This document is an expanded abstract.
This paper represent a project under implementation to merge Virtual Reality technology into Operator Training Simulators allowing mixed training scenatios to be experienced by both field and panel operators
The Operator Training Simulators (OTS) principle is to use a computer-based virtual representation of the real process plant intended for efficient training of process operators, has long since been applied in the avaiation and process industries
Such OTS systems allows more efficient and floawless operations team scenarios. Designs of Operator Training Simulators have been evolving for the last two decades from low fidelity panels or DCS & SCADA operator screens to medium fidelity where the DCS & SCADA software is obtaining readings from Dynamic Simulation software. In such era the Dynamic simulation packages were not that developed but providing directionally correct plant responses to faults & operator actions. Further developments in Dynamic simulation and process control emulation software packages, leading vendors started to promote the High Fidelity - Operator Training Simulator which gained wider acceptance within end users and asset operators. However, to maintain performance and fidelity level of that OTS, periodic maintenance is needed for the model, control configuration and operator screens.
The major drawback to these sort of training simulators is that; it is focused on Process Control Panel Operator who resides mainly in the control room. However, in real plants, duty to run the assets are shared between panel operator and field operator, hence splitting the training activities of those two teams creates a major gap for the targeted operators’ skills, understanding and efficiencies. Especially when the training needed for executing critical missions like cold start up or emergency shutdowns, procedures are usually built around instantaneous communication and interaction between panel & field operating teams.