Carsten Röhl
Rheinmetall Mexico
View from the Top

Taking Upstream Training to New Heights

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 17:54

Q: What are the critical milestones in Rheinmetall’s journey into oil and gas?

A: Rheinmetall is involved in the defense and automotive industries. In the defense industry, the simulation and training area forms part of our electronic solutions division. We provide simulator training services to the aeronautical industry and to companies working in nuclear power plants. From here, the step into oil and gas plant process training was easy to make. We provide process simulator training that covers production and control programs, ensuring personnel are well-prepared. Rheinmetall began in the upstream area where oil, gas and water pumped from wells needs to be separated. These are complex processes and require serious training that is best taken through simulators that provide extremely realistic scenarios. High-fidelity simulation with real-time processing is what we offer our clients.

Q: What are the key qualities that Rheinmetall brings to the Production Process Training Center (CAPP) project?

A: Rheinmetall first entered Mexico in 2000 when the simulator for the nuclear power plant in Laguna Verde was licensed. We then became involved in the CAPP program to train offshore workers in upstream production processes. Here, we will focus on operational efficiency to avoid downtime and damage to equipment. By avoiding damage, we automatically save human lives and the environment. In this sense, the training we provide is rather operational than safety training. It has an impact on the safety of a plant. By optimizing production, we help reduce costs.

Rheinmetall was asked to guide each aspect of the CAPP project, working as an international company under commercial conditions. We oversaw the design and construction of buildings, the procurement of equipment and the development of the training concept and courses. We are employing and training people, and will, once open, operate the training center for a period of 12 years. The finishing touches are now being applied to the 10,000m2 CAPP facilities, which we hope to open by mid-2020.

Despite this EPC approach not being a core business line for us, we were happy to help our client on this full turnkey project. We believe this project is a fine example of the flexibility and professional approach Rheinmetall has regarding client requests outside our normal scope of work. The additional value that we add is that we are not simply “box pushers”, we train and educate our clients on how to use the simulators we provide.

Q: How did Rheinmetall adapt its international practices to the Mexican environment?

A: We created RH Mexico Simulation and Training and incorporated it into the Rheinmetall group. Other than myself, the company has an all-Mexican staff. It is important to the company that there is an international approach to work, using the advantages of a German working culture. This means that communication is not overly hierarchical. To do this, we have had cultural workshops in regards to the differences between Mexican and German culture and how they are mutually complimentary. The culture of Rheinmetall itself, which is built on respect, trust and openness, perfectly matches the culture that we created within RH Mexico Simulation and Training.

Q: How does Rheinmetall stay on top of technological advances within simulation and how can they be adapted to Mexico?

A: It is vital that we keep our eyes open to developments within our sector. Communication is also important, and accepting innovative ideas from engineering in the field helps foster a culture of collaboration that continually improve our processes. We also have internal optimization programs established that help elaborate these innovations.

Rheinmetall  AG is a German group delivering solutions throughout the defense, automotive and energy industries. In Mexico, it provides simulator training and took a leading role in the development of the CAPP training center.