Future miners train with the world’s first educational, automated Lokotracks
The world’s first educational, mobile and fully automated Metso plant for training future miners and crushing contractors can be found in Taivalkoski, Northeastern Finland. This unique learning environment is made up of three Lokotracks, a Metso DNA automation system with an operator training simulator and Bruno process simulation.
“With the help of Metso, we can really say that we have created a unique learning environment. Besides the modern equipment, Metso can offer us a complete automation package, including wireless remote control, camera displays and process steering devices,” says Oulu Vocational College (OSAO) Project Manager Kalevi Hirvonen. “We intend to organize further crushing and screening training for adults, too. Our intention is to stay at the top of crushing knowledge.”
As a result of the mining boom, Finland alone will need to create 5,000 new mining jobs between now and 2020; one third of these jobs will be in crushing. To achieve this, the training of miners has to be doubled quickly. Many colleges, OSAO among them, have started offering courses for miners to fill the existing gap. This autumn, 18 young people started their three-year program to become professional miners or crushing contractors at OSAO.
“The equipment delivered by Metso represents the latest technology available and makes it possible to arrange courses for students of different levels. We intend to continue our close cooperation with the college, serving widely the domestic and international training needs of crushing and screening equipment customers and partners,” says Kari Kokkonen, VP, Technical Support, Crushing and Screening Equipment, Metso.
Top training with state-of-art Metso equipment.
Crushing in theory and practice
The miners’ program includes classroom work in crushing theory and parameters, in addition to on-site work with a Lokotrack LT106 jaw plant, LT200HP cone plant, ST3.5 mobile screen and the Metso DNA automation system. Along with the Metso units, an excavator and front-end loader are used.
In the Metso plant automation application, operation and camera screens are installed in the excavator feeding the Lokotrack and in a separate on-site cabin. The touch screen enables the excavator operator to control and monitor the process without visiting the machines, which increases both productivity and safety.
Metso DNA touch displays in excavator cabin.
In addition to the real machinery, the college owns state-of-the-art excavator and front-end-loader simulators that even simulate the operator’s seat movements. In one classroom, Bruno process simulations are rehearsed.
Excavator and front-end-loader simulators in use.