ST Engineering Antycip has delivered a 10-screen Vortex Master Simulator with motion platform seat – its largest ever port simulation system – to The Bristol Port Company in the space of only six weeks, including full training, despite difficulties created by the pandemic.
The French-headquartered company (also with demo facilities in Oxford, England, and Milan, Italy) also helped to specify a room to accommodate the simulator in The Bristol Port Company’s newly renovated training centre, which includes an instructor operator station to help with remote access and control of the main simulator functions and scenarios.
Using simulators for operator training gives another dimension to the training conducted at the port, allowing operators with diverse skill sets and backgrounds to conduct progressive training in a safe and risk-free environment.
“The Bristol Port Company is a major port in the UK, and in order to boost safety and productivity on site they required this state-of-the-art training device which will help shape future training and industry standards,” said Amir Khosh, commercial and project manager at ST Engineering Antycip. “Together with CM Labs, we are able to support The Bristol Port Company in achieving great results with their newest training tool.”
He added: “It was very challenging process but with great team effort and collaboration, we managed to commission the simulator, train the team effectively, and efficiently get them operational as soon as possible. Looking ahead, this strategic win will help ST Engineering Antycip engage in more commercial applications in the port industry.”
Nick Venn, training manager at The Bristol Port Company added: “We’re very happy with our results thus far. We have introduced several candidates to the Ship-to-Shore simulator module with great success. The training instructors have embraced this new technology in an efficient, comprehensive manner and have already undertaken custom training exercises which suit our crane set-up at the port.”
By replicating incidents and accidents seen throughout the industry on the simulator, the team at The Bristol Port Company can now highlight the essential learning outcomes to prevent future mistakes. Above all, it allows the trainees to develop a comprehensive skillset in a safe, controlled learning environment prior to entering what is undoubtedly a challenging, busy, and demanding work environment for operators.
“Candidates gain both the knowledge and practical skills required to successfully operate live plant and equipment without the risk of making mistakes or the pressure of meeting time restraints often present in operations,” explained Venn.
The simulator is capable of running many different types of port equipment training modules, such as the Mobile Harbour Crane (MHC) training module; The Ship to Shore (STS) Crane training module; the Rubber Tyre Gantry (RTG) Crane training module; and the Ship Pedestal Crane (SPC) training module. The content and full solution was provided by Montreal’s CM Labs.
“We showcased the simulators for Nick’s senior operators at ST Engineering Antycip’s demo facility in Adderbury, Oxfordshire,” said Khosh. “After receiving fantastic feedback and speaking with some other active clients, Nick gave us the green light to start working on a proposal and ROI documents to show the value to his senior management. Considering the pandemic and travel restrictions, The Bristol Port Company recognised the value of our training tool and signed a five-year support agreement with ST Engineering Antycip for a 10-screen port simulator.”
Work commenced in mid-April 2021 and ST Engineering Antycip delivered the full solution by the third week in May, with all training conducted immediately, meaning that the entire process from purchase order to fully trained staff was under six weeks.
“With the pandemic and lockdown, it was difficult to book a site survey, but we managed to overcome this by safely coordinating a visit to site,” said Khosh. “This allowed us to de-risk and plan for any health and safety hazards in advance. In the end, delivering the project went very smoothly.”
Venn added: “With a professional approach to delivery and extensive knowledge of the simulator capabilities, Amir’s support was particularly valuable to the team. The simulator images are really impressive. When you are fully immersed in the simulator programme, you experience an ‘on-the-job’ feel preparing you for the real-life scenarios to follow.
“It is too early to fully gauge how the simulators translate to savings for us, given the time scale, but the cost of using the live crane and the fact we can have continuity of training regardless of shipping vessel availability will certainly translate in savings across the board.”
David Brown, CEO of The Bristol Port Company, concluded: “The Bristol Port Company has been absolutely delighted with the step-training that the ST Engineering Antycip crane simulator has provided. It has enabled our instructors to deliver a level of training far beyond the constraints of a classroom and we are already beginning to see the dividends of this cutting-edge technology.
“Moreover, the ability to simulate scenarios that are not possible to replicate on a real crane has a significant safety benefit. I would strongly urge other ports to investigate the benefits of simulation to complement their existing training programme.”