“Building the Future” has been in the genes of Genie since the brand was created 50 years ago. This is true for its machines, its investment in new technologies and harnessing the latest power-source innovations, as well as the development of bespoke service solutions to help customers optimize their return on investment.
It is also true when it comes to training the next generation of young talent that is indispensable to the future of tomorrow’s powered access industry. The first example is the “Genie Academy”, an access equipment training programme initiated in 2014 in the UK.
A second example is the close cooperation of Genie and its team members with teachers and their pupils as part of projects related to their studies. Such was the case for two students studying for a BTS* in Public Works and Handling Machinery Maintenance and Aftermarket Services at the René Cassin High School in Mâcon, France who, with the support of Vincent Vaché, Technical Services Manager, Terex AWP, EMEAR (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia), and David Petitjean, Technical Trainer at Genie France, developed a Genie ZX-135/70 articulating boom simulator – an innovation that could well represent a small revolution in the field of training.
The project, that took place during the second year of the student’s studies, also entailed the participation of second-year vocational steel manufacturing diploma pupils from the same school.
The main idea was as follows: This particular 43 m boom, the highest reaching in the Genie articulating boom lift range, is not necessarily available at all training sessions. Even when it is, certain functionalities such as angle sensor calibration or troubleshooting are impossible to demonstrate. However, with a simulator they are!
The idea first sprang to mind in May 2013 when, with the financial contribution of the Council of the region of Bourgogne, a Genie Z-45/25 boom was delivered to the school to enable the students to familiarize themselves with Genie products. This led to the launch of the simulator project in September 2014… and by 2015, its requirement specifications were written-up.
Technically, the simulator is comprised of two elements: One is electronic and the other manual. The mechanical element is represented by a working model of the machine’s three-section boom and simulates their movements, which are in turn controlled via the second element: an electronic control panel.
In terms of its realization, the years 2015 and 2016 marked the research and development phases of the project, the activation of the cabling and control system, the presentation of the concept in progress at the Genie Technical Summit at Disneyland® Paris, followed by the conception and finalization of the energy chain, and the showcasing of the simulator model in its final phase of development at bauma 2016 in Munich, Germany.
For the students, the project provided a unique opportunity to discover the aerial work platform industry, and benefit from hands-on experience in maintenance, training and after-market services. The conclusion of which, thanks to the ongoing support of the Genie team and the provision of all the necessary components, enabled them to benefit from a full overview of all the different aspects of their studies and lead the project to completion.
For Genie, as underlined by Vincent Vaché: “The project was also the opportunity to transmit our skills and experience to the young people who will continue to build tomorrow’s aerial industry. This simulator is the perfect example of the result of the close collaboration between our brand and students and has encouraged us to move forward with the development of similar initiatives that we are currently in the process of evaluating.”
By October this year, the simulator will be operational and sent to the Genie European Distribution Centre (EDC) in Roosendaal, Holland where it will be used by the Genie training team as part of their technical training programmes.
*BTS (Brevet de Technician Supérieur) A two-year vocational technical training diploma course.