Sleipner Finland Oy says it has taken the need for improving working safety and remote training to a new level with its E-series simulator products.
The company has launched both portable and static simulators to train excavator operators at mine and quarry sites, it said.
The two new simulators have been created for different solutions. The portable simulator is light and movable, while the static simulator is a training station installed at the working site. With the simulators, operators can be trained on the new E-series products, or they can be retrained to maintain a certain quality level for operating the E-series, the company said. And since the world has changed more towards working remotely, the simulators create the possibility for completely remote training.
Sleipner has now completed testing at two mines in Finland with around 20 operators. The feedback from the operators was very good, according to the company.
Teijo Höylä, Product Manager at Sleipner, said: “For example, we trained excavator operators at the Boliden Kevitsa mine. Many of the attendees had variable working experience with excavators. The new simulator saved our customer almost two full days of valuable production time. Also, I noticed that both experienced older operators and younger ‘PlayStation generation’ operators were able to learn on the simulator very quickly.”
Training with the simulator can reduce costs by 66% compared with traditional on-site training by saving fuel, maintenance and resources from productive work, according to Sleipner.
Karl Marlow, Training Manager & Product Support at Sleipner, said: “The mine supervisors were happy that we were not taking machines out of production. Also, there was not a classroom of operators waiting for their turn on the simulator, so they could return to their work until their turn.”
He added: “Normally we would do a classroom theory session with around five to 10 people pending on the mine production releasing operators. Then we could send some operators back to work and call them back for their turn on the simulator, as sometimes it can take up to an hour per operator.”
Benefits from the simulator training can be sorted into four groups: work safety, increased training efficiency, increased productivity, and lower maintenance and training costs, the company said.
Marlow added: “The benefits to the customer include no losses in production from taking two machines out for training, no risk of accidents or incidents as the training takes place in a classroom instead of the mine area, and less lost time by not having operators just sitting around.
“Also, the level of operating skills required can be zero, meaning untrained operators spend more time on the simulator rather than posing a risk in the mine or pit. The one simulator can cover both small excavators and larger ones. Also, all the tasks we cover in theory and practice can be done on the simulator.”