Holistic Design Methodology för Mechatronic Systems

Published Feb 18, 2014

The Mechatronics Division will shortly be published in the IMechE’s Journal of Systems & Control Engineering. Daniel Malmquist and Daniel Frede, along with their supervisor Jan Wikander, have written a paper on how to achieve quick optimsation and evaluation of mechatronic system design concepts using a new concurrent and holistic methodology.

The wide range of engineering domains aggregated in mechatronic systems can cause problems for design engineers. It is important to treat the different domains in an integrated, concurrent manner during design to be able to achieve the frequently sought-for synergetic effects of mechatronic systems. Traditional design methods are usually based on the different engineering disciplines being treated separately and only integrated at a late stage of the development process. Consequently those methods do not work sufficiently well for mechatronic systems, leading to a suboptimal product.

Previous research by the authors presented a novel approach to mechatronic system design by allowing quick optimisation and evaluation of design concepts. This is done by front loading certain design activities, hence decreasing the need for time and cost consuming iterations in later design stages. The method is backed up by a supporting software tool prototype.

Their latest paper extends the earlier method by including the dynamic aspects of the designed systems whilst also implementing basic control aspects, hence creating a concurrent and holistic method for mechatronic systems design. This allows the designer to take synergetic effects into account at an earlier stage of the design process, hence increasing product quality and decreasing development costs. A conceptual design case is used in this paper for an initial evaluation of the method and the results show great potential for the methodology.