As schools create their hybrid and distance learning plans for fall, many are concerned about subjects that require lab equipment or hands-on skill training. STEM and Technical Education students in particular may have their lab time limited. Since many of these students are kinesthetic learners, how can we provide those same interactive opportunities remotely?
While virtual training will never be of the exact same caliber as hands-on training, it’s an incredibly efficient tool for students to learn authentic industrial skills. Those who apply knowledge on a virtual trainer are more ready to step into a physical lab than those who have completed eLearning alone.
There are many virtual trainers and simulators available to educators. We’ve compiled the top 10 virtual trainers for industrial skills below.
This “virtual sandbox” has a wide variety of authentic custom electrical components. Students can use these to create any electrical circuit. They’ll also be provided with schematics, diagrams and instructions. The trainer can be used in alignment with Amatrol’s electrical eLearning courses, so students can directly apply their knowledge.
This is the most powerful simulation software for industrial programs on the market. In fact, it’s used by industry to test and tune circuit designs before they’re built in the physical plant. With Automation Studio, students can build electrical and fluid power circuits using components from the most widely-used brands. Watch a video of this software in action!
Like the Amatrol electrical trainer, the fluid power trainer is a “virtual sandbox” filled with authentic components that allows students to build their own hydraulic and pneumatic circuits. The system even allows incorrect circuit design and connections so the student must troubleshoot and learn from mistakes.
Quanser’s Interactive Labs (QLabs) is a virtual simulation of controls and robotics hardware. The simulated hardware shows interactive digital twins of Quanser’s engineering trainers – like robotic arms, pendulums and half-quadrotors. Students can change parameters and track hardware motion on live graphs. The software even comes with pre-designed lessons, lab experiments and knowledge checks. It’s available for both desktop and mobile devices. Watch a video of this software in action!
Amatrol’s electric relay control trainer lets students see the functions of relay logic control circuits that are used in industrial, commercial and residential applications. The simulator includes logic elements like AND, OR, NOT, NOR and NAND. Ladder diagrams included with the trainer help learners connect the circuit with the design and schematics they learn about in their coursework.
This interactive system simulates a conveyor and punch press system with realistic graphics and user interface. Eight different scenes take the student through each component of the system, including operator stations, a tank, conveyor, punch presses and motors. The student learns to develop PLC programs for each component, then connect them to operate the entire system as a senior capstone project.
This realistic hybrid vehicle simulator shows the vehicle in motion alongside live statistics. Students can choose different views of the vehicle, like cutaway and powerflow, to see the inner workings of the car as it runs. Learners can also adjust and monitor components like gears, fuel tank, battery and more to see how they affect the vehicle’s performance.
FANUC is the world’s leading manufacturer of CNC controls, permeating over half of all industrial machines. NC Guide is authentic CNC software from FANUC that can run from a PC. The software allows students to create both milling and turning programs using the most advanced FANUC CNC controls. They can see their program in operation and make adjustments – it operates exactly like a real CNC control.
This CNC simulator works alongside eLearning curriculum to put knowledge into action. Students can use the trainer’s step-by-step instructions to create a CNC program. Its open-platform design also lets them create an original program from scratch. Students can then make adjustments to G & M codes using a dialogue screen alongside a simulated model of a CNC machine. They can then run their program and the simulator will create their part, highlighting each line of the program as it’s operated.
Teach robotics technology on the world’s leading industrial robotics platform. Roboguide’s software includes everything a student needs to learn robotic programming and operation. Even if a classroom has a FANUC education robot, this software is an excellent supplement. It can reach multiple students at once. Plus, students can program different types of industrial robots, from simple arms to complex workcells they might not see in the classroom.
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