SimulationX at Management Center Innsbruck

Vehicle Dynamics of a Telescopic Handler

Learn more about the potential of system simulation in understanding a vehicle’s dynamic behavior and avoiding time-consuming and costly test series.

The task at hand

Mastering structural loads up-front and improving driving comfort

Telescopic handlers are on- and off-road capable universal vehicles for lifting and transporting loads and bulk material up to a height of 10 meters. They have become increasingly important in the agricultural and construction-related industries where they are used for bulk material handling both on and off the road to operate over long distances. Telescopic handlers run on air tires and have a telescopic boom to which various equipment can be attached, such as lifting forks or buckets. As the vehicle has neither any wheel suspension nor shock absorbers, the tires alone need to deal with uneven ground to dampen possible vehicle vibrations. Driving on bumpy tracks, however, may cause vibrations around 3 Hz which can reduce driving comfort and increase material fatigue. In order to avoid time-consuming and costly test series during ever shorter innovation cycles, engineers need to understand a vehicle’s dynamic behavior, find out which aspects lead to such pitching and lifting motions and how to avoid the resulting vibrations already at the early stages of the product development process. Only then they can master structural loads up-front and improve the driving comfort for the operator.

The solution

System simulation helps understand phenomena in the time and frequency domain

Mechatronics focusses on the system as a whole and on the interdisciplinary collaboration between various engineering areas. System simulation helps understanding the dynamic behavior of complex physical-technical systems and the phenomena in the time and frequency domain. The high scientific standard with a strong relevance for practical applications makes system simulation a connecting platform between educational bodies and industrial partners in many joint projects boosting the exchange of knowledge and young talents. In order to analyze the vehicle dynamics of a telescopic handler, SimulationX developed by ITI was the tool of choice as it had already proven itself in education and industry through its intuitive handling, a high result quality and numerous analysis methods, but most of all stands out with its comprehensive integration options for existing toolchains. 

The software comes with various interfaces for CAD and FEM applications, sophisticated model libraries and can also offer real-time capable models for the development of controllers and embedded software on HiL platforms. All necessary model elements for kinematic and hydraulic simulations of the multibody system (MBS) ‘Telescopic Handler’ are available. The underlying open Modelica language is used to describe simulation models of discontinuous systems which can usually be represented as diagrams. Based on physical interfaces and algebraic differential equations, this language allows for an object-oriented and flexible description of multiphysics simulation models and their structure, behavior and visualization in education scenarios or product development.

The benefits

Mastering vehicle dynamics with multiphysics system simulation

As part of the project, SimulationX was used to develop, evaluate and optimize suitable modeling hypotheses. All of the involved project partners agree that there have been big strides in both the theoretical understanding and the practical handling of the telescopic handler’s vehicle dynamics. It is understood that multiphysics system simulation bears great potential for industrial applications and academic education alike. Based on the experiences from the project, Liebherr team at their Telfs site (LWT) and the Management Center Innsbruck (MCI) concluded that SimulationX is a suitable software tool for the respective application areas: in research and development as much as in product development and university courses on multibody system simulation. Easy switching between the time and frequency domain, customizable configurations and runtime parameters as well as the straightforward CAD import and the virtual camera following around are noteworthy highlights in the software. ITI’s longstanding commitment in the area of mobile machinery and the resulting expertise specific to this particular industry have as much contributed to the project’s success as the excellent cooperation between the partners ITI, LWT and the MCI.

Simulation in the development of mobile machinery

Are you facing a similar challenge and need support in finding the right solution? The ITI team mobile machinery has all the expertise you need for your particular project.

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