Ten of the Almina plant’s flotation process operators participated in Outotec’s Virtual Experience Training. Out of these ten, only three of the operators had previous experience as a plant operator from years ago. Seven of them had never set foot in a concentrator plant before. “We had pharmacy clerks, football players and even history graduates participating in the training,” Carlos admits.
“With basic level training, the backgrounds of the participants is not an issue as the training suits everyone,” Luis says, and this was later on proven to be true.
Almina’s operators began with one week of basic training based on generic flow sheets with no adaption to the customer’s own process.
“The basic training provided the operators with a real feel for how to run and operate the plant, including how to react to changes in the process and how the process reacts to any changes that are made in the operation,” Kai Rönnberg explains.
The technology used in the training impressed the participating operators. “I was surprised by the similarity of the program to real life,” stated Pedro Pinto, a team leader with three years of experience as a process operator.
Although the course was compulsory for the operators, they were happy to participate. “I think we were all committed to the training and eager to learn more every day. It was a good experience,” agrees Telmo Rosa, another operator at Almina with three years of previous experience.
“The operators were quite excited over the opportunity to have practical issues simulated in the computers and it was the first training that they had which was more than only theory”, Jair continues.
The participants were clear about the learning objectives of the training: “To learn about the circuits, how they work and how we can achieve better results,” Telmo and Pedro summarize.
The basic training lasted for one week, but according to the operators it could have been longer. The operators’ expectations were fulfilled, and they gained expertise that benefits them in their everyday work. “We learned about the performance of the circuits, parameters and levels. We tried almost everything in the training,” Telmo says.
“For me the reaction times and learning to react to the circuits were the main benefits,” Pedro adds.