The Mathworks combines mechanical simulation and control design

Natick, Mass. - The MathWorks Inc. announced April 17 the availability of SimMechanics, a suite of tools for engineering design and simulation of mechanical systems within the Simulink environment. The release of SimMechanics provides tools for control designers modeling mechanical systems.

By Control Engineering Staff April 22, 2002

Natick, Mass. – The MathWorks Inc. announced April 17 the availability of SimMechanics, a suite of tools for engineering design and simulation of mechanical systems within the Simulink environment. The release of SimMechanics provides tools for control designers modeling mechanical systems.

SimMechanics and Simulink allow engineers to model a physical plant and simulate the controller in one environment. SimMechanics enables communication and collaboration between separate working groups such as mechanical engineers and control system engineers. With the ability to model both mechanical systems and their controllers in Simulink, the time and expense to build controllers for mechanical systems is dramatically reduced.

SimMechanics provides controls engineers in the automotive, aerospace, robotics, industrial equipment, and manufacturing industries with new capabilities for the model-based design approach. For example, using SimMechanics engineers can analyze their designs early in the design cycle, allowing them to evaluate the performance of the system, make adjustments, and eliminate problems before committing to a detailed design. As a result, cost-savings and optimized development cycles are realized.

“In today’s competitive marketplace, engineers are designing increasingly complex and sophisticated controllers for mechanical systems,” said Jay Sharp, physical modeling product manager at The MathWorks. “Now, market pressures mandate shorter development times with improved product safety and reliability. SimMechanics allows engineers to model and simulate their designs at the beginning of the design cycle. Then, they can test the behavior of their controllers with an accurate mechanical model. This ability to simulate the mechanical model with the control system reduces the need to build costly physical prototypes.”

SimMechanics version 1.0 U.S. list price starts at $4,000, with the total price for a MathWorks virtual prototyping seat (MATLAB, Simulink, SimMechanics, Virtual Reality Toolbox and Control System Toolbox) equaling $10,700.

Control Engineering Daily News DeskGary A. Mintchell, senior editor gmintchell@cahners.com