Mechatronics designs can decrease the 25% cost of engineering for OEMs

Use of mechatronics—the convergence of power, electronics, mechanical systems—helps reduce the cost of engineering, which for many machines can account for 25%-30% of their cost.


Mechatronics is the convergence of three areas: power, electronics, and mechanical systems, including related embedded software and hardware, explained Chuck Edwards, president of Lenze Americas. Some automation products embed mechatronics functionality, making life easier for controls, electrical, and mechanical engineers, along with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that play in all three worlds, Edwards said. Products designed using mechatronics principles pack more performance and opportunities for optimization into a smaller package, taking less real estate and offering more dynamic machine performance, Edwards said.

The Lenze 8400 motec frequency inverter drive includes the gearbox, ac motor, and inverter in one compact design that allows machine builders to optimize machine performance at a high level. Integrating these components helps fulfill requirements for spee

Mechatronics-based designs, using pre-integrated systems, add engineering productivity, Edwards said, explaining that for most OEMs 25%-30% of the cost of the machine is in engineering. Such products, which reduce engineering costs, help OEMs bring machines to market faster, breaking the risks associated with a common three-year design cycle (first year, design; second year, launch and production; and third year, financial returns).

Simpler integrated designs also help make machine operation and maintenance easier for a workforce that may have less manufacturing experience and education than they once did. Engineering companies also need to work with area colleges to ensure applied engineering and mechatronics are part of four-year engineering curriculum, beyond theoretical engineering, Edwards advised.

Lenze manufactures electrical and mechanical drives, motion control, and automation technology for many industries, including automotive, packaging, material handling and logistics, robotics, and commercial equipment (such as pumps and fans).

- Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering and Plant Engineering,


See other mechatronics articles below. 

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safety for 18 years, warehouse maintenance tips, Ethernet and the IIoT, GAMS 2016 recap
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Safety at every angle, Big Data's impact on operations, bridging the skills gap
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me