Mechatronics: Electronic Control Systems in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (7th Edition)
The term mechatronics was ‘invented’ by a Japanese engineer in 1969, as a combination of’mecha’ from mechanisms and ‘tronics’ from electronics. The word now has a wider meaning, being used to describe a philosophy in engineering technology in which there is a co ordinated, and concurrently developed, integration of mechanical engineering with electronics and intelligent computer control in the design and manufacture of products and processes.
As a result, many products which used to have mechanical functions have had many replaced with ones involving microprocessors. This has resulted in much greater flexibility, easier redesign and reprogramming, and the ability to carry out automated data collection and reporting.
A consequence of this approach is the need for engineers and technicians to adopt an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to engineering. Thus engineers and technicians need skills and knowledge that are not confined to a single subject area. They need to be capable of operating and communicating across a range of engineering disciplines and linking with those having more specialised skills. This book is an attempt to provide a basic background to mechatronics and provide links through to more specialised skills.
The first edition was designed to cover the Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) Mechatronics units for Higher National Certificate/Diploma courses for technicians and designed to fit alongside more specialist units such as those for design, manufacture and maintenance determined by the application area of the course. The book was widely used for such courses and has also found use in undergraduate courses in both Britain and the United States. Following feedback from lecturers in both Britain and the United States, the second edition was considerably extended and with its extra depth it was not only still relevant for its original readership, but also suitable for undergraduate courses. The third edition involved refinements of some explanations, more discussion of microcontrollers and programming, increased use of models for mechatronic systems, and the grouping together of key facts in the Appendices. The fourth edition was a complete reconsideration of all aspects of the text, both layout and content, with some regrouping of topics, movement of more material into Appendices to avoid disrupting the flow of the text, new material-in particular an introduction to artificial intelligence – more case studies and a refinement of some topics to improve clarity.
Also, objectives and key point summaries were included with each chapter. The fifth edition kept the same structure but, after consultation with many users of the book, many aspects had extra detail and refinement added. The sixth edition involved a restructuring of the constituent parts of the book as some users felt that the chapter sequencing did not match the general teaching sequence. Other changes included the inclusion of material on Arduino and the addition of more topics in the Mechatronic systems chapter.
The seventh edition has continued the evolution of the book with updating of mechatronic system components, clarification of some aspects so they read more easily, the inclusion of information on the Atmega microcontrollers, a discussion and examples of fuzzy logic and neural control systems, and yet more applications and case studies. The number of Appendices has been reduced as they had grown over previous editions and it was felt that some were now little used. A revised and extended version of the Appendix concerning electrical circuit analysis has ben moved to the Instructor’s Guide as Supporting material: Electrical components and circuits, and so is available to an instructor for issue to students if required.
The overall aim of the book is to give a comprehensive coverage of mechatronics which can be used with courses for both technicians and undergraduates in engineering and, hence, to help the reader:
• acquire a mix of skills in mechanical engineering, electronics and computing which is necessary if he/ she is to be able to comprehend and design mechatronic systems;
• become capable of operating and communicating across the range of engineering disciplines necessary in mechatronics;
• be capable of designing mechatronic systems.
Each chapter of the book includes objectives and a summary, is copiously illustrated and contains problems, answers to which are supplied at the end of the book. Chapter 24 comprises research and design assignments together with clues as to their possible answers.
The structure of the book is as follows:
• Chapter 1 is a general introduction to mechatronics.
• Chapters 2-6 form a coherent block on sensors and signal conditioning.
• Chapters 7-9 cover actuators.
• Chapters 10–16 discuss microprocessor I microcontroller systems.
• Chapters 17-23 are concerned with system models.
• Chapter 24 provides an overall conclusion in considering the design of mechatronic systems.
An Instructor’s Guide, test material and PowerPoint slides are available for lecturers to download at: www.pearsoned.co.uk/bolton.
A large debt is owed to the publications of the manufacturers of the equipment referred to in the text. I would also like to thank those reviewers who painstakingly read through through the sixth edition and my proposals for this new edition and made suggestions for improvement.
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