Mechatronics requires synergistic ways of looking at design tools and drive systems. Precisely designed components -- motors, drives, and gearboxes -- can be viewed as standardized modular units fulfilling requirements for speed, torque, motion sequence, dynamics, and positioning accuracy. (Source: Lenze Americas)
While I found the concepts introduced in this article very interesting, I struggled throughout as well. By placing the enineering burden from three major disciplines on one person without the benefit of additional perspectives that come from having a team is not a direction that I would normally pursue. Most folks recognize the value of interacting with their colleagues that specialize in other areas. Whenever I would build a test set, building a test fixture was a very important part of the design. Having very limited mechanical engineering ability, I consulted with the guys that had that expertise...and through our collaboration an effective test fixture design would emerge. I would respectfully disagree with the scenario of a very unintelligent design that did not work well because it was built by three different engineers with differing fields of expertise.
It seems to me that in order to educate a mechatronics engineer would also take an even more intensive education with a much more expanded degree plan - something a lot of folks would not be able to afford time-wise or financially - but if they didn't get a good education they would be a "jack of all trades and master of none" which might do well for home projects but not for industry.
The new composites manufacturing innovation center is intended to be a source of grand challenges for industry, like the kind that got us to the moon under JFK. These aren't the words its new CEO Craig Blue used, but that's the idea and the vision behind the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.