This paper was produced for the 2019 NAFEMS World Congress in Quebec Canada
Machine and system design approaches have seen dramatic changes in the last decade, following the integration of simulation in development processes. This evolution has provided a need for faster and better integration of traditionally independent simulation tools. The combination of time-tested tools in the hands of specialists allow the creation of comprehensive design environments, fully integrated with best practices, hardware protocols and control logics to streamline downstream manufacturing processes as well and product quality.
Co-simulation is an efficient approach to combine the results of virtual design environments of two independent, simulation industry reference tools as a way to surpass each ones inherent limits or simulation approach to physical phenomena. Simulation objectives and co-simulation goals are wide-ranged and far reaching, thus a need to impose a limit to the case studies on which this approach is to be implemented, by clearly delimiting the technologies involved and the physical phenomena that the designer wishes to evaluate and model.
While many disciplines benefit from applying simulation approaches as part of design practices, key industries such as the fluid power industry has seen, in recent times, advances into efficiency gains by combining different technologies into new designs, such as the electrification of fluid power technologies on which successful incorporation of virtual environments into the design, control and troubleshooting processes. By a discerning combination of software, model of a function up to a complete machine and its control can be built together using software intercommunication as a way to test electro-hydraulic systems.
To demonstrate this concept, a typical electrohydraulic system such as the self-leveling front loader of a tractor will be studied in a virtual hydraulic and mechanical test environment created in Automation Studio™, and co-simulated with MATLAB/Simulink environment.
Two different systems will be analyzed: hydraulic passive cylinder system and electro-hydraulic system, which will be co-simulated with third party software:
These testing environments will be used to set all systems’ characteristics (planar mechanical systems, actuator sizing, pressure and flow settings, controller gain settings, temperature …), and test the controllers’ effects on them with different load scenarios to monitor performance such as energy consumption, duty cycle time, repeatability, controllability and precision.
Use this co-simulation environment to analyze the interaction of very different technologies in event of normal design conditions as well as studying the response of the complete system to events that deviate from the intended design conditions. The result of this analysis will then be used to improve the overall design of both technologies as well as defining operating limits in the early stage of the machine life-cycle.