Smart experiences in the real world
More and more aspects of our personal and work lives are improving. They are becoming richer, safer, more convenient and inspiring though the use of smart and connected systems. Mechatronics and software driven innovation is at the core of this evolution and it has become pervasive across many industries like Aerospace, Automotive, Life Sciences, and of course Consumer Electronics.
However, it comes with increasing product and process complexity, along with dynamic customer demand and global competition. Those are exposing engineering teams to high risk and cost pressures. Here are five ways to address key challenges that mechatronics teams face in creating new smart, connected experiences.
Start from the System
Teams can’t manage the complexity and dynamics of today’s smart experiences with the help of paper, spreadsheets and databases anymore. It requires starting from a system definition which contains requirements as well as the functional and logical architecture. From there, the desired system behaviour can be modeled, implemented by engineering disciplines and finally validated.
With a unique digital reference, mechatronics and software engineers can always “connect” to full picture. This helps them understand the impact of how their contribution affects the global system at any time. See the example of Bosch Car Multimedia.
Support the Design Intent
Software is increasingly delivering the new customer value. However, physical aspects will keep being decisive factors. A product’s design, ergonomics and weight attract customers in the discovery phase. Other factors like temperature and of course durability will keep them happy users of smart products over their lifetime.
When PCB and enclosure engineers are tightly connected to industrial designers by sharing the same product model, they can boost the process to converge on viable design and engineering solutions. See the example of an innovative smart watch. Mechatronic engineers can also benefit from a better understanding of how the product is uses in a real environment.
Validate many options
Global regulation and the desire for personalized experiences translates into the need for many different product variants and options. Many ideas turn out to be impossible or too expensive to realize. This insight should be gained as early as possible in the process.
More and more, simulation can natively integrate with mechatronics engineering. That makes it easy and inexpensive to test options. It’s because you can do it in early stages of engineering when the cost of change is relatively low. See the example of an innovative washing machine.
The mechatronics teams are diverse, dynamic and usually spread out across many different locations and geographies. Time zones and software tools are hindering rapid and effective collaboration. Translation and interpretation of dynamically changing engineering work can eat up a lot of value time.
Deploying shared standards and common practices, supported by similar user experiences greatly help to reduce collaboration barriers. However, it’s key to have a collaboration platform that is scalable and inclusive to expert systems. This is especially true for M-CAD and E-CAD that engineers are often comfortable and productive in using. See how Safran E&D integrate their mechatronics tools and teams.
Help teams stay focused
Studies are showing that engineers spend more than 30% of their time on non-value-added task. On top of the already mentioned translation and interpretation, they are spending time on searching for information. Also the for reporting project statuses and KPIs is considerable. See more on how to reduce non-value added work in engineering.
It’s much easier to have engineering work natively integrate with project management on the same data set. Then engineers are freed up from information sharing, and project managers from translation and interpretation. Read this eBook from Tech Clarity for more best practices.
Find out more about how the 3DEXPERIENCE platform addresses today’s challenges of mechatronics engineering.