„Virtual Know-how transfer“
Machine training on digital twin
Machine training on the virtual customer machine allows all participants to quickly and efficiently expand their skills in all aspects of the VariControl VC 1 machine and process controller. Using the real VC 1 control panel, it is possible to simulate all functions and features throughout the entire production process without intervening in ongoing production in any way.
Digital twins are available for all of the more complex Bihler systems, for example those based on the Bihler BIMERIC 1500 servo production and assembly system or higher. These are virtual images of the system that show the machine and its peripherals in detail. At Otto Bihler Maschinenfabrik, digital twins are used for virtual commissioning of the systems, but also for training purposes. These focus on Bihler’s VariControl VC 1 machine and process controller. “Machine training on the virtual customer machine is aimed at the operators and setup engineers of the machines as well as the maintenance and servicing personnel,” explains Peter Thieme, Head of Bihler Consulting. “The training is carried out on the 3D model of the customer application, i.e. the digital twin, and directly via the real VC 1 control panel. Operation of the virtual customer machine is identical to operation on the real system. All functions are available and can be simulated.”
A detailed overall picture
Machine training on virtual customer machines has a modular structure and goes through a number of different learning and training steps. Training starts with a basic introduction to the machine and the VC 1 controller to give all those taking part an initial basic understanding of the subject. Then the exact sequence of operations is explained on the digital twin, i.e. the virtual system. According to Thieme, one clear advantage of this approach is that “all those taking part in the training course can effectively look inside the various modules. All the parts and components of the tools and the covers can be displayed or hidden depending on what needs to be explained. This builds up a detailed overall picture of the system, and the entire sequence of operations is clear to see.” The virtual machine is then started from the VC 1 control panel – with all the tool components the customer needs for the production job in hand.
Optimum knowledge transfer
Once the virtual machine has been started, all changes to the sequence and the functions can then be simulated directly in the running process using the VC 1 control panel. Because this is done exclusively in the virtual world, it is possible to test, simulate and try things out with no stress – by trial and error. The environment also promotes this special way of passing on knowledge during machine training. This is because all training courses take place in the quiet atmosphere of the Bihler Training Center in Halblech. Here, all the participants can ask their training manager any questions that are on their minds and also exchange ideas with their own team members. Feedback from the training courses held so far, which last between two and five days depending on the size of the machine, has been positive. Thieme: “Machine training on the virtual customer machine has so far always met with great enthusiasm on the part of all the participants.” They were able to quickly and efficiently acquire valuable knowledge and in-depth expertise on all aspects of the Bihler control system, from which they will benefit long term in their real-life jobs.” If anyone is now interested in also taking advantage of this special skills upgrade for themselves and their team, simply send a short inquiry email to the contact address below!
Head of consulting