7th International Heinz Nixdorf Symposium

Self-optimizing Mechatronic Systems:
Design the Future

February 20-21, 2008, Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum, Paderborn

  • Technologies for tomorrow´s Mechanical Engineering Products
  • Dependability and Software Engineering
  • Design Methods and Tools

Mechatronics and Self-optimization

The integration of mechanical engineering and information technology results in extensive potentials. This is expressed by the term “mechatronics”. This term refers to the symbiotic cooperation of mechanics, electronics, control engineering and software technology, in order to improve the behavior of a technical system. Future mechatronical systems encompass subsystems with inherent partial intelligence due to integrated micro processors. The behavior of the complete system will be characterized by communication and cooperation of intelligent subsystems. From the information technology point of view it is a distributed system of cooperating agents. This establishes fascinating possibilities for the design of mechatronical products of tomorrow. The term Self-optimization characterizes this perspective: Self-optimization of a technical system is the endogenous adaption of objectives as reaction to changing influences and the resulting autonomous adjustment of parameters or structure and consequently of the system‘s behavior. Thus Self-optimization is substantially beyond the well-known control and adaptation strategies; Self-optimization enables systems to act with inherent “intelligence”, to react independently and flexibly to changing operation conditions.

Challenges on the way to tommorow's technical systems

While there are many application examples of mechatronics, the potential of Self-optimization in mechanical engineering appears only in rough outlines. It obviously needs fantasy to define machines with inherent partial intelligence.
Substantial preconditions for the accomplishment of this challenge are the scientific explorationand an adequate presentation for engineering issues of the paradigm of Self-optimization.
The second challenge is the development of a methodology to design self-optimizing mechanical systems. As outstanding characteristic designers cannot anticipate all constellations and the entire behavior. Former design decisions shift from the design into the operation phase of intelligent systems.


Program (PDF)