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US Coal Miner Training Program Achieves 12% Improvements in Room and Pillar Production

US Coal Miner Training Program Achieves 12% Improvements in Room and Pillar Production combining Experienced Operator Trainers and  Immersive Technologies’ Simulators

Steep declines in the price of coal have created an emphasis for existing IM360-Advanced-Equipment-Simulatoroperators to boost their productivity. A recent simulator based training initiative by an underground coal mine in the eastern region of the United States aimed at Continuous Miner Operators led to nearly one million dollars in production improvements in just 90 days. The training program targeted 16 Continuous Miner operators from eight different room and pillar mines.

Using an IM360 Advanced Equipment Simulator from Immersive Technologies an experienced operator trainer first observed the operators in the field and then operated the Continuous Miner to observe the unique conditions present at each of the mines. The trainer then developed a tailored curriculum within simulation, replicating coal tensile strength, rock bands, top height and other significant operational characteristics.
Continuous Miner operators were observed within simulation and then received coaching and instruction from the operator trainer. Once operators had met the targeted performance levels within simulation they were released back to the field.

Real world performance data was collected from the sections in which the Continuous Miner operators worked for a period of 90 days prior to training and 90 days following training to observe the rate of improvement. Real world performance was measured as Feet Per Shift (FPS) with an average improvement of 12% on Continuous Miner Operator productivity. Based off the shifts worked by each operator in the 90 days following training, their increased FPS and the profitability for the surplus production the training investment yielded a return of over USD $900,000.

“US coal mining is experiencing unprecedented pressures and achievements such as these illustrate the returns possible by investing beyond the regulatory minimum,” says Greg Karadjian, Vice President – Underground Mining Solutions, Immersive Technologies.







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