Mechatronics is simply an engineering discipline that focuses on the design, development and maintenance of items that have both electronic and mechanical properties. It is a lucrative field of engineering not only in the US but all over the world. People who specialize in this field enjoy a lot of respect from their peers as well from other professionals.
The main focus of mechatronic engineering is to enhance the synergy that binds the electrical control systems and the machines they control. As a design field, it employs systems thinking and interdisciplinary approach to solving problems within a system. For instance, in today’s automobiles, an average car has 30 to 50 systems control units that take care of all mechanical functions. Control units like anti-lock brakes and pneumatic tire pressure monitoring systems employ the principles of mechatronic engineering to help the car run smoothly.
The term “mechatronics” was introduced in 1969 by a Japanese engineer known as Testro Mori. Before the 1980s, the term was mainly used to refer to some electronic and electrical components of computers. But after the 1980s, the use of computer was integrated into the design and operations of machines. The function and performance of machines became much easier due to the new computer software and hardware. This led to the start of manufacturing of a wide range of products with high precision and relatively low cost. Today, the application of mechatronic engineering principles is very broad. Companies now use this concept to automate machines, industrial products, power systems and biomedical systems.
Technical Aspects of Mechatronic Engineering
Mechatronic engineering can be categorized into ten technical areas. They include intelligent control, motion control, actuators and sensors, system integration, automotive systems, manufacturing, microdevices and noise control. All these aspects use the principles of mechatronic engineering to perform their functions effectively.
Mechatronic engineering is an emerging field with a huge potential for success in the future. This potential is attributed to the fact that the discipline brings together aspects of mechanical, electrical and software engineering to form unified and highly effective systems. Nearly all industries will apply the principles of mechatronic engineering to streamline their processes, leading to an increased demand for expert knowledge.
Getting a Job As a Mechatronic Engineer
As the demand for workers in this discipline increases, many colleges and universities are adding mechatronic engineering programs in their engineering departments. Even universities that don’t offer mechanical engineering directly now require their engineering students to study control systems, programming and electronics. This means that even students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in electrical or mechanical engineering can still work as mechatronic engineers.
Both mechatronic engineers and robotics specialists perform the same duties. As a result, most companies classify them into one group of employees. According to PayScale, robotics specialists earn an average salary of $79,848 per year. The lowest-paid individual gets $49,169 while the highest-paid gets $125,811.
Top Employers of Mechatronic Engineers
A majority of mechatronic engineers find jobs in the automotive industry. Other possible employers include aerospace, banking, appliance design and repair, energy, farming, power production, mining and manufacturing industries.
Mechatronic engineering is a very important discipline that enhances the operations of machines and devices. It is through mechatronics that we can be able to operate machines remotely, control massive cranes, reduce vehicle vibrations and prevent brakes from locking.
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