How Crane Simulators Train Operators

How Crane Simulators Train Operators
12/11/2016 4:14:08 PM
Crane Simulator
Training construction workers to use cranes and other heavy machinery can be a costly expenditure. Company time and resources are spent on the training process, and having an inexperienced worker at the helm of an expensive machine can result in damages or workplace accidents.

Therefore, many construction companies are training their operators on computer-based crane simulators, similar to that of a video game. These put the workers in real-life construction situations without the potential for real world consequences.

Types of Crane Simulators

Just as there are multiple types of cranes for various jobs, there are various types of crane simulators. Each one mimics the controls and challenges the operator would be dealing with while operating specific cranes. Some of the cranes include: carry deck cranes, articulated boom truck cranes, overhead cranes, crawler cranes, tower cranes, and mobile cranes. Each of these is set up in a multi-screen booth, providing a full 3D display, and the unique controls of the crane in question.

How Crane Simulators Work:

Advanced Physics Systems: Much like an extremely intricate video game, the crane simulators are designed with the latest in physics technology. The goal is to mirror the physical reality of pulling, pushing, and carrying an immense amount of weight, in relation to the strength of hydraulics. Also, from a safety perspective, this physics system takes into account the limitations of ground integrity, weather conditions, cribbing, and blocking.

Motion Technology: In order to get the most accurate crane experience, many of these simulators implement motion technology systems. Motion technology is similar to that of a 4D movie, where the action that has been carried out on the screen is translated into the simulator. This means that the realities of vibrational construction technology, like moving, carrying, and dropping, are translated into the simulator.

Three Dimensional (Multi-monitored) Screen: In reality, a crane operator must be responsible for more than just the area directly in front of him. He must be capable of looking around, up, down, and side-to-side, in order to fully survey the environment for safety and effectiveness. The multi-screened simulators allow this range of visibility.

Realistic Control Scheme: Depending on which crane software is being used to train the operator, different hardware systems are provided. This allows the operator to work with the unique control scheme of the crane he will be operating, and as a result, become more comfortable.

Scenario Generation: Cranes are used in a variety of situations, each with distinct challenges, safety measures, and time constraints. The various programs are designed to test users on the wide range of possible scenarios they may encounter in the field.

Advantages of Simulation

There is a range of benefits that simulation possesses over real-life training (or that can be used in conjunction with real life training).

Facing Challenges: Various problems arise in real world construction that cannot be prepared for during a real-life training regimen, including mechanical malfunctions, and life-threatening safety hazards. By using a simulator, these issues can be confronted in a safe, digital realm.

Prepping While Avoiding Personal Injury: Sometimes an untrained operator can have issues when operating machinery, putting his and his co-workers’ safety in jeopardy. Simulations ensure that trainees have operated a digital control scheme.

Reducing Training Costs: Training a new operator is a costly procedure, requiring time and resources. Simulations eliminate resources and extra people from the equation, saving time and money.

Measuring Growth: Built-in metrics can measure progress in the simulator, giving precise instructions on what can and should be improved upon.

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