This article was originally published in the Winter 2018 issue of The Record. Subscribe for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.
Total is a top-tier international oil and gas company with operations in over 130 countries. Focused on developing low-carbon, sustainable and renewable solutions, the company and its 98,000 employees provide safe, affordable, reliable and clean energy products and services to customers worldwide. To ensure it could effectively train such a large and diverse group at many locations across the world, Total created OLEUM, the first European training centre for the oil and gas and petrochemical industries.
OLEUM offers tailor-made training courses using full-scale processing equipment and process unit operations. To raise the efficiency and effectiveness of the operator training programme, Total also used a platform hosting multiple generic simulators. As the demand to train operators grew rapidly, it was increasingly difficult for the company to maintain multiple simulator systems and keep centralised consistent training programmes. Similarly, access to the platform was inflexible and dependent on the availability of the instructor and the number of students per session.
Total recognised that the older training programme and strategies needed upgrading, if not reinventing, so it partnered with AVEVA to adopt a cloud-based operator training programme. The company worked with AVEVA’s operator training simulators (OTS), which run on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, to develop its next-generation training programme.
Using DYNSIM dynamic simulation to create a digital twin of the plant and a control system and Wonderware InTouch HMI to build control graphics that match a real control room, Total developed a model that dynamically behaves like the plant process would in any given circumstance. These complex applications combined to create a high fidelity OTS environment that allows Total to run different training scenarios that require action from the plant. In addition, the cloud OTS integrates with Total’s corporate learning management system.
Cloud OTS from AVEVA allows Total to onboard and train new operators, as well as to reinforce the training of experienced operators. The solution also reduces training time from months to days because it allows multiple operators to be trained simultaneously. Since the Cloud OTS is built on Microsoft Azure, models remain consistent, simulator maintenance is reduced and there is a minimal hardware footprint. The savings gain by efficiently churning highly competent plant operators is far greater than the conventional method, meaning Total is now able to train operators across the entire company more effectively and efficiently.
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