ACREOS of France, a specialist in industrial training equipment, has developed an innovative simulation tool for training machine operators in the building and public-works sector. ACREOS will demonstrate its simulators at the BAUMA trade show, which will take place in Munich from 19 to 25 April 2010.
BAUMA, which will be held in the southern German city of Munich in late April, is the trade fair of reference in the field, and will give ACREOS the opportunity to showcase its expertise.
Training machine operators in the building and public-works sector usually requires specialised and costly equipment. To address this issue, while still training operators swiftly and in complete safety, ACREOS has developed a platform for training users to operate machinery using simulation. This single platform can simulate three types of public-works equipment – a hydraulic excavator, a dumper truck or an articulated wheel loader. It can also simulate two types of lifting equipment – a mobile crane or a tower crane.
The ACREOS simulator enables beginners to learn the automatic processes of machine operation without stress and in complete safety, which enables them to acquire the necessary reflexes for operating the actual machine, without risk to the equipment or to themselves.
The learner sits on an adjustable seat and is immersed in a highly realistic environment, using controls identical to those found on the real piece of equipment. The simulation is viewed on a large high-definition screen or video projector. The system also includes a robust but upgradeable chassis, as well as adapted racks for computing, multimedia and electronic equipment.
The simulator features a touch screen with a user-friendly interface that requires no particular computing skills. Language skills are not required to use the ACREOS simulator either – all functions are performed via the touch screen, which is driven by easy-to-use software.
The platform can be used by learners at an early stage of their training. The learner is able to train independently – the simulator incorporates a series of modules with a range of different levels designed to gradually increase the required degree of dexterity or the reflex movements that need to be learnt. When the exercises have been completed, the simulator shows the learner’s measurable and quantifiable results. These results can be saved and processed for subsequent interpretation with an instructor. Dedicated software also manages the analysis of the results and controls the instructional learning rate.
This teaching system can be configured in several languages (English, Dutch, French, German, Greek and Spanish) and can include others such as Arabic, Italian and Portuguese. Specific course material can also be added to the system, as well as any additional data that the organisation wishes to put at the trainee’s disposal.
The ACREOS simulator is available in two versions – single-machine or multiple-machine. Optional modules can be added to the standard model as required. The modular flexibility of ACREOS simulators ensures software upgradeability, and new machine simulations can also be added. For instance, a single-machine platform can be upgraded to a multiple-machine platform, thus allowing a platform to host new machines that were not needed at the time of the initial purchase.
There are many advantages to using a simulation platform for training purposes. Not only does it lower the learner’s stress levels, it also speeds up the learning process. Studies have demonstrated a 70% to 75% reduction in the time needed to coordinate movements using a simulator. Tangible savings in terms of training time can be achieved: only six to eight hours are needed to master the controls on the simulator, against 24 hours spent on a hydraulic excavator.
ACREOS’s simulator also offers significant safety benefits – there is no risk of causing physical damage and, since the simulator is electrically powered, it suffers no wear and tear, incurs no fuel costs and is pollution-free. Since the simulator is designed for self-learning, no instructors are required to supervise the trainees and learners can progress at their own pace.