African based MCC Contracts have released details of its improved operator training programs which integrate advanced simulator training technology from leading global supplier Immersive Technologies as a key method of safely training, assessing and measuring performance.
Operated from the MCC Learning Centre based in Johannesburg, South Africa, the simulator based training programs aim to improve Return On Investment (ROI) of its growing equipment fleet by raising the bar on its asset utilisation ratios and operating expenses.
Operator competency is declared only once a trainee had completed the full training program which includes the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA) certification process; a certification the MCC Learning Centre recently achieved training accreditation for by South Africa’s Mining Qualifications Authority.
MCC currently utilises three Immersive Technologies’ Advanced Equipment Simulators at the learning centre, complete with modular machine units (Conversion Kits®) for Caterpillar haul trucks and Liebherr excavators and shovels. These units are supported by a comprehensive package of training and services to increase the benefit and utilisation of the simulator technology.
"The MCC Learning Centre was opened in January 2011, with the primary aim of developing professional operators to significantly increase the utilisation of our asset base and reduce our operating costs" through a program structured around the "key principles of asset productivity, machine care and safety," Pieter Page, MCC Group Organisational Manager, said.
"We have invested in the most advanced simulator technology available in the world today, with important benefits being the accurate measurement and benchmarking of competence levels, the identification of performance gaps and the ability to focus training efforts on clearly identified skill shortcomings," says Page.
Five groups of mostly "green" operators showed early in the program that "remarkable improvements" in the order of 35-65 per cent in operator risk profile results could be achieved within just months between initial and final assessments.
"Immersive Technologies is very proud to be involved with the ongoing success of the MCC Learning Centre," Peter Salfinger, Immersive Technologies’ Chief Executive Officer, said. "We are also very pleased that MCC have embraced our Training Systems Integration services, which supported the implementation of processes including operator risk profile analysis. We believe that MCC’s focus on a data-driven approach positions the MCC Learning Centre to drive ongoing strong results for MCC Contracts into the future."
The Learning Centre is now correlating live in-pit data obtained by machine health and production monitoring systems at each of the individual MCC mines against the simulator based training data. This will allow the company to develop an even clearer picture of its operator workforce and the return on their simulator investment.
"The data we have currently analysed from the monitoring systems are an exact match to the operator errors on the simulators," Riaan Scott, MCC Learning Centre Program Manager, Operator Training, said.
"Safe production is the key. Therefore we are looking at measures around reverse angles, spotting times and speeding. Once problems are identified we can create training scenarios that are focused on addressing the individual problems."
Founded in 1972, MCC operates the largest earthmoving plant hire fleet servicing the civil engineering and earthmoving industries in Southern Africa. Its mining operations specialise in open-cut mining and are industry leaders in hard rock mining, environmental mining and planning, bulk earthworks and ground rehabilitation on the African continent.