Mechatronics – The next big thing?
Mechatronics is the synergistic combination of precision mechanical engineering, electronic control and systems thinking in the design of products and manufacturing processes. It relates to the design of systems, devices and products aimed at achieving an optimal balance between basic mechanical structure and its overall control. While not new, mechatronics is still in the emerging technology stage and early adopters are still struggling with the widely disparate nature of the development tools used by mechanical and electronic controls engineers. That is about to change…
At SolidWorks World 2009, both National Instruments and Rockwell Automation previewed motion control simulation software that is integrated with SolidWorks Motion Simulation software to provide a unified simulation environment. This will enable mechanical engineers and electronic controls engineers to build digital prototypes of complex machinery and collaborate on optimizing designs early in the product development process.
I confess that much of this went over my head, but when two of the leading motion control and simulation vendors are involved in a multi-year collaborative development projects with SolidWorks, I sit up and take notice.
Desktop Engineering has published an excellent two part article on mechatronics in general and the NI LabView/SolidWorks solution in particular. See http://www.deskeng.com/articles/aaapmg.htm.
The presentation by John Pritchard of Rockwell Automation is included in the SolidWorks World 2009 Proceedings on the SolidWorks Customer Portal.
Trackback from your site.