Cutting costs and improving outcomes for I&C technicians and maintenance staff
SCS M&S Magazine | By: Deanne Bellin, Marketing Communications, GSE Systems, Inc.
Until recently many industrial facility owners would not think twice of spending $1 million to construct a brick-and-mortar flow loop facility for training instrumentation and control (I&C) technicians, maintenance staff and operators.
Today these types of capital investments are scrutinized down to the penny. But training is still necessary. Fortunately, high-fidelity simulation modeling using serious gaming 3D virtual environments – the kind previously used exclusively to train nuclear plant operators – is now cost-effective for non-nuclear applications. GSE’s first-of-a-kind Virtual Flow Loop Trainer™ provides the same level of training that used to require an entire building in a convenient, flexible environment that provides more student throughput and more student engagement at a fraction of the cost.
GSE has combined its simulation experience, instructional system design capabilities and visualization technology to create the first truly practical training tool for industrial operations. The Virtual Flow Loop Trainer has applications across virtually all industries that train staff on fundamental and practical operations of pumps, valves, controllers and instrumentation. GSE has embedded additional training information and live operating data into the virtual environment in the Virtual Flow Loop Trainer, giving students deeper understand of equipment and system functions. Dynamic performance data such as flow rates, temperatures and pressures are displayed for each object. Supplemental information is available to students with one-click access in a variety of formats (video, web, database, PDF, etc.).
These enhancements also enable instructors to show phenomena that are difficult for students to understand and visualize using traditional materials. The Virtual Flow Loop Trainer also provides all of the benefits of a simulation platform; no maintenance costs, safety or environmental issues; the ability to quickly reset the training scenario for more frequent practice; and the ability to easily expand the training system to add new equipment.
The Virtual Flow Loop Trainer and other Activ3Di™ products and services from GSE are aimed at providing practical knowledge capture applications that are cost effective and relevant to the workforce of tomorrow. The virtual environment is also suited to the next generation of plant workers, those who are ISSN 2168-703x used to the digital world and are best taught through engaging, hands-on learning experiences. This type of 3D tool has been shown to cut training time by as much as 50% while increasing effectiveness (student mastery) by 40%.
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