Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has introduced the HxGN Machine Trainer, a multi-axis CNC and CMM simulator. Taking the initiative from the training of professionals in other critical occupations, such as commercial pilots, Hexagon has created a ‘hands-on’ professional training solution for 3 and 5 axis machines, Mill-Turn and Coordinate Measuring Machines that is ‘hands-off’ the expensive physical equipment. Manufacturers, heavy steel fabrication companies, educators, and students can use the operator-programmer trainer within a minimal physical footprint on the factory floor or in the classroom.
The HxGN Machine Trainer offers a new and unique operator programmer training method imagined and developed by Hexagon. Thought of like a flight simulator and certification tool, dedicated to CNC machining and CMM machines, the program is based on the new generation of NCSIMUL intelligent simulation software, which is a perfect combination of software and hardware, efficient, practical, and easy to learn. The HxGN Machine Trainer is positioned between classroom computer training used to teach theory and the real machine environment. Fabrication skills such as steel fabrication, pipe fabrication etc. can also be learnt on the HxGN Machine Trainer.
The business motivation behind the HxGN Machine Trainer was to provide real-world training for the next generation of operators and programmers. The Machine Trainer can significantly benefit colleges and industrial training centers. In the post-pandemic world, where multiple challenges are being faced by the fabrication industry and skilled personnel are increasingly difficult to recruit, training is now critical to ensuring a supply of qualified manufacturing resources. The HxGN Machine Trainer eliminates the risks of training on a physical machine, ensuring machines remains in production, while also reducing the risks of machine crashes as a result of inexperience. The HxGN Machine Trainer will allow a faster progression for newly qualified talent in the manufacturing job market.
HxGN Machine Trainer provides the perfect illustration of Industry 4.0 digital thread application to the shop floor operation. As a standard, it includes machining instruction documents and G-code machining programs transfer, in order to define tool set-ups directly on the control panel and prepare for machining. After virtually machining various practical work scenarios and knowing about heavy and light metal fabrication, the student will control the part with the Metrology option. Machining and inspection reports, automatically generated, as well as OEE rates will be available for analysis as a part of the continuous improvement process. The HxGN Machine Trainer offers a compact footprint and is scalable to allow training on a variety of machines. Supported CNC include HEIDENHAIN and SIEMENS control & panel emulator with simulation driven through the physical user interface. The Machine Trainer provides a real machine user experience with handwheel, control panels, tower indicator, coolant animation and machine acoustics.
Through the I++ Simulator software, the HxGN Machine Trainer hosts a wide selection of CMM digital twins, of different sizes and brands, to simulate their mechanical design. I++ Simulator, like a real CMM, will receive operating instructions from a 3D Metrology software, such as PCDMIS or QUINDOS. Through its communication protocol, respecting to the I++DME standard, I++ Simulator can also collaborate with other solutions available on the market.