Training employees for offshore operations is expensive and involves risks to employees, the facility and the environment. That is why companies working offshore are increasingly using virtual reality as a training tool. In this article we look at how five companies train safer, faster and more environmentally friendly with virtual reality.
Thanks to advancements in virtual reality, offshore operators are increasingly able to learn in a safe, realistic training environment. The risk of damage and injury is reduced as operators are not placed directly in unfamiliar offshore environments.
In addition, employees are better prepared, have more self-confidence and make fewer mistakes. This results in lower costs, fewer accidents and a lower impact on the environment.
The energy company BP uses VR training to train employees efficiently and onshore. In so-called “immersive simulation environments”, personnel learn complex procedures in a safe environment.
Through VR training courses, technical personnel can safely practice with important tasks, such as a safe start-up and a safe emergency stop on a virtual drilling platform. During the training, safety rules, communication between teams and “human errors” are trained.
By analyzing which training component makes the most mistakes, BP can further optimize the training. Real-time data analysis can also be analyzed, so that the pace and level are tailored to the training.
In addition to standard offshore VR training, BP has already been using a number of VR simulations for cranes, engine rooms, emergency reps and ship bridges since 2015 as part of a collaboration with Maersk. BP has now successfully trained thousands of employees, making work on the drilling rigs safer and faster
The Safeway company specializes in managing and engineering cargo handling. Safeway was looking for a quick and inexpensive solution to train their new employees. VR Owl therefore developed a virtual reality simulation training together with Safeway.
The “Gangway” system is a system used to transport personnel and goods from a drilling platform to a ship. 3D models of the gangway and cockpit have been used to create a realistic experience. All buttons, interfaces and screens are built in, even the sounds of the machines have been added to make the training as realistic as possible.
In the VR training, the trainee can train various operations such as “telescoping”, the transport of people and the transport of goods. The simulator works with a laptop and 2 joysticks, which makes the setup mobile and affordable.
Safeway plans to train more than 50 new employees and refresher existing ones. This is possible through the VR Simulation with less use of people and material, which means lower costs and less impact on the environment.
Siemens AG is one of the largest industrial production companies in Europe and the installation of wind turbines and rotor blades offshore is one of their activities. This is an expensive and time consuming task and in order to do this successfully the employee must complete a lengthy training course.
The training simulates the mounting of one of the blades of a wind turbine with a “Jeannette” crane. In the VR training training scenarios, weather conditions and wind speeds can be adjusted.
A construction error or a malfunction can be trained, this is of course not possible in real life because it hinders the installation of the wind turbines. In virtual reality training this can be done risk-free and without hindering the installation of wind turbines. There are 3 employees training at the same time, 1 crane operator and 2 on the shore.
The employees compare the training with what the work actually looks like and consider it a good and safe preparation before going offshore. This is an effective solution to the problem of Siemens, in this way they ensure that employees work better together and have better communication, make fewer mistakes and they do it cheaper.
MAN uses VR training to train its employees for maintenance of the engines on “AOPS”. These Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships are difficult to reach, making training difficult. The solution is a virtual ‘engine room’ where MAN trains its employees digitally
In the training, the employees can walk around the engines in 360 degrees and study all the details. Controllers allow employees to disassemble the motor and better learn which parts the motor consists of.
By adding realistic sounds, employees learn which noise represents which defect, for example low oil pressure. This is something that is not possible in real training. In the VR simulation, 23 different defects can be initiated by the instructor, in order to give the employee the most realistic training possible.
Shell sees the value of virtual reality in “the entire life cycle of a project, from initial planning to construction to operation. The originally Dutch company modernizes and supplements the theory with practical virtual training in the field of safety, onboarding and maintenance.
The employees can already become acquainted with the drilling platform and the equipment there through VR training courses. On the simulated drilling platform, for example, situations can be physically trained to handle major spills and explosions. By training operational safety procedures, Shell ensures more safety on the platforms.
In this way, Shell can better prepare its technicians to identify and remedy potentially dangerous situations. A specialist can give a virtual demonstration of a repair and complex 3D concepts can be presented in much more detail.
We developed various virtual reality training courses and AR applications for Fugro & Safeway, among others. Are you curious about the possibilities of VR training for your organization? Then contact us.