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Chile's University of Santo Tomas Introduces Simulation for Operator Training

The use of simulation training continues to reach new audiences. The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Iquique campus in northern Chile has announced it w...

Admin
|Mar 30|magazine7 min read

The use of simulation training continues to reach new audiences. The University of Santo Tomas’ (UST) Iquique campus in northern Chile has announced it will integrate a training simulator into its program to assist students in becoming skillful haul truck operators in the region.

The University will utilize a fourth generation CYBERMINE unit from ThoroughTec Simulations, one of the premier training simulator providers for surface and underground mining. The simulator will mimic a Komatsu haul truck, providing a simulated cab, a highly realistic replica of the actual haul truck, along with a functional simulated instruments and controls.

“Most of our students don´t have any previous experience operating a haul truck on a mine site, so they’re starting from scratch,” says Ignacio Contreras Espic, UST’s National Director of Engineering.

“This simulator is helping our students easily identify and operate the haul truck’s controls. Within a matter of a few sessions they’re becoming proficient operators, learning how to deal with emergency scenarios and operate a haul truck efficiently.”

The CYBERMINE simulator is mounted on a motion platform imparting six degrees of freedom and is surrounded by a panoramic, high-resolution projection system that displays a 3D virtual surface mine world. Control of all aspects of training and evaluation is exercised in real time from an instructor station and displayed on two high definition widescreen displays.

“We wanted a user-friendly and reliable simulator system with an accurate reporting system,” says Espic. “This was one of the reasons why we chose ThoroughTec’s CYBERMINE system, there’s a good relationship between quality and price.”

UST teaches using competency-based learning methods which requires active and real activities. In 2014 the university decided to incorporate simulation into the engineering department to help teach students the operation of mining equipment in real world scenarios. An advanced high fidelity simulator does this without risking potential damage to equipment or endangering lives. It also helps the student learn what to do in an emerency situation, which is not always possible on the actual equipment such as fires, tire blowouts, etc.

“We have successfully commissioned a number of simulators at training institutions around the Americas,” says José Ignacio Porras, Regional VP of Americas at ThoroughTec. “Our Santiago office has been working hard to meet the needs of the Chilean and greater Americas mining sector. We were delighted when UST chose CYBERMINE to meet its training simulation needs.”

Along with UST students utilizing the simulator, it will also be used to train companies. The University has agreed to assist some of the mining companies in the region in training programs aimed at improving the skill levels of their haul truck operators.