IHC FUNDEX Equipment designs, which is based in Goes, The Netherlands, manufactures multifunctional foundation rigs including the F3500 used for a variety of drilling and pile-driving methods. The functions of the F3500 include soil displacement drilling, CFA drilling, cast-in-situ and pre-cast pile-driving, making it one of the company's flagship foundation rigs.
"Machines are getting bigger and increasingly complex," said Andre Rottier, IHC FUNDEX Engineering, "and although safety is becoming more and more important, people do not necessarily have as much time to gain experience as in the past. But with a simulator, we can supply training to our clients' operators — there is a market to sell training to customers all over the world."
During its search for a simulation provider, IHC FUNDEX noted CM Labs Simulations' extensive experience designing construction equipment simulators as well as custom simulators.
"We chose to work with CM Labs due to their combination of proven track record, industry experience, and innovative technology," added Rottier.
CM Labs' custom simulator is equipped with a motion platform and integrated with actual F3500 seating and controls system. Due to its exceptionally high-quality, IHC FUNDEX's engineering team is able to make use of it as an engineering tool for enhancements as well as a training tool.
"Bearing in mind that the real drill rig is not always available," said Anton Hectors, IHC FUNDEX Engineering, "CM Labs' simulator makes it possible for us to test and iterate more quickly. We can measure time savings in days, not hours."
By also adopting CM Labs' Vortex Studio simulation software, IHC FUNDEX has the ability to scale up to additional simulation-based product engineering and development later.
"Working with IHC FUNDEX represents a highly rewarding collaboration," said Mohammad Mohajerani, CM Labs' team lead, Simulation Solutions. "In addition to providing a unique training simulator, we are showcasing Vortex Studio's capabilities as a tool for developing complex, innovative proofs of concept."
The Instructor Operating Station (IOS), a trainee monitoring and assessment tool that automatically captures and reports on operating metrics during training sessions, was also delivered. The IOS also allows instructors to select different exercises, time of day, and weather conditions, or to inject various machine faults into training sessions such as pressure faults, filter clogs, coolant over-heating, and more.
The benefits of simulation extend beyond training and engineering, added Hectors: "With a simulator that displays true-to-life behaviour, it's easy for our sales department to show our machine more often at trade shows as well as here in our offices. Our customers can also try the simulator, whether the real machine is available from the factory or not."
The F3500 drill rig simulator will be featured at Bauma on the HC IQIP booth while CM Labs will be featuring its catalogue of training solutions at its booth in the Canadian Pavilion.