The MRE has three large-scale mining equipment simulators. These simulators are digital twins of real existing machines. Digital twins are virtual images of physical processes or machines, allowing process and machine adaptations to be reviewed and optimised in a virtual environment. The optimised adjustments are transferred back to the physical model in a final step, ensuring a predictable and efficient process and machine optimisation with minimal production downtime.

Digital Twins have great potential in many areas, e.g. optimising production processes, training machine operators, optimising product designs, reduction in prototypes or predicting future maintenance work. Digital Twins are used at the MRE to analyse extraction and loading processes under various influencing parameters.

In addition to process and machine simulation, the MRE uses training simulators from Tenstar to train students on various operating equipment (i.g. hydraulic excavators, wheel loaders, dozers). Individual machinery can be controlled, and cooperative loading cycles between loading and transport equipment can be simulated in teams. The machine’s movements are transmitted to the machine operators in real-time with the help of motion platforms and the associated real-time simulation software. Students can immerse themselves in a simulated 3D environment using VR goggles to achieve high spatial immersion.
The aim is to provide students with a realistic insight into the operation of mining machinery, to identify optimisation potential, and to develop concepts for increasing efficiency and work safety.

The simulator is used at the MRE in teaching and research in the following areas:

  • Realistic communication of teaching content and practical exercises
  • Analysing the performance of mining equipment (e.g. loading capacity, fuel consumption)
  • Simulation of different operating conditions (e.g. ground conditions, terrain gradient)