Virtual commissioning for servo hydraulics – new possibilities in drive simulation

Philipp Gebhardt, Baumüller Nürnberg GmbH

Read min.

With ProSimulation, the servo drive systems of machines and systems can be set up, tested and optimized virtually. The automation specialist Baumüller has now extended the functional scope of ProSimulation: In addition to the controller and mechanics models, models are now also available for hydraulic systems, with which the dynamic operating behavior of the servo hydraulics can be simulated.

By mapping pump properties such as the volumetric and hydraulic-mechanical efficiency, and taking into consideration system properties such as variable oil volume, pipe losses and leakage behavior, complete servo hydraulic applications can be designed in the simulation and commissioned virtually. These events can be transferred to the real application later, as a result of which, the time and cost of developing and commissioning servo hydraulic machines and systems reduces significantly.

Simulating critical states and testing them in advance

Structure of a servo hydraulic system in ProSimulation

Structure of a servo hydraulic system in ProSimulation

With ProSimulation, not only can the ideal controller settings for the subsequent machine be determined. In a further step, critical states can also be simulated and the effects on the process and the behavior of the drive system can be tested.

One example is the controller-integrated “thermal pump protection” function. This smart function is available as an optional feature for Baumüller servo converters and prevents a thermal overload in the hydraulic system, which can occur in the machine cycle, particularly in case of long hold times of high pressures and low flow. This increases wear and can lead to premature pump failure. A temperature model is directly used in the controller to calculate the pump’s thermal capacity utilization. If a critical threshold value is reached, hydraulic bypasses are connected to relieve the pump, which in turn ensures higher flow and improved heat transfer. This shifts the pump’s operating point out of the temporarily allowable operating range and into the continuously allowable operating range and prevents damage due to hot running.

The hydraulic system can be set up and tested completely virtually in ProSimulation first. In the second step, the machine cycle is simulated and tested for thermal overload of the pump. If critical operating points occur, the pump protection function described above can also be activated in the simulation. In this way, critical operating points can be identified and avoided during the development process.

Hydraulic pump operation

The pump is flushed in good time before the hot running to prevent damage – this drive-based function can be tested virtually in ProSimulation

A comparison of classic hydraulic drives with servo-hydraulic systems and some application examples

Reduce development costs and faster on the market

The new functions in ProSimulation expand the area of use of drive simulation for machine manufacturers substantially, and they increase efficiency in the development process, and reduce the Time2Market significantly. In view of rising costs and competitive pressure, in this way, mechanical engineers can further optimize their internal processes. At the same time, the optimal controller settings can be tested directly on the model and used for the subsequent application. The parameters for the drive then only have to be loaded by the application engineer during the real commissioning. Plug & Play for the optimal cycle times.

Drive simulation also promotes sustainability: Through exact design of the motors, overdimensioning of the servo drive is avoided. The motors run within the optimized load range. Depending on the machine running time, energy costs can be saved in this way. Additionally, the machine’s footprint is also optimized.

Do you have any questions?

Philipp Gebhardt
Application engineer

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