Increasing demands on the productivity of complex systems, such as machine tools and their steadily growing technological importance will require the application of new methods in the product development process. This paper shows that the analysis of the simulation results from the simulation based mechatronic model of a complex system followed by a procedure that allows a better understanding of the dynamic behavior and interactions of the components. Mechatronics is a design philosophy, which is an integrating approach to engineering design. Through a mechanism of simulating interdisciplinary ideas and techniques, mechatronics provides ideal conditions to raise the synergy, thereby providing a catalytic effect for the new solutions to technically complex situations. This paper shows how the mechatronic products can exhibit performance characteristics that were previously difficult to achieve without the synergistic combination.
The paper further examines an approach used in modeling, simulation and optimization of dynamic machine tools and adopts it for general optimized design of mechatronics instrumentation and portable products. By considering the machine tool as a complete mechatronic system, which can be broken down into subsystems, forms the fundamental basis for the procedure. Starting from this point of view it is necessary to establish appropriate simulation models, which are capable of representing the relevant properties of the subsystems and the dynamic interactions between the machine components. Many real-world systems can be modeled by the mass-spring-damper system and hence considering one such system, namely Mechatronics Technology Demonstrator (MTD) is discussed here. MTD is a portable low cost, technology demonstrator, developed and refined by the authors. It is suitable for studying the key elements of mechatronic systems including; mechanical system dynamics, sensors, actuators, computer interfacing, and application development. An important characteristic of mechatronic devices and systems is their built-in intelligence that results through a combination of precision, mechanical and electrical engineering, and real time programming integrated to the design process. The synergy can be generated by the right combination of parameters, that is, the final product can be better than just the sum of its parts. The paper highlights design optimization of several mechatronic products using the procedures derived by the use of mass spring damper based mechatronic system. The paper shows step by step development of a mechatronic product and the use of embedded software for portability of hand held equipment.
A LabVIEW based platform was used as a control tool to control the MTD, perform data acquisition, post-processing, and optimization. In addition to the use of LabVIEW software, the use of embedded control system has been proposed for real-time control and optimization of the mass-spring-damper system. Integrating embedded control system with the mass-spring-damper system makes the MTD a multi-concepts Mechatronics platform. This allows interface with external sensors and actuators with closed-loop control and real-time monitoring of the physical system. This teaches students the skill set required for embedded control: design control algorithms (model-based embedded control software development, signal processing, communications), Computer Software (real-time computation, multitasking, interrupts), Computer hardware (interfacing, peripherals, memory constraints), and System Performance Optimization. This approach of deriving a mathematical model of system to be controlled, developing simulation model of the system, and using embedded control for rapid prototyping and optimization, will practically speed product development and improve productivity of complex systems.