24 Apr 2015
The forklift operator trainee climbs into the lift truck’s cockpit. He fastens his seat belt, turns on the ignition switch, puts the vehicle into a forward gear and immediately slams his 4-ton vehicle into a stack of pallets loaded with laptops and other expensive electronic equipment.
A training disaster that costs the company tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue?
No, it’s just another day for a new virtual reality training simulator that allows new operators to learn how to safely operate their vehicle without the risk of property damage, injuries or lost revenues.
Virtual Reality Forklift Training
Forklift Simulator is a new product that was recently unveiled by a tech startup company of the same name based in Mechelen, Belgium. It features a realistic forklift driver’s seat and dummy vehicle controls, as well as virtual reality headgear that displays a 360-degree computer-generated warehouse.
This type of risk-free, computer-based training is ideal for the new generation of forklift operators who were raised playing video games. It allows newbies to develop their skills and learn safe driving habits without putting themselves — or other people or property — at risk.
Forklift Simulator allows can be used with a series of standard scenarios, or users can upload customized layouts and schematics that are the same as their own warehouses. This allows operators to gain practical “on the job” experience without actually being on the job.
Design Your Own Scenarios
It includes modular software that can be expanded and upgraded to fit a business’s specific needs. For example, you can build your own environment and scenarios, or allow forklift safety trainers to observe multiple users at the same time.
The environment builder allows trainers to adapt and create their own virtual reality environments. It includes a 3D library of objects that can be inserted into the program using drag and drop functionality.
The lesson builder lets trainers adapt or build specific exercises for any driver. Targets to guide the driver to specific locations and objectives can be added and edited. Other elements, such as designated danger and speed limit zones, also can be included.
The training comes with two main setups: A basic S Sim setup and a more advanced M Sim setup. Both can be equipped with a regular LED screen instead of the virtual reality headgear if desired.
So far, Forklift Simulator is being well-received by the material handling industry. It received the “Best New Innovation” award by the material handling trade group MHI at the recent ProMAT trade show held in Chicago last month.
Other awards handed out during ProMAT included the “Best Innovation of an Existing Product” award, which was presented to Cubicam 25 for its dimensioning and weighing system. Created by Quatronix Inc., of Farmington, Utah, the device measures small and oddly shaped packages to optimize cartonization. It also reduces the amount packaging material that is required and can help save money on dimensional weight shipping charges.