The Vortex Advantage and Vortex Edge Plus simulators allow operators to train on a wide range of...

The Vortex Advantage and Vortex Edge Plus simulators allow operators to train on a wide range of equipment.

Photo courtesy of CM Labs

CM Labs, developer of Vortex training simulators, will allow attendees of the International Construction and Utility Equipment Expo (ICUEE) to operate two different simulator platforms during the show. The company will display the immersive Vortex Advantage and the entry-level Vortex Edge Plus simulators.

Both simulators can run the company’s full catalog of lifting equipment and earthmoving equipment commonly used by electric utilities and rural electric cooperatives. This includes simulations for boom trucks, mobile cranes, backhoes, and excavators. The training packs provide exercises for trenching, pipe placement, excavation around utilities, and more.

The Vortex Advantage can mirror an entire training fleet, with hot-swappable controls and pedals. It also adjusts to equipment-specific sight lines with a rotating three-display option or the immersive five-display option. With industrial-grade seating and controls, and a motion platform, the simulator reproduces the feel of equipment in motion, including vibration, impact, acceleration, and overload conditions. “It feels highly realistic, which helps our students get invested in the scenarios they’re working on. That makes these simulators an extremely effective training tool, as the skills they acquire transfer over to the work site,” said Robbie Foxen, executive director of the Missouri Valley Line Constructors Apprenticeship and Training Program which has deployed Vortex Advantage.

The Vortex Edge Plus is designed for portability. It mounts on a desktop and is an effective alternative to assessing operators on real machines. It can also be deployed in classroom settings to bridge the gap between theory and practical experience. “We want our operators thinking smarter, which is why I like that there are obstacles to get around in the simulator exercises,” said Tim Plath, a 30-plus-year employee of the City of Toledo, Ohio, and manager of health and safety for the Department of Public Service.

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