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Systran harnesses video game technology for valve and pump maintenance training

Virtual reality has emerged as one of the hottest trends, but what if the lure of virtual reality could be applied beyond video games?

Systran, a US-based documentation and development company for the oil industry, is tapping into the power of virtual reality and gaming technology, using it to create a new-age training platform for operators to learn to work safely in plants.

Systran's newest technology, the LOTO EXP virtual experience trainer, is a PC-based platform that allows learners to practice the lock-out-tag-out (LOTO) protocol in a safe and controlled environment.

Controlled with Microsoft’s Xbox game controller, the LOTO EXP trainer teaches personnel to safely isolate, drain, and LOTO a control valve, a centrifugal pump, and a shell-and-tube heat exchanger in a realistic, virtual plant setting.

The platform can be customised to match a variety of parameters, down to the plant layout and procedure.

Using the virtual experience trainer, trainees learn to follow the LOTO procedure and directly interact with the equipment and valves while coordinating with a console operator in the virtual world, and they are timed and graded for safety and adherence to the procedure.

By combining the LOTO EXP trainer with a plant's safe work practices training, plant trainers are given the ability to teach the risks and hazards of LOTO in a safe, controlled environment.

For learners, LOTO EXP offers a unique approach to a traditional training topic, as instead of watching videos or sitting in a classroom lecture, learners go through the actual motions of LOTO in differing scenarios, helping them to not only learn but gain important experience before they go out to the work site.

Systran is already creating more virtual experience trainer platforms as part of an entire virtual reality experience training suite.