TRAINING simulator provider ThoroughTec has refined its CYBERMINE Complete Training Solution, a holistic training program aimed at improving operator safety and efficiency in the mining industry.

“On its own, technology is not a complete solution but serves as a vehicle for a robust pedagogical framework. With this as a foundation we explored methods and possible implementations of the classroom of tomorrow – a true virtual integrated learning environment,” says ThoroughTec learning technologist David Baxter, who has been heavily involved in development of this solution. “By aligning our technology with best practices in learning and training we can use technology appropriately.”

“Research has shown our brain retains only the information it deems important,” says ThoroughTec’s training solutions manager Michael Da Silva. “Retrieval is a way of signalling to the brain that a piece of information is useful, and therefore important, and should be retained. We can effect retrieval by applying the learning in our day-to-day work, which an operator is doing every shift.”

Core components of the customizable solution are the CYBERMINE Computer Based Trainer (CBT) and Operator Familiarization Trainer (OFT), which complements the flagship high fidelity CYBERMINE Full Mission Simulator (FMS), which is a realistic simulation tool for practical training.

The trainee operator’s experience is enhanced by combining visual, auditory and tactile feedback and advanced training scenarios. It allows operators to be better prepared for the real world. They can learn the basics from equipment start-up to more advanced operating techniques used to increase efficiency, reduce equipment wear and tear, fuel consumption and emergency procedures.

ThoroughTec says one of South Africa’s biggest collieries has seen shuttle car loading times come down nearly 30% since continuous miner operators started training on a CYBERMINE continuous miner simulator. This colliery also has simulators for a shuttle car, LHD and utility vehicle and is getting simulators for a soft rock bolter, personnel carrier and heavy duty hauler.

ThoroughTec executive vice president of operations Richard Bellengere says “We wanted to go a step further and offer fully customizable training programs for mine sites. After years of research and analysis we found there was a definite need for systems below high fidelity simulators that would help trainee operators learn everything they need to know about their mine site, equipment and safety before they jump on the simulator and then the real equipment.”

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