AnandY, yes, that's what I'm hearing -- that simulation save plenty of time in set-up. One thing I'm curious about is whether simulation also offers opportunity to make the system generally more efficient -- since it seems you would be able to entertain more variables and thus get the optimal configuration.
Nice overview of how integrated control works and its importance. Another illustration of integrated control is to think of all the gears and cams in the system as a series of switches all located within the same small box. The small box, in this context, is the centralized controller from where all the cams and gears can be moved.
Rob, simulation gives you an idea that your engineering concept is correct and that you have correctly managed to come up with an engineering solution to a problem, thats it. You might add alot of constraints and try to mimc the real time environment but you are never sure of the random errors that might appear in real time environment. So generally you have to tune your parametrs according to the real environment almost always. But then again simulation is a verification that your engineering solution is workable and is highly important.
I totally agree with you Rob, the virtualization of prototypes through Computer aided design programs has made everything a lot more efficient. As designers, we no longer have to build a physical prototype only to have to restart the whole process after the prototype fails to function because of a simple miss during the design stage.
Nice article Rob, I believe that simulation actually covers most of the issues. It will deal with almost of all of your design and engineering concept related problems. But many other random variables play there role during hardware assembly. The concept may be flawless but testing it in a real environment under various possible conditions is equally essential, especially for industrial automation!
Nice Point, I was actually wondering the same thing. There should be some redundant wire as well along with the main wire, that will work when one fails. Its still going to be less jumbled up and will provide even better safety!
Rob, Modeling techniques do not solve all of the problems. You still have to make the assemblies, perform a "shake-down cruse", and make the necessary evaluations. One HUGE issue is making sure the safety features; i.e. light curtains, palm switches, etc etc are in place and interlocked with controls on the equipment. In my experience, this is accomplished, at least verified, only when the equipment is fully assembled and operating. Again, excellent post.
Linear guides are one of the most important components required for the design of automated or computer-controlled equipment. Aluminum profile extrusions, used for these guides, can enable designed-in functional features.
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