Mechatronic Engineering is the intelligent control of plant, product or process. It is a combination of four or five distinct disciplines:
- Mechanical systems
- Electrical systems
- Control systems
- Computers / Software systems
Why do we need to cover so many areas when there probably already exists many engineers in each of the fields shown above?
In many industrial design and manufacturing companies two or engineers of different disciplines may be needed to work together. If one of the engineers sees something which impinges on the other engineering disciplines, they would need to talk with their direct manager rather than deal with it directly. This manager will then talk to the second engineer’s manager, and the information will then be relayed to the second engineer, and so on. Obviously this is an extremely wasteful process.
Most of the time, this is done because of lack of experience and knowledge of the other engineer’s area of work. Mechatronic Engineering overcomes this unfamiliarity and breaks down the barriers by allowing people to work in harmony as part of a multidisciplinary engineering team. This saves companies time and money and adds to the job satisfaction of the engineer.
The figure below shows the different fields in which mechatronic engineering has huge applications.