Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Virtual Training Simulator
Developed by Oak Ridge Centers for Manufacturing Technology’s (ORCMT’s) Concurrent Engineering Center (CEC), a web-based Virtual Training Simulator provides computer simulations for operating industrial equipment such as milling machines and other highly complex tools. The student views a 3-D, color simulation of the equipment and controller on a computer monitor and operates the equipment using the simulated controller. The controller simulation consists of a control panel and data viewing screens (Figure 2-8), allows the student to run all aspects of the simulated equipment. In addition, the student can simultaneously view the controller and the simulated equipment in operation.
The Virtual Training Simulator provides the student with a realistic training environment, hands-on operating experience, and real-time feedback. Since the simulator runs at higher speeds than the actual equipment, training time is reduced. The simulator allows for multiple collaboration and workstations. A single student can work on multiple pieces of simulated equipment, or several students can simultaneously operate the same piece of simulated equipment. Training sessions can also be conducted from remote sites.
The simulator eliminates the need to buy equipment exclusively for training, which reduces procurement costs; prevents the need to remove equipment from the production line for training, which reduces down time; and protects expensive equipment from damage by inexperienced operators during training, which reduces repair costs. In addition, 3-D, close-up views of the simulated equipment in operation enable the student to detect potential collisions and damage quicker than if the actual equipment were used.
ORCMT’s Virtual Training Simulator is web-based and can be run on a personal computer. The models used by the simulator were created from commercially-available software. A toolkit for creating controllers of simulated equipment is available, along with ORCMT’s archive of simulated machines and controllers.
Figure 2-8. Control Panel Simulation
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