EnerMech Limited has invested £500,000 ($820,000) on a crane simulator for use in the Australian-Asia Pacific market.
The company is also devising an exclusive programme to extend the simulator’s capabilities to include subsea lifting operations in what will be a world first development for the crane and heavy lifting industry.
EnerMech say this latest investment in new technology provides the company with the only crane simulator in the region and underlines its determination to significantly expand operations in both Singapore and Perth.
The Crane Simulator will be a containerised unit that will be suitable for being transported between various locations as operational requirements dictate. It is designed to work in extreme weather conditions and cope with the various electrical supplies that exist in different countries.
Rod Leech, EnerMech’s Director of Training, said: “Having operated a crane simulator in support of the UK’s offshore industry for a number of years we are convinced of its value it helping to reduce accidents and incidents in lifting activities. This has been borne out by statistics that have shown that the use of crane simulator training has had a direct effect on reducing the number of accidents.
“The Crane Simulator represents the most innovative and unique concept in both crane operator training and assessment that is available today. It provides a highly effective and comprehensive tool to train and assess personnel in a safe and realistic environment, enabling the operator to experience a wide range of conditions and situations that cannot be replicated at their normal work site.
“These scenarios provide the operator with experience of how to react to various situations that may develop and the actions required to ensure that safe operation is achieved.”
During simulator training the operator will be subject to a series of real time exercises in which malfunction situations that could occur during actual crane operations are introduced.
The ability to train crane operators in the correct ways to handle a dangerous operating situation can only be done through crane simulator training as it is not possible for numerous safety reasons to carry out such training at the worksite.
Mr Leech revealed that using exclusive subsea software, EnerMech had developed a subsea capability to the crane simulator which would assist crane operators engaged in sub-surface and diving operations.
The subsea installation simulator also has the potential to be used for diver communication training and there was significant interest from clients who had seen the prototype version in action.
He added: “This development will provide us with a unique product that will truly be a world first. This will for the first time allow us to train and assess crane operators undertaking subsea lifting operations in the safety and comfort of an onshore controlled environment.”
This subsea extension will provide clients with the opportunity to have the competency of crane operators assessed where, for example, they are going to be involved in diving operations where the crane operator cannot see below the surface and is therefore working “blind”, with the obvious consequential risk.
“We envisage that this subsea training will prove cost effective to our clients as this development will negate the need for trainers/assessors to be sent offshore where the agenda can be delayed through operational and weather constraints.”
The Crane Simulator can also be used as a pre-employment tool to ensure that potential employees have the required level of expertise before offered a position. This ability to check on an individual’s suitability to operate a crane in a safe, simulated environment will help to increase safety standards within the industry.”