VFL For Increased Machine Availability

VFL - What is it about?


The HYDAC Virtual Fluid Lab, or VFL, is a smart concept which, connected to in-house, intelligent sensors, not only determines the remaining service life of filter elements, but also contributes to Predictive Maintenance. A reduction in the Life Cycle Cost and therefore increased machine availability are decisive advantages.

Why is determining the remaining service life useful?


  • Reduce your costs with a condition-based element change, full use of the filter element service life and maximised service intervals
  • Schedule your service in a proactive way, thanks to continuous information about the remaining service life of the filter element
  • Identify "dirt conspicuous" machines within your fleet, before a total machine breakdown occurs and therefore avoid unscheduled machine downtimes
  • By extending the element service life and planning ahead, valuable resources can be saved

The Concept


Thanks to our decades of experience in the field of filtration of hydraulic and lube oils and based on our knowledge about the interactions between filtration, filter design and element development, we have developed an intelligent algorithm, which is directly integrated into the high-performing electronics of our smart sensors.

The remaining service life determination is specially attuned to HYDAC filter elements, which have been validated by comprehensive laboratory and field tests with regards to service life extension. Thanks to our patented Quality Protection interfaces, the use of original HYDAC elements is ensured.

With the aid of the VD … VFL (differential pressure measurement) or V1/4 … VFL (dynamic pressure measurement) sensors, the concept can be implemented regardless of the filter type and size.

The Virtual Fluid Lab is available with CAN Bus or with IO-Link communication systems. 






  • Maximised use of element service life and therefore reduced quantity of element changes p.a. and conservation of resources 

  • Enables an optimised scheduling of services and therefore no unexpected downtime or failure costs

  • Reduced Life Cycle Cost & highly improved machine availability

  • Basis for further functional development


  • VD...VFL with CAN Bus based on differential pressure measurement

  • V1/4...VFL with CAN Bus based on dynamic pressure measurement

  • VD...VFL with IO-Link based on differential pressure measurement

  • V1/4...VFL with IO-Link based on dynamic pressure measurement


Which data collecting systems or devices support the VFL (e.g. HYDAC HMG)?

All systems and devices which are compatible with CANopen or IO-Link.

How does the algorithm reset after an element change?

The algorithm reset is carried out manually via the machine control.

When to choose the 2 or 5 bar variant?

  • The measurement range up to 2 bar should be chosen for filters with a bypass opening pressure of 2.5 or 3 bar.

  • The measurement range up to 5 bar should be chosen for filters with a bypass opening pressure of 6 bar.

  • For filters without a bypass valve the VFL variant has to be chosen according to system parameters.

Can the VFL measure the oil temperature or is an additional sensor required?

The latest version of Virtual Fluid Lab does not measure the oil temperature. An additional oil temperature measurement is required.

How is the required temperature signal transmitted to the Virtual Fluid Lab?

The temperature signal is communicated to the VFL from the Bus system or via IO-Link.


The Virtual Fluid Lab transmits the remaining service life value. This value can be indicated e.g. in a display; there is no further calculation or processing required.