Simulators from Immersive Technologies increasing opportunities for the female workforce at PT Freeport Indonesia
Female operators are the focus of a new initiative at PT Freeport Indonesia (part of FMI in Grasberg) where IM360 simulators from Immersive Technologies are used to train operators to remotely operate Caterpillar’s Semi-Autonomous Underground Load Haul Dumps (LHDs) using Cat® Command for Underground.
Historically, only operators with previous in-field experience in operating LHDs were permitted to operate them via Command for Underground. However, after implementing simulators from Immersive Technologies into the new female workforce program, PT Freeport Indonesia has created opportunities for women without prior in-field experience to take on operational roles.
PT Freeport Indonesia has a long-standing commitment to employee diversity and continually seeks ways to recruit and foster career development for women. Investing in training solutions for remote operations has enabled PT Freeport Indonesia to increase opportunities for women in operational roles.
Trainees are given 10 hours of classroom training, followed by 20 hours in the LHD R1600G IM360 simulator. After completion, they conduct a further 20 hours of training within the Immersive Technologies’ Command for Underground simulator where they advance to practical training and evaluation.
Hendra Sukoco, Freeport’s Underground Training Superintendent, acknowledges that female operators tend to be more consistent in following detailed instructions and, as a result, the level of machine abuse is lower when compared to male operators.
After successfully passing the training requirements, this first group of women are successfully operating LHDs remotely and producing 300 buckets each per day (if location allows) which is equivalent to experienced operators with previous in-field LHD experience.
“Due to the success, there are plans to increase the number of female operators going through training on the Immersive simulators and eventually into production,” says Mr Hendra.
Simulation based training has been proven to dramatically reduce risk, cost and unscheduled maintenance, increasing trainer effectiveness and efficiency while maximizing productivity.