Bridging between Virtual Reality and accident simulation for training of process-industry operators

This paper discusses a training solution based on Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented‑Virtual Reality (AVR), specifically tailored for the (chemical) process industry, and a related proof-of-concept experiment. The suggested approach, compared to traditional training systems, has the potential to improve operators’ cognitive readiness by addressing the three components of situation awareness, namely (i) “experiencing” the plant and its units, (ii) comprehending their meaning and purpose, and (iii) learning how to project the current status in the near future. The paper discusses the benefits of integrating and interlinking a dynamic process simulator with a dynamic accident simulator in order to train operators (particularly field operators) to respond effectively to abnormal situations, thus enabling them to recognize and recover anomalies and malfunctions, especially when they might lead to accidents. A practical example is shown to support this point.