This event is part of the Horizon2020 Eur3ka project and aims to raise awareness among companies of the potential of Virtual Training tools, included in the framework proposed by Politecnico di Milano for the development of skills. The possibility of training personnel to be able to respond to an unstable market and the demands of specific products represents a critical point in the development of a robust, resilient and reliable European industrial network, which is the main objective of the Eur3ka project.

The project activities for the development of the Virtual Training application were conducted within the Smile Laboratory at the Kilometro Rosso Innovation District. Intellimech, through its partners and researchers, promoted the initiative, and the collaboration with ITS Lombardia Meccatronica, Confindustria Bergamo and the University of Bergamo made its development possible. The technical activities were followed and coordinated by Intellimech researchers, who also managed the project as a whole.

The development process was divided in three phases:

  • the realization of a 3D model of an assembly line composed of 5 modules, each characterized by specific movements and sensors, and a transfer system, i.e. a conveyor belt and special supports that allow moving the assembled structure from one station to another.

  • the implementation of a digital model for Virtual Commissioning purposes was realized in partnership with external companies including companies associated with the Intellimech Consortium. The partners provided the NX software for modelling and simulation and provided training and support for its correct use. The 3D model prepared in the previous phase was imported into NX where it was possible to simulate the operation of the line, identifying the various interactions and movements. These models enable integrated design at the mechanical, electrical and software levels. This allows the verification of the effective functionality of the plant in advance and can be used to compare the efficiency of possible alternative solutions, reducing the time and costs normally necessary.

  • the development of the Virtual Training application that involves the insertion of the 3D Model into an extended reality environment. In this phase a training session was realized where the user, wearing a visor and holding two controllers, can interact with the digital model and, following the instructions provided by the program, learn the correct process of switching on the assembly line.

The results obtained, in particular those from the Virtual Training application, were exhibited during the "Pomeriggio Intellimech" event, organized by Intellimech at the Digital Experience (DEX) of SIEMENS, a partner company. Intellimech partners had the opportunity to experience the immersive training first-hand. In addition, the DEX, besides being a demonstration center for machines and technological applications, also exhibits Digital Twin solutions, which showed the guests the advantages related to the use of the Digital Twins connected to products, production and performance. In this highly focused context, the dissemination of the Eur3ka project among the members of the Intellimech Consortium also took place.

Digitalization, remote operations and interconnection are probably the main pillars towards which future investment will be devoted. Digitalization has already widely proved its potential, providing the basis for several concepts related to industry 4.0, including Internet of Things (IoT), big data analysis, digital twin, collaborative design platform, remote operations and virtual commissioning. However, the spread of these technologies has been delayed or confined to specific sectors mainly due to cultural barriers. The recent events will hopefully stimulate the broadened application of digital tools and the extended exploitation of the connected opportunities.