Mechatronics and Creating Smarter Products

By Emmy Wolfe on

One thing at the forefront of most companies’ minds is how to beat the competition. One way to do this is to create smart products, but that leads to the question, “How?” We have one possible answer: mechatronics! Keep reading to discover all about this technology and how it can help you take the lead on your competitors.

What is Mechatronics?

The name is a combination of mechanics and electronics, however, the discipline includes much more than just the two. Mechatronics is a field of science that covers a combination of different fields including mechanical engineering, electronics, computing, telecommunications engineering, systems engineering and control engineering. 

Why Do We Care About Mechatronics?

Mechatronics partYou may be surprised at how fast the mechatronic product market is growing. With projections of smart systems exploding in the next couple years, it’s important for us to take notice and join the trend to stay ahead of the curve. It’s reported 25% of companies that haven’t made their products smarter plan to add software and electronics over the next five years, even though it raises complexity and cost. Why would they do this? Mechatronics can take a very simple device, for example, a thermostat, add electronics and connectivity to create a billion-dollar product line with much higher margins. But, it’s still a race to see which company can get there first with the best product to take over the market share. 

How Can You Make The Transition?

When making the shift in technology there are several aspects to look at. One important part of this strategy is to refine your strategy for the Internet of Things or IoT. Using the IoT to develop connected products can have a major impact on your business. It can go as far as how you think about your products and even can go as far as change what you’re selling. Before your eyes the core of your business can change and so you need to take into consideration new functions, all thanks to mechatronics and IoT. 

>> Want to learn more about how to transition? Check out our blog post, top 5 Tips to Transform Product Design for Smart Products

What’s the Catch?

It all sounds great, but nothing is perfect. Currently, the industry is facing six major challenges: 

  1. Products have become much more complex.
  2. Knowledge silos/lack of cross-functional knowledge. 
  3. Ensuring product requirements are met. 
  4. Lack of visibility into the impact of design decisions across disciplines. 
  5. Tools are incompatible across engineering disciplines. 
  6. Identifying system level problems sooner. 

 Essentially, this all boils down to communication. 

Ready to Jump In?

Since 2012, when mechatronics started to gain popularity, SOLIDWORKS took note of the increased interest. It’s now five years later, mechatronics is attracting more attention and lucky for us, SOLIDWORKS has developed a complete solution.

They focused on creating a platform with collaboration as the backbone to help enhance speed and clarity of communication. SOLIDWORKS has a full associate, collaborative, integrated ecosystem. With their package, you get electronic design, mechanical design, electronic cooling and thermal simulation, data management, electrical design, FEA simulation, plastic part design, plastic injection simulation and manufacturing documentation. 

Ready to jump into the world of mechatronics but think your SOLIDWORKS skills are a little rusty? Check out our available training classes!