By Livia K. Wiley, SimSci Product Marketing Manager
Operator Training Simulators (OTSs) have been available in the marketplace for a long time. However, over the last five years the improvements in technology — the computers, the software and the market understanding — have meant that the use of OTSs has become a reality for many processes. No longer are Training Simulators primarily the realm of airline pilots, nuclear systems and astronauts, but now they are available across the process industries, including oil and gas. Plant management has found that a relatively small investment in OTSs can save hundreds of thousands of dollars with paybacks measured in weeks or months. Operator Training Systems have been used to uncover any control system configuration, graphic or logic errors that might lead to unit trips, equipment damage, or other events that would result in an extension of the planned outage window associated with the upgrade effort.