Komatsu Australia has developed a range of hardware simulators and purchased a suite of simulation software to assist in the training and upskilling of its service technicians and apprentices.

7102011KomatsuDevelopsSimulators-(1).jpgThe simulator-based training is also available to customers' service technicians.

Developed by Komatsu in-house, the hardware simulators allow service technicians and apprentices to carry out testing and adjusting, troubleshooting and diagnostics across a range of machines, said Jason Alfeo, Komatsu's Technical Training Manager.

They include representative components of large items of mining equipment, and have been set up to be fully transportable for use in classroom training anywhere in Australia.

These include simulators for Komatsu's large excavator and shovel range, an electric drive truck simulator and software-based simulation covering both hydraulic and electrical circuits.

"Our simulators include, for example, the control components from a KMG (Komatsu Mining Germany) shovel, all of which fit into a classroom and are very portable," Jason said.

"Paul Clark, one of our specialist technical trainers based in NSW, has done a fantastic job of developing several of these KMG simulators which have proved invaluable in our KMG courses."

According to Paul, these simulators allow Komatsu trainers, technicians and apprentices to simulate the control components of a large Komatsu mining excavator's functions, as well as testing and troubleshooting them.

"Our KMG simulator is highly beneficial in teaching both the electronic and hydraulic components of large mining shovel and excavators.

"A further tool available to us is our Automation Studio Software, which can simulate hydraulic and eletrical circuits, diagnostics and control components under operating conditions" he said.

Paul has also developed a relay logic KMG grease systems simulator which is now in wide use by Komatsu's technical trainers.

His latest simulator initiative is designing and building a combined PC300-8 Monitor Panel and

CRI engine simulator.

This new simulator will cover all electronic functions of the Dash 8 excavator range including CRI engine, electronic pump control and machine systems, along with on board diagnostics through the a colour TFT monitor panel.

Jason said the simulators have been developed to ensure the upskilling of all Komatsu service technicians, as well as those of its customers, particularly when it is difficult to gain hands-on experience with these production machines.

"Currently, this form of technical training breaks down to about 50% covering customers, and 50% covering Komatsu Australia/Komatsu Marketing Services Australia with our apprentices training on top of this," he said.

Paul Richardson, Komatsu Australia's National Organisational Development Manager, said that in addition to its extensive development of simulators, Komatsu's technical training group has recently obtained two PC200-8 excavators and a WA480-6 wheel loader to be used

exclusively for training.

"The systems and components on these machines let us cover about 80% of what our service technicians and apprentices would come across with any item of Komatsu mining or construction equipment," he said.

"These machines are on site at our training facilities on TAFE campuses at Kurri Kurri in the NSW Hunter Valley and Acacia Ridge in Brisbane.

"This is a significant investment in technical training resources and equipment on the part of Komatsu Australia, for the future of our people and industry," said Paul.