Operators of South Deep gold mine’s fleet of
expensive underground mining equipment are given
simulator training prior to venturing into the deep.
Simulator training provides new operators with a feel for how equipment is expected to work without fear of damaging real equipment and risking human life, says simulator supplier ThoroughTec.
Since the inclusion of the Atlas Copco Rocket Boomer 282 and Sandvik Toro 007 LHD simulator cabs into South Deep’s training procedure, operators become competent after a week and a
half of classroom, simulator and practical training, under the guidance of South Deep’s chief training officer, Slang Maré, and training superintendent Eddie Stonehouse.
South Deep’s simulators are not only used to train new
operators, but they are also used to provide refresher courses for experienced operators, so that correct operational, driving and safety procedures can be monitored, without having to decommission equipment in the field.
At the heart of ThoroughTec’s Cybermine is the simulated cab, which has simulated instruments and controls mounted on a
motion platform to provide
accurate motion perception cues.
The cab area is surrounded by a wide-angle, high-resolution projection display system coupled to surround sound audio.
Control of all training aspects is exercised in real time from an instructor station.
The entire system is in a container, which also facilitates ease of transport.
Instructors are able to set up and modify standard exercises, change environmental conditions, include people and other vehicles in the simulated world and inject faults and emergency
situations at the touch of a button.
The exercise can be recorded to compare historical data and provide reviews for student debriefing and classroom participation.
“Safety is a key issue in the mining industry, more so than most other industries, simply because of the dangers linked to mining and it is with this
philosophy that we find ourselves working with South Deep, where simulators play a vital role in both safety and productivity,”
says ThoroughTec executive
director Dr John Waltham.