The origination of the term “mechatronics” is credited to Tetsuro Mori, an engineer at the Japanese company Yaskawa, in 1969, who was working to develop an industrial robot. The mechatronics discipline has always given engineers a unique perspective on machine tool design, building and use in the manufacturing world.
However, it was the automotive industry that gave the world the platform-engineering concept by having people from different departments share ideas and develop a synergy. As the automotive industry looked for new and better ways to engineer their machining centers to best serve customers’ requirements, they looked inside the box.
Collective ways to develop synergy was to train current builders in all areas necessary to give them a 30,000-foot view of any project, which puts the mechatronics philosophy in action. Machine tools and highly automated machining centers were better engineered, more easily built and used to benefit the customer in the field. Builders had a skilled team of mechatronic engineers who worked directly with customers to guarantee the machines built will achieve optimum functionality in operation. This process has led, in conjunction with advanced computer and imaging technology plus embedded process control technology developments, to the emergence of virtual production. In a virtual environment, the machining center is used to image, test run and validated for production rates.