Current projects


Derivation of analysis- and synthesis-methods to manage uncertainty in the development of mechatronic systems with sensor integrating machine elements

Initial situation

The integration of sensory functions in standardized machine elements represents a promising approach for the direct measurement of relevant process or status variables in technical or mechatronic systems. These so-called sensing machine elements (SME) enable a deeper understanding of the systems’ behavior and the prevailing operating conditions. The direct measurement of relevant process and state variables at their point of origin in the system, the so-called in situ measurement, fundamentally reduces uncertainty. The transmission path of a measurand from its point of origin in the mechatronic system via the sensing machine element to the receiving process controller is shown schematically in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Transmission path of measurand in a mechatronic system with integrated SME

However, occurring disturbance factors can exert an influence on the entire transmission path of the measurand and thus falsify the signal S* received from the process controller. In order to manage the resulting uncertainty effectively, a systematic approach is required in form of applicable methods, models as well as guidelines.

Project aims

The aim of this project is to develop methods, models and guidelines for the analysis and synthesis of mechatronic systems with SME, which enable a reliable and reproducible acquisition of measurands and their transmission in form of signals, even under the influence of disturbance factors. The focus is on the qualitative management of occurring uncertainty, which is caused by influencing disturbance factors.


First, the UMEA methodology already developed at pmd for the analysis of uncertainty in load-carrying systems is extended with regard to the methods and models included therein in order to be able to identify disturbance factors acting on the entire transmission path of the measurand and to qualitatively describe their influence and effect on the signal S^* received at the process controller. Subsequently, robust design (RD) guidelines for the synthesis of mechatronic systems with integrated SME are elaborated, which allow the uncertainty resulting from the acting disturbance factors to be managed. In the next step, the developed methods and models for the analysis of occurring uncertainty as well as the elaborated RD guidelines are combined and coordinated in a superordinate methodology. The result is a methodology whose application secures the robust integration of SME into mechatronic systems. The procedure of this resulting methodology is illustrated in Figure 2 using a mechatronic system with an integrated sensing compensating coupling.

Figure 2: Exemplary application of the resulting methodology to a mechatronic system with an integrated sensing compensating coupling

Finally, the experimental validation of the developed methodology is conducted using exemplary mechatronic systems with integrated SME.