Participation in the CNC4you contest
An investment in the "Regional training center" ...
Replacing a 30-year old Traub lathe, which could only be programmed with DIN-ISO code, with a state-of-the-art DMG NEF 400 equipped with Sinumerik was the reason why Christoph Ballin and Nils Gehrt familiarized themselves with JobShop programming. They are trainers at the rbz Steinburg regional training center in Itzehoe, Schleswig-Holstein, and it didn't take too long for their trainees to respond to the "new" ShopTurn machining step programming in SinuTrain: "After the compulsory part of the course on G code and PAL programming, both students and trainees really wake up when we finally arrive at the machining step programming with ShopTurn", as Nils Gehrt has observed on many an occasion.
An unofficial survey carried out internally by rbz Steinburg indicated that over 70 percent of the students and trainees of rbz Steinburg work on Sinumerik-controlled machines in their businesses, and this figure rises to almost 100 percent when it comes to turning.
... resulted in training for trainers at the DEX in Erlangen
To get to know JobShop in more detail, Nils Gehrt and Christoph Ballin attended a training course at the Siemens Erlangen location. Thanks to the IQSH Institute responsible for training the trainers, it was possible for them to participate in courses offered through VDW – and this range of courses also includes Sinumerik advanced training courses. The event attended by the rbz trainers took place in the Digital Experience and Application Center (DEX) Erlangen, and was headed-up by freelance trainer Hans-Peter Moser.
Eureka moment at the ShopMill workshop
"I experienced a Eureka moment at this seminar", reported Nils Gehrt. "The seminar included a workshop about thread milling using ShopMill. Up until then, I had neither worked with ShopMill nor milled a thread – this is what fascinated me about this workshop. What can I say: Using ShopMill, I milled my first thread in just one and half hours! Thanks to my familiarity with ShopTurn, I felt immediately at home with ShopMill. It hit me immediately just how attractive it is for my students and trainees to master various production technologies using one standard operating and programming philosophy."
Both course participants from the rbz find it especially helpful that they still have contact with freelance trainer Hans-Peter Moser: "We have a really competent partner when it comes to questions involving tricky programming topics. Generally, we receive a useful suggestion on finding a practical solution to our problem within a few days."
Know-how for companies
The know-how gained in this way also extends to companies in the vicinity. The trainers gave us an example. Difficulties were encountered when programming a bar gripper, which led the rbz trainers to contact Hans-Peter Moser – "their" freelance trainer. He responded with a program example, which the rbz trainers then adapted for their machine. This resulted in the bar gripper programming being concentrated in a parameterizable subroutine that can be generally used. As part of an apprentice's examination, an external master craftsman reported on the same problem - and took the solution in the form of the bar gripper subroutine back to his firm.
Attending the Erlangen course had a more far-reaching impact: On the one hand, the rbz trainers applied many of the ideas they had picked up to their own courses. For instance, a large monitor was installed over the lathe, which shows the content of the CNC display in a large format.
"For courses with 15 to 20 trainees, all participants can see and understand what is currently being carried out at the control." From behind, the trainer can also monitor what the trainees are presently doing at the machine. "We don't always want to immediately intervene if students are going down the wrong path. They should try to identify any small problems they create for themselves and solve them on their own or – using the large monitor – with support from the group."
Just the same as in the DEX Erlangen, rbz networked its large screen with the tool setting device, and coupled it with the spray-water-protected GoPro camera installed in the machining space of the machine.
Successfully developed to become a Siemens training partner
And, in the meantime, the training workshop of the rbz has qualified to become an official Siemens training partner. Today, the CNC courses held at rbz Steinburg are rounded off by the award of a Siemens certificate. A prerequisite for this was that milling can also be adequately taught. With the help of the digitalization budget provided by the German Federal Government, rbz financed a new Sinumerik-controlled 5-axis milling machine, which enables it to offer turning training as well as milling with Sinumerik.