At MINExpo 2021 , Modular Mining and Immersive Technologies released support for ProVision Guided Spotting for Immersive Technologies ’ range of haul truck simulator Conversion Kits
already been rolled out at an African platinum mine and is scheduled to be adopted across three additional mines this year .
Training for today & tomorrow
Paul Moore looks at how simulator-based training is already helping operators handle new technologies plus reviews some recent developments across the sims industry
Simulator-based training for mining equipment operation is fast evolving beyond just learning how to drive a truck or operate a drill . Today , these machines are getting extra functionality , particularly with regard to operator assist – and so this is where simulation-based training is also going .
A good example was announced during MINExpo 2021 when Modular Mining , a Komatsu technology brand , and Immersive Technologies , a Komatsu subsidiary , released support for ProVision Guided Spotting for Immersive Technologies ’ range of haul truck simulator Conversion Kits . The Guided Spotting simulation was developed to accelerate the deployment of Modular Mining ’ s Guided Spotting system without impacting production .
By uniting Immersive Technologies ’ and Modular Mining ’ s expertise in training and workforce development , and load and haul optimisation , mines can experience enhanced technology adoption faster without needing to remove haul trucks from production .
Modular Mining ’ s Guided Spotting system is a high-precision machine guidance tool for haul trucks designed to improve efficiency , safety and productivity at the loading site by allowing operators to confidently reverse into the best loading position without needing to pause or stop .
“ Using high-precision GPS , Guided Spotting reliably guides haul truck operators to the correct loading position while the shovel continues productive work ,” said Zilmar Siqueira , Product Manager – Machine Guidance Systems , Modular Mining . “ The easy-to-use displays help take the guesswork out of reversing , enabling mines to reduce their shovel hang time and increase productivity . It does this by eliminating bucket spotting and reducing the probability of a truck-shovel collision in low visibility conditions .”
Siqueira continued , “ Like any new technology introduced onto a mine site , the rollout of training can take time . By partnering with Immersive Technologies , we have been able to reduce that initial loss of production and accelerate the speed of deployment , which enables customers to reap the value of the system much sooner .”
Immersive Technologies ’ full range of Haul Truck simulator Conversion Kits can be configured to support Guided Spotting via a software update .
“ Simulator training can greatly reduce in-field and total training time , which helps minimise the impact to production and allows the benefits of Guided Spotting to be realised faster ,” said Greg Karadjian , Senior Vice President – Asia Pacific , Immersive Technologies . “ More importantly , it enables the operator to train in a controlled environment that reduces operator exposure and potential damage to a mobile plant .”
“ When you need to take out multiple trucks and hundreds of operators to train them on a new system , it poses significant costs to any operation . The implementation of Guided Spotting for our haul truck simulators means mines can minimise the time operators spend training , and doesn ’ t remove equipment from production ,” said Karadjian .
The Guided Spotting simulator training has
Immersive autonomous fleet training for Gudai-Darri
Rio Tinto has enlisted the help of Immersive Technologies and its equipment simulators to further its autonomous haulage footprint at the new Gudai-Darri iron ore mine in Western Australia .
The mine , which will operate Caterpillar autonomous trucks equipped with Cat ’ s MineStar™ Command for hauling system , will use simulation-based training solutions from Immersive Technologies to address the workforce development challenges within autonomous haulage operations with a focus on improving the safety and efficiency of their operator workforce , Immersive said .
Rio has used such systems from Immersive for over 17 years , understanding the value of investing in simulators for operator capability development , including equipment productivity and reliability initiatives , Immersive said . Rio Tinto Vice President , Human Resources , Scott Browne , said : “ This is an important component of our comprehensive training program for AHS , which includes supporting new team members as well as upskilling existing employees . Gudai- Darri will be one of the world ’ s most technologically advanced mines . Preparations are well under way to ensure its workforce is ready to take on the high-tech jobs on offer .”
Focused on capability development in the usage of the autonomous system , Rio Tinto partnered with Immersive Technologies to provide a solution to support the mine-readiness schedule and objectives , Immersive said . Specific training products include a platform which simulates a Cat 6060 excavator , Cat D10T dozer and Cat 18M grader . All simulator modules are equipped with an autonomous system panel and provide a safe and effective environment for training by allowing learners to operate their equipment while interacting with the autonomous trucks and managing their work areas as required , the company added .
The simulator solution is complimented by machine pre-start inspection software , which provides a detailed visualisation of equipment components , including autonomous components fitted to machines . Additionally , a ‘ Virtual Classroom ’ product hosts complex autonomous procedures that immerses learners in a safe and repeatable virtual environment which enables the development of deep knowledge and muscle
International Mining | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2021