With the Mobatec simulator, Gunvor Petroleum Rotterdam (GPR) has taken the first step with the training of control room skills of Panel Operators. The demand for a simulator arose from the concern that operators skills will decrease due to the application of a large amount of advanced process technology. And use of Advanced Process Control will only increase in the future.
Mobatec has simulated a sub-process of the gasoline factory where Operators can develop their skills. GPR has drawn up a training plan that connects to the simulated process system. The training plan ensures that the acquisition of skills is central in which the simulation system is not a goal but a means to increase the skillset.
The principles for the development of the simulator and the training plan are:
1. A simulator is not a goal but a means.
2. Skillset is central from the level of current and future development points.
3. It is about skillset that forms the basis for development in the workplace.
Advanced Process Control (APC) takes over the duties of an Operator in normal operation. The consequence of this is that many actions that Panel Operators perform daily on automatic control systems are taken over by APC controls. The advantage of this is that processes are becoming more stable because they are less dependent on Process Operators. The disadvantage is that automation blindness can arise, which reduces the ability to intervene in the process. In the future, this will particularly affect experienced employees.
New Panel Operators are trained with APC regulations applied in the process. They do not know the old situations, but they are expected to have the ability, just like the Senior Panel Operators, to intervene when the process demands it. Process technical insight and the ability to intervene are taught using the Mobatec simulator.
Because the APC regulation in the process system of the gasoline plant has many similarities with other process parts, it was decided to simulate this part so that both experienced and new employees can apply their acquired skills to all existing processes.
With the Mobatec simulator, GPR can develop and maintain skills to intervene in advanced process controls.