Visitors to the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) stand at Intermat 2018 in Paris, France, April 23-28, were able to try their hand at using a MEWP at height without ever leaving the ground, thanks to an advanced virtual reality (VR) Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) simulator being showcased as part of the federation’s ongoing worldwide consultation on the technology.
The cutting-edge VR platform simulator is the result of a collaboration between IPAF member companies Serious Labs Inc, a Canadian VR and simulator specialist, MEWP manufacturer Skyjack and rental company Nationwide Platforms. During the first months of 2018, IPAF has led a global consultation project on the possibilities of VR and platform simulators in delivering vital safety training and in particular in putting MEWP operators in “at-risk” scenarios that are difficult to replicate safely in the real world.
Versions of the MEWP simulator have been hosted at IPAF Summits in London, UK, and more recently in Miami, while IPAF members also had access to the technology to evaluate its potential and help refine the programming and create realistic scenarios within the simulator. As part of the ongoing evaluation, IPAF is bringing the MEWP simulator to leading powered access and plant machinery showcase events, and hosting the simulator at its stand in Hall 6, BC006 of Intermat 2018.
Tim Whiteman, CEO of IPAF, comments: “This technology has the potential to transform the way powered access training and safety instruction is delivered. IPAF has already embraced new generation tools such as eLearning in our award-winning operator training; it’s important that we gather feedback about the potential of this ‘next generation’ technology from across the industry and our 1,000-plus accredited training instructors worldwide are key to this.
“By bringing the MEWP simulator to Intermat and also other industry events, we will spark debate on how to adopt and adapt this technology. I urge anyone visiting Intermat this year to seek out the IPAF stand to try the MEWP simulator for themselves. IPAF and our members look forward to your input.”