Hydraulic systems play an important role in modern industry for the reason that hydraulic actuator systems have many advantages over other technologies with electric motors, as they possess high durability and the ability to produce large forces at high speeds. Therefore, the hydraulic actuator has a wide range of application fields such as hydraulic punching, riveting, pressing machines, and molding technology, where controlled forces or pressures with high accuracy and fast response are the most significant demands. Consequently, many hybrid actuator models have been developed for studying how to control forces or pressures with best results. This paper presents a kind of hydraulic load simulator for conducting performance and stability testing related to the force control problem of hydraulic hybrid systems. In the dynamic loading process, perturbation decreases control performance such as stability, frequency response, and loading sensitivity decreasing or bad. In order to improve the control quality of the loading system while eliminating or reducing the disturbance, a grey prediction model combined with a fuzzy PID controller is suggested. Furthermore, fuzzy controllers and a tuning algorithm are used to change the grey step size in order to improve the control quality. The grey prediction compensator can improve the system settle time and overshoot problems. Simulations and experiments on the hydraulic load simulator are carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed control method when applied to hydraulic systems with various external disturbances encountered in real working conditions. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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