26 Jun, 2020

Process Operator Simulators in High Demand

PetroSkills recently expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of Operator Training Simulator provider, Simulation Solutions Inc. This new branch of PetroSkills offers generic process simulators paired with a virtual reality “outside operator”. The software package is coupled with online instruction for self study or the entire package can be delivered in the form of 2-day instructional courses to train your operator personnel.

PetroSkills Simulation Solutions recently installed this software at the Texas State Technical College (TSTC) Marshall campus. According to The Marshall News Messenger, “The venture was unanimously approved by the Marshall EDC Board of Directors Feb. 20 as a method to maintain and recruit new personnel working in the process operations field.” Matt Garvey, a PetroSkills representative, set up the software and trained University personnel on its use. The goal of this software is to educate potential operators in a hands-on environment where simulators allow students to solve real life problems using the knowledge and theories learned in the classroom.

Dr. Cram from TSTC observed, “Our training sessions with Matt Garvey, the PetroSkills Simulation Solution Instructor, really opened our eyes and our minds as to what a great educational tool the software brings to the table.” 1


Fig. 1PetroSkills Simulation Solutions simulator paired with ExplainMedia© Virtual Field Operator.


Why is Distillation Software in high demand?

1. The software is a great recruitment and retention tool for Universities. It gives educational establishments a competitive advantage.

2. Process operation skills are in demand across the United States. Especially during this period when the Baby Boomer generation is retiring, and new talent is needed.

3. Process operation skills are needed across multiple industries. Some examples are chemical, oil and gas, food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals. 1 In fact, the distillation systems market has a projected CAGR of 5.1% until 2023. 2

4. Process Operators have been considered essential workers during COVID-19. They fall under the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce and have been resistant to the downturn in comparison to other lower-skilled occupations. 1


Why use PetroSkills Simulation Solutions?

Our Hands-On Training System contains a broad range of high fidelity process models and realistic DCS system emulations which have been integrated into a network based, fully automated training system that includes detailed training exercises, comprehensive on-line help, self and graded evaluations, and the recording of test scores and results.

Clients using this newly developed technology are able to deliver hands-on training on shift and around the clock. Our automated system frees up available simulator Instructors for more coaching and advising, and/or allows for complete self-paced, self-study and practice. Immediately after taking a classroom or network-based course on theory, operators can see this theory put into action through the use of our dynamic and realistic simulator training exercises.

Simulators cover skills in:

► Fundamental Process Equipment (Pumps, Exchangers and Tank Flow)

► Separators (Flash Drum, Distillation Tower, and Absorber)

► Refinery Process Units (Crude Units, FCCs, and Delayed Cokers)

► Furnace Operations (Natural Draft and Balanced Draft Fired Heaters)

► Plant Utilities (Cooling Water Towers and Steam Boilers)

► Turbines and Compressors (Gas Turbines, Centrifugal and Reciprocating Compressors)

► Power Plant Operations (Gas and Coal Fired Power Plants)

If this software interests you, we recommend viewing our Operator Training Simulation Courses or watching the Simulator Demonstration Videos to learn more.


1. Veigel, W. (2020) ‘Marshall EDC makes a new investment in TSTC’, The Marshall News Messenger, 7 June. Available at: https://www.marshallnewsmessenger.com/news/marshall-edc-makes-a-new-investment-in-tstc/article_9b772424-a84c-11ea-b715-af6a263021bd.html

2. MarketsandMarkets™. (2018) ‘Distillation Systems Market worth $7.91 billion by 2023’, Markets and Markets, 27 September. Available at: https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/PressReleases/distillation-system.asp