SmartFluidPower offers a modeling and simulation software product for functional verification and performance evaluation of systems and components in the world of Fluid Power. The proposed software is able to simulate dynamically the behaviour of complex systems, even multi-domain. The approach is based on a block description of the objects to be simulated starting from a functional scheme of the system. Through the graphic editor, it is possible to define the model by schematizing it through the various components present in the libraries, drawing the connections and assigning the parameters to the subsystems.
The dynamics of physical systems is represented by systems of differential and algebraic equations that needs to be solved numerically: in our case, the components that make up the virtual models are written in the language Modelica through the open source software OpenModelica. This platform provides an integrator and solver of differential equations that uses efficient and robust algorithms for the management of systems with more than hundreds of thousands of equations. In addition to modeling and simulation, it allows to graphically visualize the results and to communicate easily with other computing environments.
SmartFluidPower has created packages of functional elements that are easily recognizable and combinable, specifically designed to virtually reconstruct the ‘objects’ belonging to the world of fluid power. Of course it is always possible to expand the base library, detailing the elements already present or integrating it with other objects in order to extend the modeling to other families of products. The modelling is physical, i.e. the user recognizes in the libraries the virtual elements that constitute the real component to be simulated, through the images and descriptions associated with each object. The designer is thus able to model his own system with the same ease with which he realizes his design in the CAD environment.
The choice to rely on an open source environment has the advantage of drastically reducing the costs (typically onerous) of the commercial software licenses, but has the disadvantage in needing some skill to use it. To remedy the difficulty of using this platform in the industrial world, SmartFluidPower develops and markets tools that accelerate and facilitate the learning by the company designer of virtual prototyping. The aim is to integrate the simulation into everyday design, making it accessible to all the personnel involved in product development at any level: as the modeling principles become familiar to the designer, it will be possible to create increasingly complex virtual models.