Conceptual design approach for mechatronic systems controlled by a programmable logic controller (PLC)
Traditionally, the development of mechatronic products starts with the mechanical design. Later electronic components and program logic for the product are added. This work proposes an improved interdisciplinary concurrent product development process with an extended function structure, starting from the conceptual design phase. The new methodology is based on the German design guideline VDI 2221  . In this work transition conditions, time aspects and logic flow are added to the normal
... to the normal function structure. An example shows how to use the extended function structure. The extended function structure is used to derive the initial logic used for the development of the PLC program controlling the machine later on. Since the extended function structure also covers the traditional information, it can still be used when building the assembly tree. By adding more information in the neutral function structure, the same information can be used for the mechanical design as well as for the control logic. The interdisciplinary communication and documentation among the engineers will be improved and errors in the concept will be detected earlier.