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Fit for Practice

Training institute chooses SinuTrain for SINUMERIK Operate for basic and advanced vocational training

SinuTrain for SINUMERIK Operate

The Ansbach Mechanical Engineering Institute has installed a PC-based training system SinuTrain for SINUMERIK Operate that realistically simulates the operation of real CNCs. Both teachers and students have been working intensively on the 64 training stations and have found it a very positive experience.

Several years ago, the school administration of Ansbach Mechanical Engineering Institute decided to purchase a new training system to make the CNC training and the creation of CNC programs as effective and realistic as possible. “The decision process, in which six lecturers were involved, took a long time. All aspects were considered and examined in detail to see which system best matched our requirements,” explains technical instructor Oliver Herrlen. “It was important for us that the controls of the new training system be in line with the systems that are used in practice,” adds Alois Hufnagel, also a technical instructor at the institute. The teaching staff also wanted a solution that the students would enjoy using and that would make them keen to learn. Otherwise they can quickly lose interest in their lessons.

At the end of the selection process, the teaching staff chose the SinuTrain training system and SINUMERIK 840D sl controls for CNC machines. Today there are 64 SinuTrain licenses in use. The control-identical CNC training software runs on Windows 7 PCs without any additional hardware and is based upon the programming and operator interface of SINUMERIK controls.

Realistic training

The practice-oriented training software gives the students the best possible preparation for real CNC programming and operation. They can test all the operating modes of the SINUMERIK Operate operator interface, which includes in its range of functions work-step programming with ShopMill and ShopTurn and high-level language programming. The trainees are familiarized with the CNC programming methods and system environments, which they can later try out on the machines. The same applies for milling and turning applications.

At the start of the second year, the vocational students are taught the basic principles of computer-aided manufacturing. They learn to use ShopTurn and ShopMill and program their first workpieces. The third year of the course is used to deepen their knowledge. The students are now programming more complex workpieces and are introduced to programming according to DIN 66025 (G-Code) with programGUIDE and CAD/CAM technologies with Solidworks and Mastercam. The training enables them to understand “the whole edifice of computer-aided manufacturing,” says Herbert Bartelmeß, division manager of the institute. “Because the SinuTrain system is so easy to learn and because of the compatibility of ShopTurn and ShopMill, we save teaching time, and this makes room for practical exercises and trying things out."

Successful training system

According to the teachers, the system is largely self-explanatory, which means that, within a short period of time, students can work independently and safely in their everyday learning environment. The fact that the Mechanical Engineering Institute is on the right path with its training strategy is evidenced by the positive feedback from firms that frequently choose their well-trained graduates.

Ansbach Mechanical Engineering Institute

Ansbach Mechanical Engineering Institute is a training institute steeped in over 100 years of tradition. Around 300 students are taught here every year in three courses.

While the vocational training school is responsible for the theoretical and practical training of industrial and precision mechanics, the Mechanical Engineering Institute is in charge of their advanced professional training to become “State Certified Technicians.” And the specialist academy for medical technology provides “State Certified Medical Technicians” for employers from the metal, electrical, and IT sectors. Students from the vocational training school and the technical school are also trained in CNC technology. Over the two years of training, approximately 100 hours are devoted to imparting theoretical and practical knowledge. Where appropriate, CNC machines are also used in individual projects. “Our aim is to give our students intensive training so that they can then create CNC programs and operate CNC machines in the real world without any problems,” says Herbert Bartelmeß, deputy principal of the Mechanical Engineering Institute.