Skill development simulations

Computer simulations are becoming increasingly prevalent in training departments throughout industry. With organizations placing greater importance on training and stretching dollars, computer simulations are emerging as an integral part of skill development in training programs. Simulations can be used for a variety of purposes, from analyzing the behavior of systems and showing how equipment ...

12/01/2009


Computer simulations are becoming increasingly prevalent in training departments throughout industry. With organizations placing greater importance on training and stretching dollars, computer simulations are emerging as an integral part of skill development in training programs.

Simulations can be used for a variety of purposes, from analyzing the behavior of systems and showing how equipment works, to teaching a specific set of skills. This article examines some of the advantages of skills training with computer simulations, and guidelines for choosing simulation based software for your training program.

Computer simulation advantages

Training with computer simulations offers myriad benefits that can improve the efficiency of your people and your plant. Compared to traditional training methods such as textbooks or videos, computer simulations can provide learners with practical, hands-on experience that greatly increases skill learning and understanding.

Training on real equipment provides hands-on learning, but it’s not always a practical approach. For example, training an entire maintenance staff to troubleshoot malfunctions on real equipment requires costly downtime and is an inefficient allocation of time and resources. Using simulation-based training software, learners can develop skills on realistic replications of equipment and transfer those skills to real equipment.

Safety in the workplace is an essential aspect of any type of training. Computer simulations provide a safe way to teach important safety practices and procedures. Simulation allows learners to make mistakes %%MDASSML%% and to learn from those mistakes %%MDASSML%% without risking an injury to themselves or others.

Choosing training software

Choosing the right simulation-based training system can present problems and can undermine your training if the simulation is not up to par. When selecting simulation-based training software, consider these important factors:

Realism %%MDASSML%% For simulation-based software to be an effective training tool, it needs to be realistic. Trainees must be able to interact with the simulation the same way they would with real equipment. A good simulation accurately reflects possible scenarios in a lifelike environment, and provides the user with the same tools as they would have on the job. The more realistic a simulation is, the easier it will be for your staff to transfer their learned skills directly to the workplace.

Feedback %%MDASSML%% An often overlooked aspect of simulation training is the positive impact that interactivity and real-time feedback can have on the learning process. Directly engaging the user with interactive learning is what makes simulation training so valuable and sets it apart from other types of training. High quality software provides continuous feedback, responding accurately to the user’s interaction with the simulation. Feedback features you should look for include safety warnings, hints for improving processes, tips for developing better techniques or instructive responses when answering questions.

Evaluation %%MDASSML%% Evaluation is an integral part of any learning process, and training with simulations is no different. In addition to scoring, tracking and reporting user progress, the software should include an evaluation system at the end of an activity or exercise, allowing them to focus on aspects that need the most work. This not only lets your staff see their development and improvement, it also saves the instructor’s time.

The goal of any training program is to improve the skills your staff must use on the job. Simulation-based training software can help achieve these goals by providing effective and valuable skill development.

Training with computer simulations allows learners to make mistakes, and to learn from those mistakes, without risk of injury to themselves or others.

 


Author Information

Warren Rhude is president of Simutech Multimedia Inc. He has an extensive background in electrical maintenance and training at a prominent electrical utility.




No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2016 Product of the Year; Diagnose bearing failures; Asset performance management; Testing dust collector performance measures
Safety for 18 years, warehouse maintenance tips, Ethernet and the IIoT, GAMS 2016 recap
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Safety at every angle, Big Data's impact on operations, bridging the skills gap
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me