Mogalakwena Mine and Community Benefits from High-Fidelity Simulators
Employees of Anglo American’s Mogalakwena platinum mine in Limpopo Province, as well as the surrounding community, are reaping the benefits of the mine’s high-fidelity, simulator-training programme.
The mine has recently purchased another CYBERMINE Full Mission Simulator (FMS) from ThoroughTec Simulation, this time for the training of Caterpillar D10T dozer operators. This simulator compliments their existing system for the training of Taiyuan Heavy Industries, WK55 rope shovel operators, which was the first of its kind in the world.
The forward-thinking Mogalakwena mine is using performance and usage data, collected directly from its operational equipment, to boost productivity and drive down costs. Their CYBERMINE simulators form an integral part of this methodology of continuous improvement, providing optimised training, monitoring skills retention and correcting negative behaviours.
“The CYBERMINE simulators provide us with an environment which is as close to the real thing as possible. It allows for a lot of practice, and mistakes to be made in a safe environment at zero risk,” says Richard White, HRD Coordinator QA & Learning Delivery at Mogalakwena. The mining of platinum is heavily mechanised and the costly equipment used can be dangerous. By the time the learner operators graduate from the simulator, they are already comfortable with the equipment’s controls and what they could expect in the mining area. “This minimises the risks when taking the trainee operator to the pit for the first time,” adds White. Cost of ownership is also improved because more training is being done on the simulator, instead of the actual equipment.
“This minimises the risks when taking the trainee operator to the pit for the first time”
“After evaluating the dozer simulator for a period of time and having proven its utility and benefit to training, the mine decided to purchase it outright,” says Adam Smallman, Regional Vice President for EMEA at ThoroughTec. The simulator is not just providing safety benefits; “There are also productivity upsides,” says White. “We’ve found that now, after simulator training, a lot more ripping gets done by the dozer operators.” The simulator’s 360-degree field of view and ripping capabilities provide a life-like situation for operators to practice not only dozing, but ripping as well.
This particular simulator is also being used in a community development project known as Dozing to Success. “The dozer is our entry level equipment for up and coming operators, therefore the D10T sim will be our primary tool in teaching community members who have no mining experience whatsoever, about the mining environment in a safe, realistic manner,” says Stephan Voges, HRD Trainer. “It’s broadening the skills base in the area.”
Currently the simulators are used for initial training programmes to get new operators familiar with their respective machines. “We will be implementing simulator training into refresher training in the near future to ensure that standards and compliance remains at the required level,” says Voges. “This training takes place on a daily basis so this will see the number of operators using the simulators increase dramatically. We intend to utilise these simulators as much as possible.”