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10 best simulation and training year-end spends

by | Nov 20, 2017 | Simulation & Training

It’s that time again! We’re dusting off our list of the best ways to spend your year-end money and adding some new offerings.

Let’s paint the picture. It’s the beginning of December and your boss lets you know there are funds available in the current year-end budget. Great news! But the catch is you must already have the quote and the project must be able to be completed in just a few short months. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

All of the services below are low-cost or allow you to choose your hours and can be completed in just a few months.

Simulator Technology Support

1. Software Upgrade

Maintaining your simulation software has lots of benefits.  In addition to taking advantage of new features, enhancements and security patches, you’ll also have an easier time migrating to new platforms in the future, and get priority service when you need it. Have you been putting off upgrading your simulation software because your engineers or operators don’t have enough time to update or test the simulator? You could supplement your staff by purchasing simulation engineer’s hours to do the update for you and/or by purchasing licensed operator hours to perform the testing for you. This method takes the pain out of the process and enables your operators and instructors to experience the benefits of the software upgrade.

Not enough leftover funds to implement the software upgrade at the end of the year? Consider purchasing the upgrade with a separate project allocated in the following year for implementation.

2. Model Upgrade

In the Post-Fukushima world that we live in, many plants are looking at the robustness of their electrical systems modelling to be able to evaluate post-accident scenarios and give operators an appreciation for battery life and operating conditions. It’s possible that your battery and power supply models are over-simplified. View our blog post on “Can your simulator “cope” with the new FLEX equipment guidelines”.

Thermal power plants can especially benefit from using year end money to update your operator training simulator to the current plant design. Another helpful update is to upgrade the balance of plant (BOP) model from a simplified, functional model to a more detailed, first principles level.

3. Part Task Models

Improve efficiency and minimizing downtime with a part-task simulator. The investment will improve operator behavioral training and increased delivery performance by focusing on a particular area of plant operations being targeted for efficiency improvement or a particular piece of equipment presenting a significant portion of operational hazards.

4. Graphics

A great use of year-end money is adding or improving the simulator graphics. Most noteworthy is creating new graphics panels for in-plant control panels thereby removing burdensome remote functions and providing a more procedure oriented operations training experience. Especially relevant as it relates to FLEX equipment is additional simulator graphics for local diesel generator control panels, instrument bus breaker panels, local battery chargers, and local instrument bus inverters.

5. AV System upgrade

Take advantage of year-end money to modernize your AV system with high-definition audio and video coupled directly to your full-scope simulator. Your post-simulator training debriefs are paramount for improving operator performance. Make sure that you’re not working with archaic AV formats using an inefficient, time consuming ‘copy and carry’ method.

6. Simulator Health Check (Debit Program)

If your simulator staff has a list of small items that they just don’t have the time to get to, consider a pool of simulator health check hours through a debit program of customer directed T&M.

There’s an endless punch list of items on every simulation manager’s list. Cleaning up your simulator file structure (because wouldn’t it be nice and who has the time), recommending upgrades based on your current models, training new employees on using the simulator software for modeling, and training new instructors on the instructor station features to name a few!

7. Glasstop Simulator

Is your full-scope simulator schedule maxed out with no time left to run just-in-time training for an infrequent operation, or to test plant changes or new HMI screens? Consider a glasstop simulator to run your existing plant load. Since most simulators are site licensed, so you can create as many duplicates as you need for a variety of testing and training applications. Use a single unit in standalone mode or build your way up to an entire room of glasstops representing the entire control room.

 

Training

8. Fundamentals Training

Could your new operator and engineer candidates benefit from anytime, anywhere access to quality training material on fundamentals?  A strong understanding of process and control fundamentals, as well as standard plant equipment such as tanks, pumps, and cooling towers, gives your staff a leg up for when they start training on the plant specific simulator.  Cloud based courses that combine computer based tutorials and simulation exercises can help you maximize training your training touch time.

9. Additional training materials & scenarios

Unfortunately the time to create new scenarios for simulation training is a luxury that many plants don’t have, especially in the thermal power plants that might not have a training department. Let us develop automated plant procedures to capture your plant’s normal, abnormal and infrequent operations so that you can train operators on diagnosing and troubleshooting failures as well as perform just-in-time training.

 

Procedures

10. Procedure Writing and Staff Augmentation

With the addition of Absolute Consulting, Inc. to the GSE family, we are now the go-to provider of procedure support to the nuclear industry. Whether you wish for procedure writing, process development and review help, or staff augmentation for project support, we’ve got you covered!

Conclusion

For this New Year’s resolution, how about increasing your simulation training value with updated models, graphics or scenarios? Or perhaps you want to concentrate on one part of your plant’s process for efficiency improvement? Or do you simply want a clean slate and finally get those nice-to-haves off your to-do list? Whatever your goal, there’s an effective way to utilize year-end money to work toward your objective.

Contact us to see how we can help you.

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