Rock Products

NOV 2018

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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20 • ROCK products • November 2018 www.rockproducts.com CM Labs Simulations is helping Del Mar College's Division of Workforce and Economic Development to narrow the skilled labor gap by implementing a Vortex Advantage simulator in its heavy equipment operator training program. Del Mar College's Workforce Programs – Corporate Services develops cus- tomized training programs for energy companies near Corpus Christi, Texas. Although it had been training heavy equipment operation using textbooks and PowerPoint presentations, the department decided that a simulator would have a greater impact on stu- dents by taking the hardest tasks and having them practice in an environ- ment without dangerous implications. A simulator would also reduce the risk and liability of using a live machine for training and eliminate maintenance, upkeep, fuel and inspection costs. The five-screen Vortex Advantage sim- ulator was purchased using a Texas Workforce Commission Skill Develop- ment Fund to train carry-deck crane operators, with the idea that the col- lege would expand its program to other heavy equipment training modules. When the college purchased the sim- ulator, Dara Betz, program manager, Workforce Programs – Corporate Services, said no other providers had earthmoving software except for CM Labs. Del Mar was able to buy the excavator and wheel loader software shortly after purchasing the simulator. It is also planning to add the backhoe, forklift, and tower crane training packs. The Vortex Advantage simulator is a mobile unit that can easily be trans- ported to the jobsite on a gooseneck trailer. "What we liked about the Vortex Advantage is the learning and training can be at any time or location, and it can be repeated as often as necessary," Betz said. "Our customers are in the indus- try, and we want to meet their needs, which means going out to their jobsites and doing the training there." Make Room for Millennials at the Jobsite Construction has often been considered one of the last industries to embrace technology. That is starting to change, however, as aggregates and construc- tion companies look for new ways to alter the mindset of those at the jobsite. Enter millennials. They have grown up with apps and solutions to solve just about any system problem that arises. Some of the emerging technology that millennials appear to be comfortable with that they might leverage on the jobsite include: • Drones. • Artificial Intelligence. • Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality. • Smartphone Apps. • Tablets. • Wearables. Fresh Thinking "Millennials have grown up attached to technology. Jobsites today are so far removed from what millennials have come to expect in their daily lives. They expect new solutions to do their job better, to get rid of manual processes," said Chad Hollingsworth, cofounder and president, Triax Technologies. One of the challenges is closing the gap between the more seasoned construc- tion professional that might be more hesitant to leverage new systems, and the younger, tech-savvy generation that might not have as much experience with traditional construction methods. "Older generations look to millennials for how to incorporate the tech into the jobsite," said Paul Gomori, application engineering manager, JCA Electronics. Moving Construction into the Future There are advantages to having more software and devices on the jobsite besides attracting a younger workforce. It boils down to improvements in effi- ciency and productivity compared to older manual processes, explained Barry Peyton, product manager, Intel- liwave Technologies. These types of enhancements can be measured and traced back to bottom-line improve- ments across the construction site. "The right construction technology can centralize information and communi- cation, improve safety and reduce the amount of time spent on non-value- added tasks," said Hollingsworth. "It is something that [workers] can use to develop skills, streamline daily tasks, and become better at their jobs." The attitude and outlook that millennials have toward their life and job can help entice them to work in the construction field. Hollingsworth said, "Millennials want to add value, make an impact and find meaning in what they're doing. This carries over to their professional lives." What can be more rewarding than turn- ing piles of dirt into buildings, roads, bridges and other construction? Del Mar College Adds Vortex Simulator

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