In 2019 the USA saw an almost 25 percent increase in the number of degrees awarded for mechatronics. The field of mechatronics is growing, and you’re probably hearing the term more and more. It’s time you found out what it actually means!
Read below to learn more about what mechatronics is, how it’s used, and what a mechatronics specialist does.
What is Mechatronics?
Mechatronics engineering is a newer field of engineering. It has only been recognized as its program since the late 1990s. The term “mechatronics” started as a combination of “mechanics” and “electronics.” It is now an engineering option that combines electronic systems, mechanical systems, control systems, and software.
With the growing popularity of mechatronics, there are lots of qualification options. Most institutions that run engineering programs now offer some kind of mechatronics qualification. The goal of mechatronics programs is to combine the background of systems and software. Newly qualified mechatronics specialists can work in advanced manufacturing facilities with these skills.
Mechatronics in Manufacturing
Over the last few decades, automation in the manufacturing industry has meant there is a greater need for mechatronics. Automation means using robotics or machines to do jobs previously performed by humans. These new machines are complex and need a combination of software and electrical systems knowledge to manage them. This is where mechatronics comes in.
Even though mechatronics is most common in the manufacturing industry, it is used in other industries too. Anywhere that automation is taking place, mechatronics is making it happen.
What Do Mechatronics Specialists Do?
The process of automation starts with project planning. After that, there are various stages of the design process. Next is prototyping, and finally, there is the production stage.
For example, where people used to work in factories, machines can now be designed to do the same job. The mechatronics engineers will look at the people’s roles and how a complex machine might be designed to fill that same role. The designs will get more precise as the project goes on. These designs will then be built as prototypes. From there, the prototypes are fine-tuned until the final product is reached.
Mechatronics specialists usually work in teams. These teams, who often work for a mechatronics engineering company or firm, can get involved at any of these stages. Depending on the industry and project needs, they can also be kept on to manage, evaluate, fix, or improve the automation.
The title a mechatronics engineer or specialist uses might change depending on their industry. A few common mechatronics-related titles are:
- automotive engineer
- control system engineer
- data logging engineer
- project engineer
- software engineer
- service engineer
Basically, mechatronics specialists, no matter their title, are creative problem-solvers. They often use computer-aided design (CAD) to model, simulate, and analyze systems. These systems are usually used in processes of automation.
Knowing About Mechatronics
Now the next time someone mentions mechatronics, you’ll know what they’re talking about! You’ll also know that mechatronics is a growing field because the world is becoming more automated, so we need engineers who can make sure that automation works properly.
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