The significant impact of human errors on the operation of industrial processes calls for improved methodologies and tools to train both control-room and field operators. Common Operator Training Simulators (OTSs) meet almost exclusively the needs for the formation of Control-Room Operators (CROPs). On the Field Operators (FOPs) side, few contributes have been carried out to improve their training level. The paper presents and discusses a solution for immersive training of industrial operators that allows experiencing the multifaceted scenarios of (real) plant operations. This tool comprises two dynamic simulators that interlink the simulation of the operations underwent in the plant with the replication of abnormal situations, near-misses, and eventually possible accidents. The two-way interaction between a dynamic process simulator and a dynamic accident simulator, when performed in real-time, allows reproducing the experiences lived by industrial operators. These dynamic simulators are the engines that work behind the curtains of an Immersive Virtual Environment (IVE) and make possible the realism (and the associated interest, involvement and enjoyment) of the simulated operations of the plant. The immersive environment is based on Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR), commonly referred to as 3D, where a stereoscopic reproduction of the whole plant, coupled to spatial sounds, increases the situation awareness of the field operators who interact with control-room operators by means of push-to-talk devices.

The paper discusses some applications of the Plant Simulator in the Oil & Gas and the polymerization industries that allow reproducing not only specific training case-studies but also real accidents.

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