting various methodologies /strategies for training their operators taking their budgets and need into consideration.

ARC Advisory Group recently conducted a survey of the oil and gas and the nuclear energy industries, to gain an understanding of their strategies for training personnel in operations.

Operator Training

(Source: ARC Advisory Group)

If you see the past few decades, Operators were trained using Classroom Trainings, wherein the instructor used to transfer his knowledge on how to operate the equipment, using visual images and training material to trainees.

Now organizations are using technology for offering training to the operators. Are you aware of those current methods of how operators are getting trained?

Let us have a look at some of the new trends.

Web based Training

A growing percentage of operator trainings are moving from classroom to computer based or, web based delivery. Organizations are focusing more on web based training programs, because the young generation, who grew up with technology, are showing interest towards interactive learning with multimedia and animations of how the machine should be operated.

In addition to interactive learning, web based training can also have assessments at the end. This can help Organizations check and make sure that the operators have understood the operating procedures and can get on working on the actual equipment.

The biggest advantage seen by the organizations is that these trainings are not limited to a particular time and place.

PC Based Simulations

Advancements in technology have made 3D virtual models and simulators affordable, even for small organizations, in past these equipment simulators were limited to expensive motion platforms or heavy equipments, which cost millions.

PC based simulators help learners to become familiar with the controls of the machines and the actions to be performed. These simulation sessions also allow for assessments to track the operator’s performance.

Blended Learning

Organizations are focusing more on Blended learning, since adults look for more hands-on training and “What’s in it for me”.

They are therefore, using a combination of multiple modes of training such as CBTs (To teach what do to and how will that help), simulation sessions (To allow the learner to practice) and on the job training activities to deliver effective trainings.

Mobile Learning

Trainings can help more, if operators can get access get information they need and when they need it. As an answer for this Tablets and mobile devices are opening up new opportunities.

These mini lessons are really helping operators to perform the technique efficiently.

Live Videos

Training through Live videos is also a key trend in operator training. Small inexpensive video cameras are fixed in equipment’s corners and experienced operators are asked to operate a machine or, perform a task and these operations are captured from different angles.

These videos are used to train new operators to give them a live experience and improve performance.

No matter what the technology and strategies are, be clear with your Training objectives and what you want the operators to do.

These are some key strategies I have captured on how organizations are training their operators. Do share if you would like to add any more to these strategies.

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