Port of Göteborg, operator of the leading container port in Scandinavia, is using a container crane simulator for crane operator education. The Port is also helping the provider of the simulator, ABB Crane Systems, to develop the simulator further.
The crane simulator at Port of Göteborg is being used for training future Göteborg container crane operators, but that is not all. It is also being used to offer education and training to future container crane drivers in other Swedish ports. In addition, the education of instructors will be offered on an international level as well.
The simulator at Göteborg is run by Port of Göteborg in partnership with the Swedish Academy of Harbour Logistics, a national education body for stevedoring and other port work.
Training for novices and veterans
An operational simulator is naturally used for educating and training new crane operators of existing cranes.
However, one advantage with crane simulator training is that crane drivers can be trained before the cranes ordered are actually installed at the port. This ensures that a considerable investment can be put to work earlier than would otherwise be the case. Furthermore, skilled crane operators can benefit from the qualities of a crane simulator. Serious situations that seldom occur and that cannot be staged can be trained over and over again in the simulator. Also, nightly snowstorms can be arranged in the midst of summer using the scenario library of the simulator’s software.
Another type of rocking chair
The simulator at Göteborg has a software core delivered by Oryx Simulations connected to ABB Crane Systems hardware. The components of the simulator set consist of a crane-driver’s chair with replicas of the actual controls, a computer, and projection equipment.
The chair is programmed to move in a realistic way to copy real-life acceleration, deceleration, sway and roughness due to mishandling. This is done hydraulically on computer impulse. Sounds can also be added for increased similarity with reallife action.
The Göteborg simulator is adapted to resemble the Port’s most recently-aquired post-panamax cranes. This is a flexible option: Other crane types can be imitated by switching controls and adjusting the programme.
Training, monitoring, logging
The simulator is actually a training package with the ability to monitor the performance of the crane operator pupil. The log will show where additional training is needed.
The instructor can be absent or present; he can intervene in the situation projected; and he can add or delete complications in real-time.
The Port of Göteborg simulator will be helpful in educating new operators as well as training experienced operators in situations that seldom occur and which cannot very well be staged in reality for training.
But it can also be an instrument in helping the operator develop his optimum path running, i.e., to create the optimal path through the air between ship and shore, lean but safe. In fact, this is an important feature where movements are being recorded, compared and evaluated.
Three training levels
Three levels are being used in the training programme, comprising a total of 30 hours, with flexibility between the levels. The ‘A’ basic level covers the most common manoeuvres with various wind conditions and vessel types. The ‘B’ level adds simulated crane driving complications at random and introduces the time pressure element. Level ‘C’ is a combination of levels A and B.