Tom Jensen is assembly industry manager at Beckhoff Automation LLC.
Automation investment advice: Implement leading-edge automation technology, achieve a fast return on investment (ROI) and make it simple for the end user to support. These do not have to be mutually exclusive goals for automation technologies.
Original equipment manufacturers need to manage the design process and recognize mechatronic trends to stay ahead of the technology curve. By developing a portfolio of mechanical, electrical, and software modules, it becomes easier to quickly assemble “custom” machines to meet customer requests. Mechatronics is the convergence of power, electronics, and mechanical systems, including embedded software and hardware in engineering design.
Inside Machines: When designing machine motion controls, remember that motion starts at the load. Applications that guide motion system integration decisions can result in a more strategic machine design for more efficient and intuitive operation.