Crane and Hoist Canada

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CM Labs helps Manitowoc with simulators


September 21, 2020
By Crane & Hoist Canada staff

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Simulation can be very useful to dealers and manufacturers at trade shows. Photo courtesy of CM Labs

When Manitowoc implemented a common control system across its line of cranes, it recognized an oppor­tunity to leverage simulators to support the marketing and sales program behind the initiative, as well as for operator training.

CM Labs provides equipment manufacturers with turnkey solutions from end to end of the simulation value chain. This includes software development, controls integration, hardware engineering and installation, marketing expertise, and above all, extensive experience in protecting and showcasing the brand of leading companies with high-fidelity solutions.

Solution – CM Labs developed branded Manitowoc crane training simulators to capture the look, feel, and operator experience. CM Labs simulators are supporting the roll-out and adoption of Manitowoc’s Crane Control System (CCS) initiative by helping to train operators on the advantages of the control system. Sales and marketing teams are also employing the simulators to allow prospective buyers to virtually test-drive equipment.

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Speeding market adoption with training innovation – Training plays a key role in the market’s adoption of any new initiative, and CCS is no exception.

“Even 20 years ago, machines were built without all of today’s sophisticated program control system inputs,” said John Alexander, director of service, training & telematics at Manitowoc. “Functions were straightforward and operated through lever action. But now cranes are controlled digitally, making operation more complex. What’s more, there are unique distinctions from one model to another that an operator has to be comfortable with. That’s why it’s critical to have well-trained operators in the seats of newer cranes, and the more standardization across models, the easier that becomes.”

Manitowoc is taking full advantage of its CM Labs simulators. Whereas physical machine training can be limited by time, space, or cost, simulators are always available to provide multiple trainees with ample hands-on experience.

Training can also be adapted to the unique requirements and experience of each operator. A journeyman may require just a quick tutorial to become familiar with the inputs, while a new operator will require considerably more training time.

Simulation boosts sales opportunities – Manitowoc sells and supports machines directly and through its network of distributors. According to Alexan­der, the ease of use of the CCS, from both an operator and technician perspective, has become a big selling point. These and other features are clearly demonstrated through the CM Labs simulators.

Simulators can be very beneficial at trade shows.

“At a tradeshow we might have eight or 10 cranes on the site, but there are restrictions regarding operating equip­ment. Even simply sitting in the cab is limited as you can only have one person on the crane at any given time” said Alexander. “With our simulator we can have six, eight, 10 or more people watching what’s happening. This gives us a greater opportunity to showcase the benefits of our equipment and CCS technology.”