The schematic based hydraulics modelling and simulation tool has been created under the FIMECC EFFIMA program. Modelling using schematics shows clearly the connections between components in comparison with other approaches, such as lists of components. Different subassemblies can be laid out on separate areas of the schematic. The type of each component (E.g. valve, cylinder or pump) is shown by individual graphic symbols. Each symbol also has a predefined set of ports that are used to connect the components. Complex mechanisms can be easily created and connected to form a working hydraulic circuit.
In addition to helping the design of hydraulics circuits, schematic based approach enables interactive visualization of the circuit during simulation. Pressures between components are shown using colors to allow continuous view on where pressures are high or low. Internal state of complex components is shown by moving the spools inside the graphic symbol. More detailed knowledge on actual pressures, flow rates or forces can be investigated by selecting components.
Optimizing the machine hydraulics has been a challenging part of the machine design process. The process is much easier once different sized actuators or pumps can be tested immediately by simulation with realistic workloads in normal work cycles. This reduces the time needed for going through work cycles with a physical prototype and allows designing and testing the results with a single software.
Modelling using schematics shows clearly the connections between components reducing errors in modelling phase. Different subassemblies can be laid out on separate areas of the schematic.
The new hydraulics tool improves the simulation software to a level where R&D engineers can use the software on a much broader scale than before. New machines can now be designed, simulated and re-designed with the same software without interface problems or conversions between multiple design software. Using the same software will decrease the time needed for hydraulics modelling and testing by 20-40%, which leads to savings in work hours and shortens the machines time to market.
Mevea, Sandvik Mining, Lappeenranta University of Technology