While not the same simulator Maverick and Goose would have used to become Top Guns, the Operations Training Simulator (OTS) at the Sarnia refinery is an important training system for operators to test their moves. 

Introduced in 2015, the OTS allows operators to practice running specific units in a controlled environment. Then, when it comes to running the units in real-time, they can maintain safe and reliable operations across many scenarios. 

The OTS is used by new operators training to be qualified field operators for several units on site, as well as for qualifying operators to run the control boards. Qualified operators participate in monthly exercises with the OTS where they respond to a process upset scenario as part of the ongoing recertification process. This helps ensures our operators have opportunities to keep their skills sharp. 

To ensure the OTS reflects current systems and controls as accurately as possible, the OTS is updated regularly. As systems within the specific units are enhanced, the same changes are made to the simulator. 

“Since the introduction of the simulator, new control board operators are able to practice critical tasks before performing them for the first time or just polishing up their skills. This has improved their confidence, helps people think through potential what-ifs and helps ensure their actions and responses are correct,” explains Nathan Hazzard, Operations Manager. “Operators participating in ongoing simulator training help us run these units safely and reliably, which benefits everyone.”   

There’s no doubt that when you’re working to be operationally excellent ‘there are no points for second place’.