March 23rd 2021

MCI Digital Twin Lab

Liebherr and Prinoth, as well as the Federation of Austrian Industries Tyrol and its members, benefit from the Digital Twin Lab research center at MCI | Simulation environment optimizes work machines | Next development stage plan design of digital environments.

International companies make use of the Digital Twin Lab at MCI. ©MCI_Koller
International companies make use of the Digital Twin Lab at MCI. ©MCI_Koller

The "Digital Twin Lab" of the Entrepreneurial School®, launched in collaboration with the Federation of Austrian Industries Tyrol, provides a powerful simulation environment for electric, hybrid and non-conventional powertrains to make complex technical decisions that minimize expensive and time-consuming repeat runs in companies. Thanks to the accuracy and practicality of the tools used in the Digital Twin Lab at MCI, development cycles in the area of new design can already be shortened in practice and resources allocated in a more targeted manner.

In this context, customized solutions are offered for Prinoth's 'Leitwolf' snow groomer and Liebherr's bulldozers.

Martin Kirchmair, Head of Research and Development at Prinoth, explains, "The Digital Twin Lab at MCI is so important to us because it helps us streamline the vehicle development process by providing a tool that makes it easier and more cost-effective to explore new technical solutions." In addition to technological advances, the Digital Twin also holds the potential for Prinoth to facilitate work processes within its teams. For example, this comprehensive and detailed digital simulation model, which is user-friendly, can be easily shared with development teams within the company. Prinoth also sees advantages in the Digital Twin Lab to enable interactive driver trainings in the future, providing a simulation environment for vehicle operation. This increases training opportunities and thus also driver competencies.

For Liebherr, the focus is on creating valid simulation approaches to shorten development time. Simon Probst, Technical Calculation and Simulation at Liebherr, explains, "The most recent example of this is the new Generation 8 bulldozer, whose hydraulic control systems were completely simulated for the first time using the new tools in the Digital Twin Lab at MCI and now form the basis for future assistance systems." In the next step, Liebherr is aiming to completely simulate the dozer's movement as part of the collaboration in the Digital Twin Lab - starting with the driver's input and ending with the ground contact model of the undercarriage.

New in the Digital Twin Lab: Digital Twin must live in a digital world

More than a year after the Digital Twin Lab was commissioned at MCI, the next phase of development is now being considered. In addition to the previous simulation of the drive trains, work is underway to create a digital environment in which the working machines act virtually. Machine scenarios should also be run through in a digital environment in order, among other things, to simulate malfunctions. MCI project manager Andreas Mehrle explains this as follows: "In order to obtain a realistic assessment of the function of the working machines, the environment must be successfully simulated. After all, a machine behaves differently at +20 degrees than at -35 degrees." Digital images of hydraulically operated working machines are created in this process, Mehrle explains, in order to keep development time and workload efficient and on schedule. The knowledge gained in this process is made directly available to the industrial partners involved for their development processes, so innovation and securing the location for regional industry and its value creation can be implemented in the best possible way.

"We are delighted with the progress taking place in the Digital Twin Lab and see massive potential for further innovative projects in Tyrolean companies to use this technology," explains Christoph Swarovski, President of the Federation of Austrian Industries Tyrol.

Four further stages such as electrification, artificial intelligence, vibration as well as thermal simulation are currently in the concept phase in order to optimize work and cost processes with scientific accuracy.

The Digital Twin Lab at MCI has the resources to apply this knowledge to other work machines and to create individual solutions for other companies.

Prinoth

Outstanding performance, economy, efficiency and reliable design have earned Prinoth a reputation as the most innovative supplier of efficient snow groomers. Through acquisition opportunities in 2009 and 2011, Prinoth diversified its portfolio to include two additional business units - tracked vehicles and vegetation management solutions - for use in a range of applications in the most challenging conditions. Prinoth is part of the parent company High Technology Industries, which has 61 subsidiaries, more than 100 sales and service points and 3,500 employees worldwide.

Prinoth is committed to innovation, customer service, employee health and well-being, and ongoing efforts to conduct business using the most sustainable methods available.

Liebherr

Liebherr-Werk Telfs GmbH has been producing a steadily growing range of construction machinery with hydrostatic drives since 1976. The company can draw on the Liebherr Group's many years of experience with this type of drive. Whether dozers or loaders, telescopic loaders or pipelayers - construction machines from Telfs are consistently designed for high efficiency. The focus is on increasing efficiency and reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. State-of-the-art, computer-aided technologies are used in development and production: in construction and design, in machining by welding robots, and in computerized quality management.

te Technologien zum Einsatz: in der Konstruktion und im Design, bei der Bearbeitung durch Schweißroboter bis hin zum computerisierten Qualitätsmanagement.

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Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner | Leiter Forschung & Entwicklung R & D
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