Metso, KRAFTWERKSSCHULE to develop virtual power plant operator training


Metso has signed a Letter of Intent with KRAFTWERKSSCHULE E.V. of Essen, Germany, to develop virtual training in plant automation for power plant operators. The target of the cooperation is to create training concepts with Metso's training simulators and to build a process and automation laboratory in the KRAFTWERKSSCHULE facilities.

Metso's power plant simulation system, Metso DNA Training Simulator, will play the key role in the training concept. With the simulator, process control applications are executed in a virtual environment in exactly the same way as a real system controls the plant.

"A virtual learning environment is a valuable tool, particularly with critical processes where continuous production is a must. Simulator training increases process security and encourages operators to try out actions in various process situations without the risk of upsetting the real process," points out Theo Münch, Country Manager, Central Europe, Automation, Metso.

Safe platform for testing and learning

In many power plants, startups and some other special procedures are executed only rarely. Therefore, few opportunities exist for operators to learn to excel at them. Because of the short commissioning schedules and high control accuracy demands, it is also increasingly important to have the possibility to test the control functions before the actual commissioning. This is especially critical with new process or control solutions.

"Today's power plants are run by just a few highly qualified employees who need to operate and optimize the power plant in a safe and proper way. Simulators provide an efficient way to qualify the operating staff and reduce power plant downtime," says Christian Umierski, Power Plant Shift Supervisor Training Manager, KWS PowerTech Training Center.

KRAFTWERKSSCHULE E.V. (KWS) is the training center of VGB PowerTech e.V., the European technical association for power and heat generation. KWS offers training courses for plant attendants, control room operators and shift supervisors, as well as special training solutions and courses tailored to meet power plants' requirements. Its training guarantees a high level of competence for the personnel of fossil-fired and nuclear power plants, substantially improving the safety, environmental friendliness and efficiency of power plants.

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