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Simulating hydraulic systems simplifies component selection, enables virtual controller testing, and enhances understanding of complex system interactions for optimization

Modeling and simulation of hydraulic components and systems

Hydraulic drives and controls can be found across many industries. Minimizing energy losses and vibrations in the overall system are often decisive factors for the competitiveness of the final product. Due to the non-linear properties of fluid power systems, spreadsheet-based design approaches have significant limits. In order to increase performance and efficiency of fluid power systems, its important to consider the hydraulic circuit, its controller and the connected mechanical and electrical components as a whole for the best results. The most effective way to do so is to use software for simulating your hydraulic power systems.

SimulationX diagram view of a hydraulic drive

SimulationX Customer References

HATEBUR gives life to high-performance manufacturing machines through innovative hydraulic technology

Why Simulate Hydraulic Systems?


Find the Best Components for your System

Use dynamic system modeling to find the optimal dimensions of your hydraulic components. Simulate the system with components from different potential suppliers to compare their performance and energy efficiency.

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Expand Early-Stage Design Testing

Find issues with the design earlier in the design process when problems are still cheaper and easier to fix. Reduce the number of physical prototypes required.


Virtually Test your Control Systems

From the model determine the system characteristics and start controller development earlier. Test control units using the model as a virtual plant with software-in-the-loop or hardware-in-the-loop testing.

Design of hydraulic drive systems in heavy mobile machinery

Whether in mining, agricultural or construction machinery – hydraulic travel and work drives are widely used due to their high power density and flexibility. Efficiency of the hydraulic system is crucial to economical operation and compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements.


Simulation will assist you in the optimal selection and dimensioning of components and in designing hydraulic transmissions adapted to the machine's work cycle. In addition to designing control and pressure lines for work drives, it's crucial to choose valves, pumps and cylinders correctly. Equally important is ensuring stable controls. System simulation helps you keep it all manageable and find the optimum balance.


15 years of interdisciplinary experience in system simulation

Would you like to discuss a development task in person with an experienced simulation expert? We feel at home in many industries; we know both the challenges and the solutions.

Why Choose SimulationX Hydraulics?

By engineers, for engineers.

Tired of working with simulation software that looks like it was developed last century? Experience the highly intuitive modeling, simulation and analysis possible with SimulationX!


Intuitive Modeling


Huge Component

Selection (> 100!)


Optional Temperature

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Fast Calculation


Animated Symbols

for Understanding


Fluid Database +

Fluid Designer

Take a tour of the SimulationX Hydraulics Module!

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Consider the Whole System

Advanced digital control engineering and elaborate valve systems achieve unprecedented quality levels in terms of functionality, reliability and precision. Power peaks can be attenuated by hydraulic accumulators which allow for significant cuts in the plant’s energy consumption. For first-class results, the hydraulic lines, accumulators, valves and actuators are not considered separately, but as a complete system including closed-loop controls as well as electrical and pneumatic auxiliary components. System simulation is a well-established tool for incorporating the advantages of hydraulic and electrohydraulic drives into competitive products.


Hydraulic Motor Drive with Pressure Compensator

The model shows a hydraulic motor drive with inlet pressure compensator and additional brake valves in the consumer lines. The inlet pressure compensator is connected upstream of the proportional directional control valve and effects load compensation only in positive load direction. The volume flow is kept constant by the proportional directional control valve even with fluctuating load pressure. The load pressure in the consumer lines is tapped via the shuttle valve. Because the load can also become negative, there are brake valves in the consumer lines which prevent the load from overrunning. A further task of the brake valves is for safety reasons to shut off leakage-free at halt.


Exclusive inside knowledge within the SimulationX Community

Over 700 customers worldwide rely on SimulationX as their multiphysics modeling tool to simulate and optimize fluid power components and systems.


SimulationX enables beginners to solve complex multidisciplinary tasks in a simple and reliable way

The simulation program includes ready-made application packages for many typical development tasks for simulating hydraulic and pneumatic systems.

  • What components does the Hydraulics module contain?
    The Hydraulics module contains over 100 different elements for the simulation of hydraulic systems including: pumps/motors, cylinders, brakes, clutches, tanks, volumes, sources, accumulators, pressure valves, flow valves, check valves, cartridge valves, proportional directional control valves, safety valves, filters, coolers, sensors, pipes, hoses, elbows and more. Check out the video tour of the Hydraulics module for more information, or request the Hydraulics Module Sheet for a full list of components.
  • How do the hydraulic components connect to other domains like mechanics, thermal or controls?
    Elements from the Hydraulics module have built-in interfaces to the most common physics domains. For instance, the hydraulic cylinders include 1D mechanical connectors, and the hydraulics volume has a thermal port for heat exchange. Pumps, control valves and sensors include a signals port to receive the control signal or to send sensor information.
  • Does the Hydraulics module calculate temperatures or only pressures?
    It can do both. The Hydraulics module contains an optional Energy Balance that is by default turned off to minimize the number of state variables in the equation system, resulting in faster calculation speeds. With the Energy Balance turned off, the temperature is assumed to be constant throughout the hydraulic circuit, suitable for many power fluids applications. If heat transfer and temperatures are important for the circuit to be simulated, the Energy Balance can be turned on, and all hydraulic volumes will automatically receive an extra state variable for the temperature that will be dynamically calculated based on the inflows, outflows and heat exchange with the environment.

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