Hexagon Machine Training System Uses Digital Twins To Help Makers Fill Gaps In Shop-floor Skills

Hexagon Machine Training System Uses Digital Twins To Help Makers Fill Gaps In Shop-floor Skills

Hexagon Machine Training System Uses Digital Twins To Help Makers Fill Gaps In Shop-floor SkillsManufacturing Intelligence business has released a new piece of technology that uses the power of its digital twins to aid firms in educating machinists and metrology experts on expensive pieces of machinery. It allows students to obtain hands-on experience without endangering costly, mission-critical machinery, squandering materials, or tying up precious production resources by integrating hardware that faithfully simulates machines with manufacturing simulation and operator’s software tools.

Hexagon created HxGN Machine Trainer to address the critical need for the industry to address a skills and manpower deficit by attracting and training the next generation of machine workers. There are already 800,000 job opportunities in the United States, with 55 percent of those positions unfilled 1; in Europe, over three out of ten manufacturing enterprises experienced output limitations in the second quarter of 2022 owing to a shortage of personnel 2. Training workers to utilise CNC machines and comparable technologies is costly, time-consuming, and risky, further exacerbating the skills deficit. Manufacturers may onboard and upskill personnel more quickly and cheaply than ever before by teaching machine operators using an authentic and engaging physical simulator.

The new hardware simulator from Hexagon helps to bridge the manufacturing skills gap by better acclimating inexperienced workers to the realities of the plant. It’s adaptable since a digital twin may be made for any brand, model, and setup of equipment.  After being trained on the HxGN Machine Trainer, employees will have no trouble transitioning to real machines, as the simulator is built to look and feel like the real thing, down to the hardware. The simulator’s 43-inch screen also displays accurate simulations of a wide range of machines and cutting tools.  Trainees may react to problems and manage machine motions just as they would on the shop floor thanks to a light tower, a real CNC hand wheel, and a CMM joystick. The versatile digital twins for CMMs are available as part of the agile training system as well.

Up to three CNC controllers, such as those from Fanuc, Heidenhain, or Siemens, may be installed on a single training console. In order to model 3-axis, 5-axis, and mill-turn machine tools, as well as comprehensive metrology processes, the machine trainer makes use of the newest version of Hexagon’s NCSIMUL CNC simulation software.

According to Alexander Freund, director of product management at Hexagon, “crashing a virtual machine tool or CMM is safer for staff and equipment and provides a realistic experience to trainees while ensuring that valuable resources remain up and running.” “Crashing a machine tool because of incorrect setup is a nightmare for both the new machinist and management concerned that a piece of machinery worth millions could be permanently damaged,” Freund continued.

Any of the three controllers may be used as a learning tool for the corresponding conversational programming language by trainees aspiring to work with machine tools, become machinists, or become CNC programmers. Manufacturing processes and job criteria are modelled with accompanying student activities. The CNC software to be placed into the trainer unit and the virtual cutting tools to be allocated to tasks are both detailed here. Students learn to troubleshoot, toggle between manual and automated run modes, adjust the origin and tool settings on a machine tool, and calculate cutting tool compensation.

HxGN Machine Trainer is now accessible worldwide, and it may be used to teach on CNC machine tools with up to three axes, mills, lathes, and coordinate measuring machines (CMMs). Digital replicas of popular machine brands including Hermle, DMG, and Fanuc are included. The Hexagon TIGO SF is one of the supported CMMs, and additional CMMs may be simulated using the I++ Simulator in conjunction with QUINDOS or PC DMIS metrology software. A digital replica of any machine may be made at the request of the customer.

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By Yash Sharma

I write as a writer, as someone very familiar with the Internet, as someone who is completely at ease with current technology and the way it is transforming the social fabric of the globe, the business world in particular, and as a former web developer.

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