Journal Virtual Reality and Augmented-Virtual Reality as Tools to Train Industrial Operators
Computer Aided Chemical Engineering, 30, 1398-1401, (2012)
The need for developing an improved methodology to better train operators is crucial since their performance directly influences the process in terms of productivity, quality, profitability, stability, and controllability. Meanwhile, human machine interfaces have intensified the complexity faced by operators in modern plants, where a human error may result in significant financial and resource losses. This paper proposes the implementation and adoption of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented‑Virtual Realty (AVR) to train operators in industrial plants. A detailed and immersive 3D model of the plant allows the operators understanding the details of both equipment and operating conditions. The complex dynamic behavior and control strategies of the process can be reproduced with a highly detailed 3D virtual environment by employing and coupling a dynamic process simulator and a dynamic real‑time accident simulator. The AVR feature allows enhancing and improving the understanding and skill of field operators by letting them know the process operating conditions that dynamically change within the plant section where they work. The same can be said of process dynamics in case of abnormal and accident conditions. The positive outcome of this operator-training tool consists in increasing the reliability, cost effectiveness, environmental friendliness, and safety of the process.