Germany spearheads use of advanced simulator training for heavy equipment operator certification
CM Labs Simulations, the only simulator developer to incorporate physics-based Smart Training Technology™ (STT), has achieved the successful use of simulation training and testing to meet German requirements for crane operator certification.
The virtual training and qualification took place in Germany at bauma 2022 using CM Labs’ simulation-based solution because of its accurate replication of real-world machine and materials behavior for crane operation.
Operator-in-training, Patrick Schultka, who had some prior experience in earthmoving equipment but no experience with cranes, spent eight hours over the course of four days at the show, using the CM Labs’ Tower Crane Simulation Training Pack on the Vortex 5-screen Advantage Simulator. With self-guided practice and one-on-one coaching from a trainer, he completed the written exam, followed by a 30-minute qualification test using CM Labs Crane Training Pack, based on the real-world CCO exam.
Approved by German DGUV
In September 2021, German Statutory Accident Insurance (DGUV – Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung) issued report FBHL-019 allowing the use of simulation systems for the qualification of heavy equipment operators. DGUV, the organization that oversees the use of simulation for heavy equipment training in Germany, helps companies and educational institutions with a broad range of prevention measures and services.
Matthias Mueller, Management Safety Engineer and owner of AST (Arbeits Sicherheit & Technik, a recognized educational institution), supervised the live certification and documented the process. AST has been using CM Labs simulators for the past two years to qualify operators in accordance with DGUV guidelines.
“Using simulation to certify crane operators offers the next level of training and development in the skilled trades,” said Lisa Barbieri, CM Labs’ VP of Marketing and Product Management. “The requirements set by DGUV are essential to creating a unified objective standard of measure to use simulation for certification in Germany. CM Labs is positioned to provide the right solution as the industry evolves to take advantage of the benefits of simulation training in new ways.”
The DGUV report stipulates that simulated curriculum must include realistic use of the equipment, real-world scenarios to reinforce correct safe working interactions and habits, and problem-solving scenarios to establish good judgment for safe operation and avoiding near collisions and injuries.
Simulation for certification must meet five technical criteria in order to comply.
- Realistic immersive display (such as curved or 5-sided case);
- Acoustic feedback to reinforce audio queues common on the job site (engine, alarms, etc.);
- Realistic motion system – such as 5 degrees of freedom and motion platform;
- Faithful replica of a typical worksite for operator context;
- Realistic high-quality simulation model – real-time simulation, vehicle behavior, steering, vibrations, the behavior of objects and materials, graphics, and environmental scenarios (night/day/wind gusts, etc.).
CM Labs accurately replicates real-world machine and materials behavior, resulting in effective, efficient operator training. The company’s patented Smart Training Technology exceeds the technical criteria for German certification. The high-fidelity STT provides real data accuracy and reporting insights. Comprised of proprietary and patented algorithms, the simulation delivers careful modeling and reproduction of machine data that interact with the environment and materials just as they do in the real world. Its precision is backed by more than 20,000 automated daily tests and ongoing research and development.
Trainees gain a better feel for engine transmission, crane boom, and jib bending/torqueing, as well as wire rope and crane block spin and environmental factors (like wind, precipitation, day and night settings). Learning hook and load management, reducing pendulums, snags, and collisions, operators improve cycle times, and which can ultimately reduce production costs.
Use of Virtual Training and Certification in Construction
With the current labor shortages and energy costs, these latest developments in simulation certification look promising for health and safety governing bodies, such as OSHA, and other organized labor groups to consider as alternatives to measure the proficiency of operators.
Watch this video to learn more about the use of simulators in operator training in Germany. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR9KYT7v62M