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Digital twin gives Sleipner competitive edge

Sleipner Finland Ltd manufactures and markets innovative and safe transport systems for tracked equipment. The company’s customers operate in the mining, quarrying and earth-moving industry. Sleipner products bring users significant savings by boosting productivity and reducing maintenance and fuel costs, and they reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 85% during transport. 

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Sleipner Finland markets and sells its products worldwide through distributors. In recent years, the company has focused strongly on its aftermarket service by developing a digital platform, or portal, that brings all aftermarket services under one user interface for the customer. Sleipner uses a digital twin of its product as part of the company’s digital aftermarket service.

 

Digital twin digitalizes Sleipner’s aftermarket service 

 

Among the tasks of aftermarket service is to train users and distributors, as well as to ensure and maintain their know-how so that the end customer gets the full benefit of the product and knows how to safely use it. At Sleipner, future product training will take place on a digital twin, i.e. on a simulation model developed by Etteplan and Mevea Ltd, a company specializing in simulation software.

 

"Etteplan’s strong role in the mechanical engineering of our product greatly contributed to the success of the digital twin project. We did not have to explain how our product works."

 

Tomi Korhonen, Managing Director of Sleipner Finland Ltd.

Roughly 80% of product training can be carried out on a digital twin

 

The model simulates the transport of an excavator using Sleipner’s transport system. Both the excavator and the transport system have the exact same operational characteristics and performance as the physical machines. The excavator’s natural environment is also modeled in the simulation, which makes the user experience even more real.

"The digital twin significantly lowers logistics and training costs and speeds up the commissioning of the machine. The most important benefit is the improvement in the machine’s utilization rate, as it no longer has to be taken out of the field for training purposes. This has a major cost impact, as a 400-ton excavator can load 25,400 tons in a 12-hour work shift.” 

 

Tomi Korhonen, Managing Director of Sleipner Finland Ltd.

Increased customer satisfaction and market differentiation with digital twin

 

Prior to the digital twin, training took place on the customer’s actual production machines, which reduced the utilization rate of the machines and thus temporarily reduced productivity. The digital twin brings major benefits to Sleipner’s customers. Taking the transport platform into use is faster, thanks to the digital twin: training can now be completed first as simulator training, and a day of practical training is sufficient, whereas it used to take an average of three days. There are also other significant cost savings to be had.

 

Digital twin goes along in a briefcase

 

The digital twin also opens up new opportunities for Sleipner in sales and marketing. – We see major potential to use the digital twin to help market our products. We can demo our products in any conceivable environment, even places where it would not be possible to go with our customers using the actual product. We can even use the model in the conference room, in an environmentally friendly way, to show what our machines can do. Nowadays, this is an important consideration for all industrial companies who manufacture large and heavy-duty industrial machinery, stresses Korhonen.

Sleipner Finland’s future plans also include making use of the digital twin in product development. At some point, the digital twin can also be part of Sleipner’s product and service offering, whereby a digital twin of the product is sent to the customer along with the delivery and maintained by Sleipner.

 

World-class engineering know-how meets simulation technology in digital twin

 

– Etteplan’s expertise in mechanical and hydraulic engineering, 3D modeling and technical documentation combined with Mevea’s high-quality simulation software has been a guarantee for us that the digital twin meets our specific needs. We have been very happy both with the service we have received and with each partner’s vision of the solution and the potential it holds in terms of developing our business, says a pleased Korhonen.

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Jarno Jukola
Jarno Jukola
Region Director, Engineering Solutions