High-tech Simulation Reaches the World of Tower Cranes

June 7, 2018

We’ve seen training simulators (and virtual reality) for all manner of earthmoving equipment, as well as in the lift industry, and now the technology trend has reached all the way up to tower cranes.

Canada’s CM Labs now has a Vortex Luffing Tower Crane Simulator Training Pack. The company calls it a “progressive training program for safe lifting, efficient operating, and complete worksite awareness in dense urban environments.”

That last part is key, as there have been a number of high profile big-city crane accidents and weather-related incidents, some with fatalities.

The training pack’s overview promises operators will learn the fundamentals of managing a luffing jib tower crane, including lift plans and load charts, boom inspection, use of a boom tip camera, and working in urban environments. They’ll also be schooled on the fundamentals of safety systems, including load moment limiters, anti-back-tipping devices, clamshell brakes, derricking limiters, and slewing limiters.

It has the usual simulator features, but it’s the graphic technology, and its versatility, that is the most impressive. There are changeable features for time of day, shadows, nighttime operation, and weather, such as cloud cover, rain, snow, fog—and wind.

The simulator training also indicates and demonstrates crane boom and jib deflection, stability and overloading risks, and even cable collisions with worksite obstructions and the crane boom.

In addition, there are visual distractions: cars, planes(!), pedestrians, and trains can all pass through the on-screen environment. You can learn more about the training pack here.