A major concern in the forest industry is impact on the soil caused by forest machines during harvesting. A six-wheel pendulum arm forwarder is being developed. The new forwarder aims at reducing soil damage by an even pressure distribution and smooth torque control and thereby also improving the working environment. The suspension contains pendulum arms on each wheel controlled by a hydraulic load sensing system in combination with accumulator.

A natural approach is to model each part of a system in the best-suited software. In this case, the hydraulic system is modelled in the Hopsan simulation tool, while the vehicle mechanics is modelled in Adams. To understand the whole system it is necessary to simulate all subsystems together. An open standard for this is the Functional Mock-up Interface. This makes it possible to investigate the interaction between the hydraulic system and the multi-body mechanic model.

This paper describes how different simulation tools can be combined to support the development process. The technique is applied to the forwarder’s pendulum suspension. Controllers for height and soil force are optimized to minimize soil damage and maximize comfort for the operator.

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