Simulators help operators improve safety

  • 04-Jun-2009 05:40 EDT
ohsafetyside.jpg

Simulators from Caterpillar enable operators to live to tell about mistakes they make while learning to run excavators and other equipment.

One of the keys to safety is having well-trained operators. Simulators are becoming an increasingly viable option, providing training in a virtual environment where there is little chance for accidents.

Once reserved for pricey applications such as flight training for pilots, simulators now utilize PCs, so they are quite affordable. Today’s powerful processors and sharp displays let equipment owners provide operator trainees with realistic training. That helps them develop hand-eye coordination and get comfortable before they confront the dangers of the real world.

"In a virtual environment, learners encounter obstacles and real-world situations, yet the instructor can remain confident injuries won’t occur as skills develop," said Jon Goodney, Manager, Learning Technology, at the John Deere Training Center.

Though a primary goal for training simulators is to improve productivity and increase profits, safety is prominent. "Safety procedures are covered before operators are introduced to the training exercises," said Larry Estep, Caterpillar’s Program Manager for Simulators and Equipment Training Solutions.

For example, Deere’s eLearning curriculum for hydraulic excavators begins with a safety module that includes steps that should be taken before operation, such as machine operation on uneven ground, engine stopping, and parking.

Estep noted that safety modules in Cat’s Mining Truck eLearning curriculum cover personal, work site, and machine safety; warning labels; mounting and dismounting; drivetrain failure stopping procedures; parking on a slope; and machine out-of-control procedures. All simulators contain an overview of safety walk-around inspections.

Deere simulators first warn novice operators when they make mistakes. As they advance, it prevents them from continuing when they make safety mistakes.

"In practice mode, operators are cautioned if they are starting to commit an unsafe act," said Goodney. "This allows a learner ample time to correct the situation before the violation occurs. In assessment mode, these cautionary statements are absent."

Share
HTML for Linking to Page
Page URL
Grade
Rate It
4.00 Avg. Rating

Read More Articles On

2016-09-16
Manipulator position sensing is a key issue in the study of hydraulic excavator automation. A neural network-based vision system was developed to estimate the boom, arm, and bucket cylinder displacements of an excavator manipulator during a grading operation simulation.
2016-08-25
Autonomous driving and machine system automation continue to increase productivity and convenience in farm production.
2016-11-11
Baumer's inductive sensor technology measures a distance on a target with high speed and high precision, enabling equipment condition assessment.
2016-11-11
NOsparc arc suppressors from Arc Suppression Technologies are designed for both ac and dc power applications.

Related Items

Article
2016-11-11
Training / Education
2017-10-26
Book
2014-01-01
Standard
2013-05-03
Technical Paper / Journal Article
2010-10-05