Understanding mechatronics

It is a Japanese engineer working for the “Yaskawa Electric Corporation” that first used the word mechatronics. In fact, Mechatronics is the result of the synergic and systematic blend of mechanics, electronic, automatism and information technology. This interdisciplinary engineering domain main interest is the creation of powerful automatic systems first, but also the possibility of controlling complex systems.

About mechatronics

Mechatronics software is made of 3 multidisciplinary sub-systems that must be simultaneously created:
– The corpse of the system, bones and muscles, that is specifically mechanical and electromechanical and which forms the operational part,
– The built-in intelligence made of electronics and real time information technology and which forms the control part,
– The geometric and dialog part made for ergonomic and aesthetic purpose which forms the man/machine interface.

A reduction of the costs, an increase of the reliability and the security of the system would be possible with a global approach.

Is this system reliable?

Mechatronics software are made for controlling other systems and for acting back for matching with the wavering conditions of operating, for keeping an eye on their state (requests, exhaustion…) and for doing the maintenance. This concept is however very complex (information retrieving, aptitudes in electronics and mechanics, tasks distribution, reliability and security…), require many means and is also high-priced.

It was in the aeronautic domain that this technology was first used, but it is now also exploited in transport and car industry. Later, it would also be used in some fields as mechanics, for some machines or lifting apparatus, etc. And eventually, many companies would include the industrial use of it in their specific expertise. However, the mechanics may find the integration of the sensors quite difficult.

When the electronics fields are now more reliable and more secure, before using the technology and creating specific tasks for it, an analysis of the systems and the process should be done. In environments that are constantly moving, the apparels and the systems must stand up to electromagnetic interference. In order to insure the reliability and the security of the operating, the electromagnetic compatibility of these means have to be analyzed. Nevertheless, to be sure of the fitting of the control to the needs and for evicting risky situations, some checking techniques for the mechatronics software must be created.

The manufacturing simulation software must be included within the solution used for the creation of a strategy of control that is independent from mechanical problems or the user’s faults.

The neuronal systems and the fuzzy control loops should be the next step.