Virtual mining

June 5, 2015

Safety Value creation

Growing competition is forcing international mining companies to focus on training for equipment operators. Recognizing the need to create an environment as close to real-world conditions as possible, Atlas Copco has created dedicated simulators for each type of mining machine in its portfolio.

Master driller simulator

Prospective operators of mining equipment start out in the classroom, where they learn the basics. Then they move on to training with simulators, learning how to handle a real machine to maximize efficiency, safety and productivity.

Simulators increase productivity and efficiency in a way that no other method can achieve. Applicants can be tested to see who will become first-class operators.

In Russia, Atlas Copco has installed simulators in several locations including a Boomer E2C at Norilsk, the home of Norilsk Nickel, the nickel and palladium mining giant.

“In a simulator one need not be afraid of making a mistake because it will not result in a breakdown of equipment as often happens in operation,” says Mats Strandberg, Atlas Copco’s Parts and Service Department Manager for Russia. “This is a vital issue for Norilsk Nickel. There must not be any downtime due to equipment breakage consumption.”

Another advantage of simulators for customers is that it is possible to reconstruct any mine profile. “Norilsk Nickel may now reconstruct the Oktyabrsky mine profile for those who work there, or the Komsomolsky mine profile for the operators from that mine, and so on,” Strandberg says. “It really adds value to the whole production process.”

Atlas Copco simulators are also being used in vocational guidance programs for students. Each year Norilsk Nickel helps around 6 000 high school students choose their future professions.

“Atlas Copco has provided us with a great opportunity to show underground equipment to kids and even let them work with it,” says Elena Tumanova, Deputy General Director of Human Resources at Norilsk Nickel’s Taimyrsky Mine. “The mining business is in need of highly qualified specialists – drill masters, operators, drift miners. That is why vocational guidance is an issue of high importance. These kids may turn out to be our employees in the future.”

Written by Atlas Copco

Safety Europe Value creation Efficiency Mining Training Russia