ABOUT IMERYS

Imerys is a French group and the world leader in specialty minerals for industry. Imerys provides high value-added functional solutions for a wide range of sectors, from process industries to consumer goods.

Imerys is also :

  • 3.8 billion € in revenues in 2020.
  • 16,400 employees
  • present in +40 countries on 5 continents

IMERYS' VISION OF SAFETY

The health and safety objectives in your plants are set out in the Imerys Group HSE Charter, which is signed by the CEO. Each entity then sets out its annual health, safety and environment (HSE) objectives. To achieve these objectives, Imerys organizes safety days. It takes place one day per year when all Imerys plants around the world stop production and meet to discuss safety issues. 

EHS best practices are shared within the Group, in particular during interviews or regular meetings (monthly/quarterly) during which sites are encouraged to share good practices in terms of health and safety in the workplace in order to provide concrete elements that can be shared at all sites. Since the health crisis, the meetings are held virtually.

At Imerys, training is paramount: all employees are trained on EHS topics: "we try to train most employees with a primary focus on plant employees, but also at all levels of the hierarchy: from the site manager to the field teams." 

THE CHALLENGES 

Language: 

Deploying a global training program that reaches all Imerys employees is a challenge, so it's important to create a program that is translatable into the local languages of each country so that every employee can relate to the training in question.

Innovative training:

Implement innovative training that allows employees to be active in their training. Non-interactive training is much less effective even if it is practical, but employees remain passive and the risk of forgetting the training after a few months is inevitable.

WHY VIRTUAL REALITY?

Last year, Imerys launched a program to deploy Industry 4.0 tools. They made a call for projects on the different entities of the group in all possible themes, not only for the HSE training programs. It was on this occasion that Alexis Fortin proposed to carry out the project with Immersive Factory. The project consisted in initiating virtual reality training.

The objective was to find a technology that would allow all the employees to be actors of their training, virtual reality answered this need.

One of the other advantages of virtual reality is to put the learner in total immersion in a given action. This immersion, in an accident situation for example, will have much more impact on the information retained. 

THE DEVELOPMENT OF A VIRTUAL REALITY MODULE IMERYS & IMMERSIVE FACTORY

Alexis Fortin has been working with the Immersive Factory team for 1 year on a module co-developed and built with the EHS team of the Imerys group. The objective was to create a scenario in a real situation in an Imerys production site. The employee immersed in this situation moves and evolves while being confronted with various safety risks. 

This is an environment in which the learner will have to make decisions, either to act safely or to put him/herself in danger, each of his/her choices will have consequences. The module is developed on 3 main axes:

  1. Machines: cars, loaders, forklifts: see how pedestrians interact with these vehicles to avoid accidents.
  2. Suspended loads: Imerys has a lot of load transport with forklifts or balloons, strict rules are associated with it.
  3. Transcription of the risks linked to working at height: use of virtual reality to reproduce, for example, the sensation of vertigo 

THE TEST PHASE & INITIAL FEEDBACKS

Today, the module is in the final stages of development, with the final details being worked out thanks to feedback from the pilot site in Montoir-de-Bretagne, where part of the team has already been able to test the module. 

The first feedback is very positive on the content but also on the technology and the fact of changing the training mode (the tool and the form) at all levels of the organization.

During the tests, the learners were curious to test this new technology, most of them having never used a virtual reality headset before.

WHY IMMERSIVE FACTORY

About this year of working with Immersive Factory, Alexis commented: "They are a professional team with very good project management. I was followed from the launch to the delivery. We are in direct contact with the different members who provide after-sales service and technical support, which is very useful, as we were not familiar with the technology. The advantage of having Immersive Factory's support was being able to address all the following issues: demos, field training, and obviously the development of the module itself."

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