Caterpillar and Simformotion reached an agreement whereby Simformotion will develop, manufacture and distribute Cat-branded, PC-based operator-training simulators beginning in the first quarter 2009. The first "Gen II" simulator features a wheel tractor scraper and will be available in August 2009. The second new simulator, scheduled for release in October, will be the 924H wheel loader.
Caterpillar has offered PC-based operator training simulators since 2004. But because of the introduction of new technologies, Cat will classify its existing simulators as "Gen I" to distinguish the old products from the new. Gen I simulators currently available include the M-Series motor grader, hydraulic excavator, large wheel loader, mining truck and off-highway truck.
According to Larry Estep, Program Manager, the Gen I products will be phased into Gen II versions over the next three years. Estep also explained that Gen I software works with Gen II hardware, but Gen II software only works with Gen II hardware.
Gen II simulators will offer a host of improvements, including machine walk-arounds, nighttime training, residential and commercial environments, different soil types, real-time instruction and real-time feedback, free-training module, safety enhancements and more. They will feature a new training-records management tool powered by SimU Campus, which will also be sold as an option for Gen I products.