Peoria, IL Hub For Advanced Simulators in Education & Military Training
(Photo Credit: DAVID ZALAZNIK/JOURNAL STAR)
Peoria Illinois is an innovative hub for simulation companies and organizations. Not only is the city home to the impressive Jump Trading Simulation Center (host of SimGHOSTS 2016 USA), but also CSE Software — which produces advanced simulators for educational and military training purposes. Furthermore, Medical Simulation company SimNEXT has already produced a product now being distributed internationally by Limbs & Things! Journal Star Business Editor Steve Tarter recently covered some of the simulated developments of Peoria
PJStar Article Excerpt:
One of the area’s most successful products coming out of central Illinois is a device that provides behind-the-wheel experience before you ever get behind the wheel. The simulator isn’t just a machine to test jet pilots anymore. “Two of our largest markets are educational institutions and the military,” said Nate Hurn, an account manager for CSE Software, which has 70 employees on two floors at 316 Washington St. in Downtown Peoria. A typical CSE simulator replicates the cab of a modern Caterpillar earthmoving machine. The hand controls, the pedals, even the motion are designed to prepare one for the real machine. The company has developed 13 different simulators and something else — the simulator van. The simvan, as it’s called, allows the company to transport its simulator to the potential customer no matter the location. “We have one now but we hope to soon have four or five. It allows us to give our simulator so much more exposure,” said Hurn.
The simulator allows for learning to occur without the risk of injury — to person or machine. “It helps the user get down the basics before they get behind the wheel of a quarter-million-dollar machine,” Hurn said. CSE CEO Ken Pflederer, whose company celebrated its 25th year in 2015, said he’s excited about the simvan. “Now we can get out all over,” he said. Simulators range in price from $25,000 to $100,000 depending on the bells and whistles customers want — such as a motion platform that duplicates the feel of an moving machine, said Hurn. Some 100 to 200 simulators manufactured in the Peoria are sold each year by the CSE division, formed in 2009 using the Caterpillar name, he said.
Simulators used in medical field made in Peoria, too
Not all simulators involve seats and steering wheels. Another growing category is medical simulators. Dr. Doppler, a portable medical training simulation device designed to improve clinical ultrasound training, was recently unveiled in Chicago. “This is a dynamic training tool for primary care physicians,” said Dr. John Vozenelik, chief medical officer at the Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center in Peoria.
Vozenelik is also chief strategy officer for SIMnext, a Peoria-based simulation division that looks to develop other medical simulation units. “I’m excited about the economic development in this community. It’s a whole new business model,” he said of the development of medical simulators in central Illinois. Paul Pribaz, the executive director of SIMnext, said the Dr. Doppler unit would soon be distributed internationally, thanks to a partnership with U.K.-based Limbs & Things.
Read the Full Article on PJStar’s website!