Evolving Best-Practices Through Simulation-Based Training

Overview:

Training the Field Operator of the Future

Simulators are widely recognized as essential to process control training as they facilitate the propagation of a company's standard operating procedures (SOPs). This paper explores the use of process control simulators by Chevron Products Company to challenge existing corporate SOPs and to help achieve improvements in overall production performance.

Simulation software has proven highly valuable to modern computer-driven businesses. The growth of Computer-Aided Design technologies in the 1960s enabled engineering and architectural firms to quickly explore new products and novel approaches. The impact was a dramatic reduction in the time and cost associated with then-current best-practices for product innovation and design. Computers became more affordable in the 1990s and software became more powerful. This facilitated widespread acceptance of simulation tools within educational spheres, particularly within universities. Simulators allow an instructional designer to construct realistic tasks or situations that elicit the behaviors a learner needs to function effectively within a domain (Mislevy, 2002). Simulation tools have been used as a means of exposing students to complex concepts and have inspired higher level learning activities including novel research. Through the use of two- and three-dimensional models, the theoretical was more easily examined and the proven more readily understood. Similarly, simulation models can be used for individual or team-based problem solving. In their research, Mislevy, Steinberg, Breyer, Almond, and Johnson (2002) describe the importance of capturing data from a simulator that directly relates to real-world performance and production. This helps instructors to connect the student's interactive simulation experiences with known best-practices for advanced learning.

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Author: Dennis Nash, Control Station, Inc.; & Ronald Smith, Chevron Products Company  | File Type: PDF

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