PRESS RELEASE: Female operators are the focus of a new initiative at PT Freeport Indonesia, part of Freeport McMoran at Grasberg, where IM360 simulators from Immersive Technologies are used to train workers to remotely operate Caterpillar's semi-autonomous underground load-haul-dump (LHD) machines using Cat Command for Underground.
Previously, 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 programme, PT Freeport Indonesia said it has created opportunities for women without prior in-field experience to take on 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.
After successfully passing the training requirements, this first group of women are now 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," said Hendra Sukoco, Freeport's underground training superintendent.
Simulation-based training has been proven to reduce risk, cost and unscheduled maintenance, increasing trainer effectiveness and efficiency while maximising productivity.