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Augmented reality and rigging – the future is here

Did you know that your mobile device is likely capable of producing augmented reality? There are currently more than 1 billion phones and tablets that can bring 3D immersive scenes to life in the classroom or at home. And one new app is aiming to utilize that technology for crane training and rigger training.

Bishop Lifting Products (BLP) and Senar recently collaborated on an augmented reality (AR) Sling and Rigging Hardware Inspection and Lifting Training App for mobile devices. (See the available augmented reality rigger scenarios on the app below.)

“We had noticed that online and virtual training options were becoming more and more popular with younger generations especially,” said Dan Rose, training manager at Bishop Lifting. “The current situation with Covid-19 materialized while we were developing the app and has only accelerated this trend.”

The AR simulator offers interactive safety inspection training on both individual pieces of rigging equipment and on proper use and attachment of rigging to various load types.

For example, in one of the scenarios, trainees walk around a life-size digital rack loaded with more than 2,000 pounds of crane rigging equipment, and they must identify the 40 flaws that could cause an accident. In another scenario, trainees inspect previously assembled rigging attached to a load before giving their sign-off for lifting.

“Without AR it would be impossible to replicate those scenarios,” said Rose. “They are too dangerous or too costly to reproduce and too heavy to carry when I travel. Now, everything is available on an iPad. We’re excited about the training tool and can’t wait to use it in our training classes.”

There are many crane training and NCCCO Rigger Training courses that offer students immersive information and certification, such as the Basic Rigging Training Course or NCCCO Rigger Level 1 Prep Course (both of which can be reserved through Easybook Training.) But having the ability to put students in hazardous situations via AR is an added bonus.

Safe environment

One of the main issues with rigging and rigging inspection training are the difficulties of getting trainees and the equipment together in a safe environment. The app, and its ability to transform the real world into an augmented space, allows students to test their “hands-on” rigging, safely.

This type of technology could transform the way crane training and rigger training are delivered.

“Anytime you are training inexperienced people in an industrial environment the risk for accidents and injuries is high,” Rose said. “With this app, inexperienced trainees can experience true-to-life practice with lifting equipment and doing inspections without being at risk to themselves, their coworkers or the equipment.”

Of course, traditional training styles are still the norm, and, if you’re looking for a crane training coursecrane operator courseNCCCO crane training or NCCCO rigger training, head over to Easybook Training to find the right class, at the right place and time, to fit your needs.

Augmented reality rigger scenarios on the app:

  • Lifting Hardware and Sling Inspection – users inspect individual pieces of rigging equipment (slings and hardware) from a virtual Bishop Lifting rigging rack.
  • Rigging Accident – users watch an unsafe lift and determine the cause of the accident.
  • Rigging Inspection – Users inspect a load that already has a rigging assembly attached and determine if the assembly is correct for the lift.
  • Rigging Scenarios – users are given a virtual representation of a load and select the proper rigging equipment to lift that load from a Bishop Lifting rigging rack.