The best way to learn is by doing. Metso has made it possible for a whole generation of mining engineers to learn by doing.
The Taivalkoski unit of Oulu Vocational College has established a new training program in mining and quarrying to serve the industry's growing need for skilled workforce.
The Taivalkoski unit of Oulu Vocational College (OSAO) has invested in a fully automated, track-mounted Metso Lokotrack crushing plant. The plant will be used in education, and it will be inaugurated in October 2013. OSAO is the first educational institution in Finland to provide a fully automated, mobile crushing plant for its students.
"We are very pleased that it was Metso, one of the world's leading crushing equipment providers, who won the bid for this contract. One key factor in the procurement decision was the provider's ability to offer a comprehensive educational solution. Metso's crushing plant is equipped with the industry's most modern automation. The delivery also includes Metso's crushing simulation tool Bruno to enable digital learning", says Kalevi Hirvonen, who managed the project at OSAO Taivalkoski.
"Lokotrack has remained a forerunner in track-mounted crushing technology for almost 30 years. We are delighted that our future mining professionals are able to study crushing and screening with the most modern equipment in the field," emphasizes Jouko Tolonen, Area Sales Manager, Mining and Construction, Metso.
"By combining Metso's automation expertise with our advanced equipment and process know-how, we were able to meet the educational goals set by OSAO," says Pasi Airikka Product Manager, Automation, Metso.
Automation increases safety
The track-mounted Metso Lokotrack plant at Taivalkoski consists of an LT106 primary crushing unit, an LT200HP secondary crushing unit and an ST3.5 mobile screen. The plant is equipped with IC series process control, which is integrated into the Metso DNA plant automation system.
In addition to the equipment, Metso's delivery includes plant automation applications, data collection and reporting as well as a remote access to the educational institution. Operation and camera screens are installed in the excavator. The touch screen enables the excavator operator to control and monitor the process without visiting the machines, which increases both productivity and safety.
Growing demand for crushing professionals
The brand new degree program in mining and quarrying began in August 2013 at Oulu Vocational College's Taivalkoski unit. The training emphasizes working methods, tools, and machinery management. The need for this training program arose some five years ago, as the effects of the mining boom in Finland really began to show. Even though the industry is currently witnessing a worldwide downturn, in a recent report the Geological Survey of Finland predicted strong growth in mining industry in Finland during the next decades. This would mean an increasing need for skilled workforce especially in Eastern and Northern Finland.
"We believe that because of its cutting edge design, this new teaching plant for crushing will not benefit our school alone, but also all other rock and mining industry training programs in Finland from vocational high schools to universities. We have also confidence in Metso's ability to make sure that our new crushing plant will remain as an excellent reference in crushing education well into the future", Kalevi Hirvonen predicts.
The Oulu Region Vocational College OSAO is a multi-industry vocational college with 11,300 students. Its educational facilities are located in the Oulu region and in Northeastern Finland. OSAO is managed by the Oulu Region Joint Educational Authority (Osekk).