Automotive Electric Motor Control and the Mechatronic Approach

The latest cars require many applications and most of them need merging mechanical actuators and electronics for simplifying the automotive distribution system (electrical), to reduce emissions of CO2 and improve electronics reliability and quality. Mechatronic approaches deal with the optimized and fully integrated design of an entire system to accurately reach the targets. It basically includes actuators, electronic components, mechanics, sensors and all the required signals for data processing. For transferring generic data using physical layers, it communicates with external entities controlling the internal system.

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From the synergistic integration, the comfort related applications to critical ones, almost all the automotive applications can be benefitted. The good part is that the Mechatronics’ use has been increased in the recent years. There are more than fifteen systems and used in cars in a great number such as view mirrors, keyless entry, climate control, electric power steering, ABS brakes, adaptive front lighting and more!

The Mechatronic approaches multiply in the motor (DC) control area like sunroof, window lift, smart motor connectors as well as window lift.  Actually, this approach carries extra advantages for efficient merging mechanics and electronics alongside with the needs above mentioned.

The centralized topologies (traditional) need different interconnect technologies (solder, rivets, joints, etc.) and wiring (distant connections) as the actuator is located far from the control unit. The unnecessary power waste may occur due to lengthy power connections for less compact solution and optimized EMC performance. A single module (electronic) has been constructed using a strong multi-chip module for simple interfacing and compact with a motor housing in a Mechatronics solution, whereas, it has relatively less interconnection if it is compared to the traditional solution.

You will find the built in Mechatronic control devices almost everywhere like aircraft, kitchen appliances, computers, toilet cisterns, or even in power stations. It can be built from the mechanical levers, micro-circuits, magnetic or hydraulic devices. The target is same though it comes in diverse forms and control or regulate the behavior of the process or machine they are part of. However, if they go wrong, they tend to behave in a strange way. And it’s quite difficult for some people to understand it. Some of them are highly specialized and technical and the many reference materials are often removed from the practical application. Luckily, if you learn some fundamental principles, you can easily understand the behavior of it.