Thursday, October 21, 2010

Heavy Equipment Training Simulators Provide Immediate Cost Savings

Heavy equipment operator training simulators allow organizations to improve their bottom lines by reducing fuel consumption, limiting wear-and-tear on real-world equipment, and reducing accidents caused by inexperienced operators. Operators that receive simulation-based training demonstrate increased levels of productivity, pride in their profession, and higher levels of quality work. Organizations that train their heavy equipment operators on simulators report decreased levels of customer complaints, equipment downtime, accidents, and worker turnover. Manufacturers that offer training simulators with their products can expect higher levels of sales, customer satisfaction, and repeat business. In industries like mining and construction, that rely on heavy equipment and the people that operate them, these are all important components of running a successful and profitable business.

In this age of hyper-competition, companies that are able to differentiate themselves from their competitors will succeed, while those who don't will risk becoming obsolete. Many heavy equipment manufacturers have already deployed operator training simulators, while many others are rapidly developing them, in order to set themselves apart and stay ahead of their competition.

Volvo Wheel Loader Simulation

When it comes to training for heavy equipment operation, without risking injury to operator or machine, The Volvo wheel loader simulator is a great example of this concept. It provides an economical and efficient way of increasing safety and productivity. The simulator tracks operator's performance and compiles their statistics, making the simulation a valuable tool for tracking employee's development over time. Inexperienced operators can train in a safe environment and achieve higher levels of productivity in a shorter amount of time, while experienced operators can sharpen their skills and practice for more difficult maneuvers.

Volvo Wheel Loader Simulator Demo Video

Hitachi Mining and Excavator Simulator

The Hitachi EX5500-5 hydraulic shovel training simulator, developed with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) controls and instrumentation, provides authentic training that leads to increased productivity and safety while reducing unscheduled maintenance on real-world equipment. Since vehicle efficiency can vary up to 40% based on the experience of an operator, simulation-based training can quickly lead to cost savings for any organization.

Hitachi Mining and Excavator Simulator Demo Video

Simulation-based training is the best way to keep personnel safe, machinery free from mishaps, and avoid unplanned maintenance costs caused by under-trained operators. Operator training simulators help organizations dramatically lower costs and address safety and production concerns while ensuring training can be conducted at anytime, regardless of weather conditions, increasing fuel costs, or other prohibitive real-world barriers.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Serious Games Improve Business Training

These days serious games and training simulations are being used in just about every industry and type of business. While it's true that the military, medical, and disaster-response fields lead the way in using simulations to train their people, more and more we are seeing games and simulators used for just about every type of business training. When it comes to training, serious games that immerse users in subject material have been proven to be cost-effective and lead to increased levels of knowledge retention - critical components of business training.

IBM INNOV8: Business Process Management Game

IBM, the world's 4th largest technology company, is leading the way in using serious games for business training. One of their latest products, named INNOV8, is an online 3D serious game that teaches the basics of business process management. Players of the game must work to solve typical problems that many business face. Scenarios include everything from evaluating a traditional supply chain model to reduce a company's carbon footprint, to reorganizing a call center in order to develop more efficient ways to respond to customers, to working with a municipality to lower traffic congestion and pollution levels.

Business Process Management Game
INNOV8: IBM's Business Process Management Game

The game allows users to learn the anatomy of a business process model and collaborate with coworkers to change that model and improve business operations. Concepts taught by the game include process modeling, activity monitoring, team collaboration, analysis, and optimization. Players are able to manage and interact with processes by taking advantage of powerful analysis technology and real-time monitoring capabilities.

Simulated Business Architecture Heat Map
INNOV8: Business Architecture Heat Map

Combining the basic economics of software distribution and the learn-by-doing principle, serious games allow organizations to train their employees in a fun, engaging, and cost-effective way. Companies all around the world are using serious games to introduce new skills, evaluate business performance, and develop leadership capabilities in their employees. Games are highly experiential software applications that foster deep levels of cognitive activity and higher-level thinking skills. IBM states that people retain information anywhere from 80 and 108 percent better when learning through serious games as opposed to more traditional training methods.

Business Modeling Simulation Tool
INNOV8: Business Modeling Tool

If you're charged with improving process management in a business environment that is constantly changing, you're aware of the challenges associated with keeping employees engaged with training material. Using serious games as a training tool allows you to help your organization better understand how effective business process management impacts an entire business ecosystem. Serious games and simulations allow you to identify bottlenecks, evaluate profitability, reduce implementation time, and view the processes in operation before you deploy them into real-world production so that you can optimize process cost, efficiency, and effectiveness.

