Virtual crane training

15 April 2008

A training simulator from GlobalSim in Utah, USA provides a virtual environment that replicates the actual physical and operating characteristics of a crane.

The MasterLift simulator has an enclosed cab with seat and controls like those on a real crane and other features to help create an effective training experience. An integrated electromechanical motion system moves the cab to mimic crane movements, even producing forces on the seat to replicate acceleration effects.

A graphics display system depicts the including boom, hook, and rope movements, as well as different terrains, pedestrian and vehicle traffic and other safety hazards and distractions. Surround sound completes the virtual environment.

“It was absolutely vital to create a simulator in which operators see, feel and respond in real time to whatever they might experience in a real crane,” explained Jonathan McCurdy, senior systems engineer at GlobalSim.

The system's various loads, such as I-beams and crates, and proprietary software programs accurately mimic different crane models. Learning to control simulated load swing is an essential element of the training experiences provided.

The company said that simulator use allows trainees to learn to operate a crane efficiently and safely within two to three weeks. MasterLift simulators cost from US$180,000 to $795,000, depending on configuration.

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