Comparing to the traditional sequential design approach, the integrated structure and control design approach integrates the mechanical structure design and the control system design by formulating the design as an optimization problem. This paper investigates two important questions pertaining to the integrated structure and control design approach: Why and when should the integrated design approach be used rather than the traditional sequential design approach? In this paper, we have formulated both approaches as optimization problems. The benefit of the integrated design approach over the sequential design approach is proved in this paper. The conditions for when the integrated design approach will result in better closed-loop system performances are also given. A simple example is given to illustrate the theoretical results derived. The conclusion is given following this example and the simulation results are shown at the end of the paper.

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