CAx - Methods for Mechatronical Systems
Introduction and Survey
Within the frame of this research area, the product development process is discussed and analyzed from a mechatronical point of view.
Mechatronics can be considered to be an integrative discipline utilizing the technologies of Mechanics, Electronics and Information Technology to provide enhanced products, processes and systems. Some typical examples are a state of the art video camera, a digitally programmed machine tool or a mobile phone etc.
We treat mechatronic design as an iterative process of synthesis, analysis and evaluation. One crucial step in the design process is synthesizing design concepts according to requirements and specifications.
In the analysis step, the performance of a specific design concept or detailed solution is predicted. In the evaluation step, the derived performance is compared with the requirements. The design or its requirements may be modified with respect to the new information obtained from the evaluation. The process is repeated until a satisfactory solution is achieved.
During the last years the evolution of market requirements has deeply transformed the designer’s way of thinking and operating for all the product development stages. In fact, at present, fast product development, high quality level, minimum environmental impact, the accomplishment of safety parameters and the minimum level of costs have become essential demands during the whole life cycle of the product.
In order to push the performance of new products, the beneficial interaction between different fields of mechatronics is used more and more, which results in increased complexity of the products. Additionally, the enlarged use of computers and their continuous enhancement lead to more complexity of the product design process itself. Hence, a new approach in Design and Engineering of products can be considered as key point to optimize the design process.
These methodologies are being used extensively to assist with decision-making in the product design process starting with conceptual design and is followed by basic and detailed design. Therefore, functional design plays a central role in ensuring design quality and product innovation.
Integration of Mechatronics in Product Development Process
Introduction and Survey
Coupling of modelling and simulation tools from the different areas of mechatronics is one of the important points to decrease the time of product development.
CAx-systems were developed to a large extent for carrying out specific tasks optimally (e.g. CAD was developed to define the geometry of a part, CAM to define the manufacturing process, CAE/FEM for analysis and evaluation of product properties).
The data generated and applied by these different systems are mutually coupled, therefore efficient data exchange between CAx-Systems involved is a key-point in today’s innovation processes.
In this context it is necessary to describe the complex structure and hierarchy of the product, which finally allows the use of product data management functions for simultaneous engineering.
DI Dr. Peter Hehenberger