Almost all modern products contain some form of digital technology that enables advanced control. Working with mechatronics involves working with the entire chain, from electronic control to mechanical motion, to ensure that the things around us function well, are safe, interact with us in a straightforward and, most importantly, energy-efficient manner. This requires an open and creative approach to the challenges that arise. Mechatronics is the collective name for this branch of technology that brings together the engineering areas needed for successful product realisation. Many times, it involves collaboration between different specialists and using computer tools to simulate and program all functions.
In modern product development, mechatronics is not just about problem-solving but also about understanding and identifying problems, which is often the more challenging part. However, there can also be many possible solutions. The problem then becomes choosing the most suitable one. In both of these scenarios, simulation technology is crucial. With powerful computers, numerical methods, and programming, a product's behaviour in various situations can be predicted.
In recent times, new challenges have emerged in mechatronics. Fuel efficiency for the economy and the environment is one standout example. Solving such problems requires a good understanding of mechanics, mechanical engineering, electronics, control engineering, and programming. Mathematics plays a central role in all these aspects. The use of mechatronics in various types of vehicles, including construction machinery like excavators and wheel loaders, as well as trucks and light vehicles, is a specific focus for us.
A distinct characteristic of mechatronics
engineering is having to deal with big and small issues simultaneously. The entire product and its individual tiny parts are in focus at the same time. One way to handle this complexity is often summarised in the system-of-systems concept. Engineers specialised in mechatronics often become project managers thanks to their capacity to address complex problems at different levels at once.