Tritone Technologies wanted to streamline the development of an existing 3D printer and be able to train technicians and operators with continued high availability of the physical equipment. The result, the digital twin, enabled multiple virtual machines that increase efficiency for developers and engineers, and help train operators and technicians without the need for access to the physical machine. In addition, the solution can be used in a sales context and to communicate solutions to stakeholders.
Tritone approached us at Simumatik after seeing another company use digital twins during the conceptual stage of a new machine prototype. The challenges they faced were that dozens of engineers would be working on the same project and with the same machine. This meant that the utilisation of the physical machine was high and the test cycles were long, meaning that the efficiency of both the software development and the control system was relatively low.
Further challenges the company faced were training technicians and operators at companies that purchased a 3D printer, as downtime needs to be minimised and staff turnover is often high.
The result of the solution was a complete digital twin of the real machine that communicates with the PLCs. This means that each engineer or IT developer can have their own copy of the machine in the form of a digital twin. This allows changes to the control system and software to be tested before release to the real machine. This in turn significantly improves the quality of the control system and minimises the risk of bugs. From a sustainability perspective, the solution helps to reduce the amount of wax and metal powder used to test the equipment.
Furthermore, the digital twin can be used to train operators and technicians without needing physical access to the 3D printer. By producing errors in the digital twin, operators and technicians can troubleshoot the software and machine. This allows them to learn the sequences that need to be carried out to put the machine into service mode and resolve faults. Tritone can also use the digital twin to demonstrate the machine in a sales context and communicate its solutions.
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