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Manitowoc, CM Labs Team Up on Crane-Control Simulator

September 5, 2018 - Manitowoc Cranes has chosen CM Labs to develop and deliver a series of groundbreaking simulators that showcase Manitowoc’s intuitive new Crane Control System (CCS).  

The new crane-operator-training simulator was unveiled in June at Manitowoc’s 2018 Crane Days in Shady Grove, Pa.  

Manitowoc’s initial order of Vortex simulators that operate like Manitowoc’s next-gen CCS control system is intended to help dealers market cranes equipped with the CCS system and to educate crane operators on the benefits and capabilities of CCS equipped cranes. Simulators are already being delivered to Manitowoc clients for operator training, including locals of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). 

Manitowoc’s CCS operating platform provides a common human-to-machine interface across multiple crane product lines. That makes it easy for an operator to become familiar and quickly comfortable with the controls in many different models of crane.

Each CCS unit features the same control layout, with standardized symbols, and is made up of several common components: crane controller, safety controller, small IO (input/output), large IO, joysticks, jog-dial and display.

Manitowoc engaged CM Labs to integrate the new control technology into a simulator, with the goal of allowing dealers and customers to experience and train with the CCS on a true-to-life worksite.  

“Our design starts with a relationship with the machine so that the user interface feels very close to the real thing. This was important for Manitowoc so that the end product both looked and acted like their brand,” said Drew Carruthers, CM Labs’ product line manager for construction equipment. 

“We selected CM Labs because they are the leader in crane simulation with their top-quality solutions already widely deployed at training organizations.” said John Alexander, director of all-terrain crane service, mobile training & telematics at Manitowoc. “Many of our own clients are already using CM Labs simulators every day.” 

The simulators not only replicate the functionality and behavior of the 35-ton (40-U.S.-ton) Grove RT540E crane manufactured by Manitowoc, but do it under the control of an actual CCS user interface.

Vortex simulators are powered by Vortex Studio, a high-fidelity, physics-based, real-time simulation platform that delivers unparalleled realism and immersion, says CM Labs. That means the simulation includes actual on-board crane computers and load-moment indicators, different boom configurations, accurate simulation of machine behavior, plus physical property simulation for the load line, slings, and load, as well as multiple rigging options.

As with all Vortex simulators, high-quality visuals and sound effects complete the immersive experience. The accuracy ensures skills learned on the simulator will transfer better to the live equipment. 

“CM Labs works well with OEMs like Manitowoc because of our ability to leverage authentic OEM control sets and programmable logic controllers and control systems,” said Arnold Free, chief commercial officer of CM Labs. “This Manitowoc CCS simulator is an effective way for dealers to easily demonstrate the capabilities of the CCS hardware and for operators to get the expert training they need.” 

Manitowoc Crane dealers and operators interested in buying a Vortex CCS crane simulator to use for customer training can contact Manitowoc Crane Care.


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