Invensys Gets Virtually Real

Invensys Operations Management unveiled its new EYESim virtual reality immersive training solution at its North America Client Conference in Houston, last month. EYESim is the first industrial virtual reality training solution based on first-principle simulation and augmented reality. It enables engineers and operators to see and safely interact with the plant and the processes they control.

The EYESim solution combines virtual reality technologies with high-fidelity process and control simulation, computer-based maintenance and documentation management and other applications to provide a realistic and safe training environment for improving operating efficiency and skills. Simulations are driven by the company's DYNSIM high-fidelity process simulator, FSIM Plus software, I/A Series control system emulation and other compatible programs.

By merging virtual plant imagery with screens from asset management or other application software, EYESim creates a computer-generated representation of a real or proposed process plant. Using a stereoscopic headset, trainees enter an immersive environment in which they can move throughout the plant. The virtual environment is rendered at 60 frames per second, significantly faster than other systems.

EYESim technology is geared toward process industries that face knowledge management, training and retention issues brought on by an aging and dwindling industry workforce.

"The loss of experienced workers and associated knowledge is increasing the risk of conducting safe, reliable and efficient plant operations, but the EYESim solution creates an environment in which operators and engineers can quickly absorb and use the wealth of process data and control system information available to them," said Tom Fiske, Ph.D., senior analyst with ARC Advisory Group. "Traditional operator training simulators play a significant role in protecting knowledge assets, and these systems are evolving into increasingly more sophisticated simulators which combine virtual reality and immersive technology with high-fidelity modeling to enhance knowledge protection and improve operator performance. Outside operators and other operational team members can use such simulators to provide more realistic and complete training experiences, or to assist in other asset management and operational activities."

But, if EYESim leverages the newest virtual reality tools, it also seems to ignore the recommendations of both the ASM Consortium and EEMUA for HMI graphics, which suggest that the simpler and less colorful the graphics, the more effective they are.

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