In today's challenging economy, businesses need to take advantage of every tool available to them. Serious games and training simulations allow your organization to make informed business decisions, test proposed processes, and study the results before committing valuable resources.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Simulation Software is Cost-Effective for Emergency Response Training

When it comes to training for mission critical tasks, emergency response and first responder rank as some of the most important and difficult activities to train for. In today's economy, where emergency management agencies worldwide are finding their budgets slashed, it's becoming even harder to train for disasters. This is where simulation-based training software comes in, a safe and cost-effective method to train for something you hope may never happen, but something agencies must be prepared for. Simulation-based training is used to prepare for every kind of emergency, from public health, to hazardous materials, to natural disasters, to homeland security threats.

Last month an article in Emergency Management magazine included the following quote from Dale Hall, former director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory:
"Simulation is a valuable tool for emergency response and can be used for vulnerability assessment, planning, training and decision support. It was identified as the only feasible approach when it is difficult to do real-life experiments, as is the case for homeland security applications."
The article references a number of different emergency response training simulator systems that are currently in use to provide training and education to first responders.

Advanced Disaster Management Simulator

The New York City Office of Emergency Management has partnered with Environmental Tectonics Corp. to use their Advanced Disaster Management Simulator. The software allows them to test their ability to implement the citywide incident management system. High-fidelity 3D graphics, complex interactivity, and audio create a highly immersive, chaotic and stressful environment for first responders to train in.

HYDRA Simulator

The Los Angeles Police Department is the first governmental agency in the US to deploy a HYDRA simulator, an immersive simulator for critical incident training. The simulator system, located in the Ahmanson Recruit Training Center, allows the police to train for everything from earthquakes to acts of terrorism, which may give law enforcement a significant advantage during the next disaster.


Dartmouth College's Interactive Media Laboratory and Institute for Security Technology Studies created the Ops-Plus for WMD Hazmat program to help first responders train for terrorism response. Ops-Plus, part of the Virtual Terrorism Response Academy, allows officials to train in an immersive 3D environment for threats ranging from chemical, to biological, to radiological, to nuclear.

It requires highly specialized training to be a first responder when it comes to disasters. Using immersive 3D simulators to train for disaster management allows first responders to gain this training without having to put themselves in harm's way. There may be no better way to develop first responder skills than to experience an actual disaster, but real-world disasters are rare and no place for inexperienced responders to gain on-the-job training. Disaster training simulators enable life-like training that can help agencies develop disaster management strategies that can ultimately save lives in a real-world disaster.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Health Care Industry Sets Training Simulation Standards

The health care industry continues to set the standard when it comes to the advancement of training simulations. Educating health care professionals thorough the use of medical simulators allow clinicians to repeatedly practice complicated procedures while removing any risk to an actual patient.

Boston Scientific SimSuite

Hon Mai and Joseph Goodman Center for Simulation and Immersive Learning

Last week the Stanford School of Medicine opened the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, a $90 million project. The center includes the Hon Mai and Joseph Goodman Center for Simulation and Immersive Learning. This 28,000-square-foot facility features a fully simulated hospital, with simulators for almost every clinical condition, including mannequins that bleed, breathe and talk.

Press Release: Center for Simulation and Immersive Learning

Medicine Meets Virtual Reality

In its 18th year, the Medicine Meets Virtual Reality Conference will take place next year from February 9th to the 12th in Newport Beach, California. The presentations featured at this conference push the limits every year when it comes to the advancements in medical procedural training simulator technology. Some of the upcoming presentations that will be of interest to simulation developers include:

  • Needle Insertion Simulator with Haptic Feedback
  • Simulation-Based Program for Training Cardiac Surgery-Related Skills
  • Real-Time Electrocautery Simulation for Laparoscopic Surgical Environments
  • Prototype of a Neurosurgical Training Simulator
  • Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anesthesia using a High-Fidelity Simulator

Medicine Meets Virtual Reality: Conference Program

Medical Simulation Corporation

Medical Simulation Corporation builds some of the world's best high-fidelity medical simulators for physicians, nurses and other health care professionals to stay current on new procedures. Manufactures of medical equipment that integrate a training simulator with their devices are able to differentiate their products from their competitors, and allow their clients to achieve higher clinical outcomes.

Medical Simulation Corporation Marketing Video

In a rapidly advancing field like health care, where there are new devices and techniques being introduced every day, a training simulator allows medical professionals to obtain new skills that they might not otherwise learn. In addition to medical simulators being great training tools, they are also great marketing tools for the manufacturers of medical procedure equipment. The faster a physician is able to master a device, the more they will use that product, which will lead to more sales for the manufacturer of that product.

Integrating a training simulator with a medical procedure equipment product leads to faster levels of product adoption, increased rate of sales, enhanced market visibility, and higher levels of patient safety.