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12. CNC machine simulator


CNC – What is a CNC machine simulator ?

“Machines I can buy, any number, but where do I get operators ?”

A commonly heard statement. We don’t get operators, and we can’t train them ourselves because it is too expensive, and is problematic: – Training needs a dedicated machine, or involves machine downtime if a production machine is used for training. – The machine may get damaged due to collisions caused by a trainee. – The trainee may get injured. – Training needs consumables – raw material, tools, etc.

So we hire poorly trained operators in desperation, and suffer the resulting machine damage, part rejections and low productivity.

Here’s how aircraft pilots are trained: 90 % of a pilot’s training is on a flight simulator, and only 10 % is on an actual aircraft. Why ? Because pilot training has the same problems as CNC operator training: Machine downtime, machine damage, human injuries or death, consumables (fuel). However, with a simulator, that costs a fraction of the cost of an aircraft, there is no machine damage or human injury during training, and there is no consumables cost.

Flight simulator

So why not train CNC operators on simulators, the way pilots are trained ? The good news is that YOU CAN !

CNC simulators are commonly available today. They work on regular PCs. The controller console is exactly replicated – the various modes, screens, etc. The machine is shown graphically. The trainee operator does exactly what he would on an actual machine, no difference. 9 hours on the simulator, 1 hour on the machine, and you have a well trained operator at very low cost.

CNC simulator

The simulator costs 2 % of the cost of a machine. Minimal machine time, no machine damage by a raw hand, minimal consumable cost.

Action point

If operators are a bottleneck, just acquire a simulator like CADEM doNC CNC simulator software and train your own operators whenever required, in a day. Makes more sense than hiring poorly trained operators of unknown skill. Simulators are so cheap that they make sense even if you just have 2 or 3 machines. If you have a training centre, you can get multiple seats of doNC on a LAN.

Etc.

Maharashtrian thali in Pune

I asked around in Pune for advice on where I could get a traditional Maharashtrian thali, and was directed by a helpful soul to the Durvankur Dining Hall in Sadashiv Peth. I find that there are helpful souls in every place who’ll give you excellent advice on where you can get good local food. You just have to decide that you’ll NOT eat in a place branding itself as ‘North Indian / Continental / Chinese’.

Turned out to be good advice, as the pictures show. Durvankur’s thali includes Chapati, Bhakri (jowar roti), Amti (dal), Chutny, Koshimbir (salad), Kadhi, a couple of sabzies, Farsan (this is actually Gujarati – the yellow stuff on the plate is called Khandvi) and a couple of sweets. Shrikhand, which is something I’d kill for, was missing. It’s sweet flavoured curd from which the water has been drained off.

The problem with these unlimited thali places is that I tend to pig out like it’s the last meal of my life and I’ve got to make the most of it. The next morning I actually wake up feeling like that probably was the last meal of my life.

Like every state in India, Maharashtra has multiple styles of cuisine (maybe 6 or 7), and what I ate was ‘A Maharashtrian thali’, not ‘The Maharashtrian thali’.

Here’s a nicely written page on Maharashtrian thalis.


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