Immersive Technologies upgrades simulator range for machinery training

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Simulators not only help workers operate mining machinery, but also give them the skills to stay safe. Safe To Work looks at a new simulator on the market.

A key way to ensure a safe working environment when operating mining equipment is through comprehensive training.

In today’s industry, training simulators provide support to companies so their workers have the skills they need to operate machinery properly.

Immersive Technologies is a leading provider of mining simulators. The company has this year built on the success of its LX3 medium fidelity equipment simulator with the latest platform, the LX6.

The mining technology specialist released the three-screen LX3 almost two years ago and it has proven to be a breakthrough for the company in the medium-fidelity space.

Since its release, Immersive Technologies has sold LX3 simulators to mining companies in Australia, Africa, Europe, North America and South America in a period of two years.

It was, however, the popularity of the LX3 model that prompted Immersive Technologies to design the LX6, which offers mining companies a broader, six-screen platform.

Immersive Technologies product manager Ravitha Sukumaran says by developing a six-screen version the company can offer a simulator with a large vertical field of view suited for digging, dozing and grading.

“Operators need a larger vertical field of view in these areas because most of the time they are digging into the ground below,” Sukumaran says.

“The three-screen LX3 was optimised for trucks however not for digging, dozing and grading. Even though the LX3 could deliver training for digging, dozing and grading, to further develop operator skills they really need to have a larger field of view, which is what the LX6 provides.”

Miners using just truck simulation kits do not necessarily require the LX6, but those operating simulation kits for shovels, excavators, wheel loaders, dozers and graders will benefit considerably.

Many users of the LX3 are still using the three-screen version for this type of machinery. However, they now have an opportunity to upgrade to the LX6 to bolster their skills even further.

“With the LX3 and LX6, we are providing a scalable option for budget-constrained companies as well,” Sukumaran says.

The platform’s screens are high definition to support the large field of view. LX6, like LX3 still offers a smaller footprint compared to high-fidelity simulators despite having a larger vertical view than the LX3.

Launched at Expomin in Chile during April, the LX6 is compatible with all surface mining machines simulated by Immersive Technologies and shares the underlying technology of the market leading PRO4 and IM360 simulators.

Sukumaran believes the LX6’s introduction to the global marketplace comes at a good time for the company and industry.

“The market is continuing to turn in the right direction. That’s why we felt developing a simulator like this, which adds value to our other products, would benefit the industry,” Sukumaran says.

“Many of our customers now have a combination of high and medium fidelity simulators; some were constrained to delivering training for one machine type at a time even though they may have multiple Conversion Kits (Machine Modules). By adding an LX3 or LX6 they are now able to better utilise their existing Conversion Kit assets.

“For the mid-tier mining market, in particular, it provides them with a useful platform that can be used for early stage training but also for upskilling training.”

In summary, the benefits of the LX6 focus on increasing training productivity, safety, cost effectiveness and promoting simulation efficiencies.

In terms of training productivity and safety, the LX6 is ideal for early training stages, emergency response, machine and site familiarisation; completing compliance training for safety; freeing up high fidelity simulators for later stage and business improvement focused training; and for expanding training capacity.

As a cost-effective solution, the LX6 efficiently trains large groups at a low cost while continuing to focus on driving customer safety, profitability and minimising production impact by reducing the time required for in-field training.

Compatible with all surface mining equipment Conversion Kits, the LX6 delivers simulation efficiencies, increasing training throughput by utilising surplus Conversion Kits that are truly interchangeable across all simulator platforms, maximising use of existing resources.

Immersive Technologies’ SimControl software sits at the heart of the equipment simulator, delivering a comprehensive management system that is quick and easy to operate.

The software provides the ability to administer trainees, manage multiple machine types and models, review training sessions, configure learning scenarios and build complete training curriculum.

SimControl uses a streamlined graphical interface for management tasks, while providing the ability to customise the simulated environment to meet specific training needs and unique site conditions.

Immersive Technologies releases updated versions of SimControl twice a year, allowing users with a customer support package to take advantage of technology and best practice advancements.

This article also appears in the Oct–Dec issue of Safe to Work.