Machine Design

What's wrong with the hydraulics? Software shows

Special hydraulic software lets a company making custom hydraulic components get work out while cutting back on physical prototypes

The Automation Studio simulation shows valves switching, relays activating, and pistons advancing and retracting. A pressure plot (lower right) helps troubleshoot circuits. Users build systems by dragging and dropping components from a library onto the work area.

. One program, Automation Studio Live, simulates and animates hydraulic circuits in their intended end use. Another called iDesign runs inside Automation Studio to help create schematics and bills of material. Both programs come from Famic Technologies , Montreal, Quebec.

The software helps address difficulties that arise when HydraForce Inc., Lincolnshire, Ill., interprets customer requirements that arrive in formats such as drawings, hand-drawn sketches, and specs. The circuits devised by customers are not always-correct. "To diagnose problems, we'd build physical prototypes and run them to see what happens," says application-engineering manager Tony Casale. "But complex hydraulic circuits have unexpected interactions between various functions. Look at one function at a time and they seem fine. But things go wrong when functions work in parallel. Automation Studio software helps diagnose such problems and also shows customers what HydraForce plans to build."

Famic Technologies, (514) 748-8050,
HydraForce Engineering, (800) 682-6875,

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