Mechatronics in the Future of Collaborative Engineering

Electrical Design

Mechatronics in the Future of Collaborative Engineering

by | Electrical Design

Due to its composition of mechanical systems, control systems, electronic systems, and computers, mechatronics play a large role in today’s society.  When you think of any device where electronics control a mechanical device you start to realize mechatronics are all around.

According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) mechatronics can be identified in nearly everything, “from computer hard drives and robotic assembly systems to washing machines, coffee makers, and medical devices.”

Over the years, businesses that utilize this integrated design strategy have found that filling this challenging engineering space often comes with a large cost, as well as tight deadlines. As a result, every calculation, every minute, every wire, is costly.

A study conducted by ScienceDirect identified that “the collaboration between different individuals and domains during the mechatronic system design process plays a key role to ensure that the results of their efforts are successful, especially to get an integrated system.” The article also states, “product evolution becomes increasingly significant nowadays in order to meet the rapid-changing market and short development lifecycle.”

With SOLIDWORKS Electrical, maximum efficiency in product evolution is achieved through the software’s utilization of mechatronic system design. SOLIDWORKS Electrical contains numerous time-saving features, such as the system’s combination of mechanical and electrical BOMs to streamline production planning, which then enables fast and accurate planning of cable, wire, and harness paths throughout the 3D assembly model.

Working inside the tool means that wire bundle sizes can be automatically calculated and individual wires will display to exact length in the model, allowing easy identification and cut-lists.

Tom DiLaura, an electrical engineer and CADimensions employee, emphasizes the vast advantage of this seemingly small feature.

“Once we hit the green check mark [in SOLIDWORKS Electrical] we let SOLIDWORKS do its magic. The cables will find their shortest path from connector to connector, and even know when to bundle into a harness in areas where they share the same path.”

With the wires routed, an automated drawing can be created, which comes with cable lengths based on the 3D assembly, wire descriptions that include part number and color, and a bill of materials for all harness components such as cable connectors.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical includes a collection of connector symbols and manufacturer parts, making the planning of connections and documentation of circuits easy.  Dynamic connectors allow the terminals to be split up into any combination of pins, allowing the user to document the connector as a single device or as a series of connection points.

All the tools offered in SOLIDWORKS Electrical help the team produce at a high efficiency and ensure accuracy when designing in the mechatronic space.

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