In 2018, Deloitte announced that we’re amidst the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In other words, the notion of digitizing everything has become a reality over the last couple years. Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, robotics, automation, and other advanced technologies, we can now capture data, explore concepts, and create products more efficiently than ever before.
The rise in technology, mechanization, and digitalization has had an undeniable impact on manufacturing as we know it. Manufacturing is now among the most high-tech, cutting-edge industries today, full of talented innovators and creators. If you are considering an exciting career that involves hands-on, high-tech work, you may be interested in manufacturing.
Within manufacturing, there are many different, digital specialties you can pursue. One of the most common paths in advanced manufacturing today is CNC machining, which is a computerized method of creating goods. One of the lesser known, but fast emerging paths in manufacturing, is mechatronics.
What is Mechatronics?
Mechatronics is a multi-faceted field that combines several types of engineering (mechanical, computer, and electrical) with machining, robotics, and information technology. The goal of mechatronics is to identify and manage new, efficient, and smart machines that can improve manufacturing operations.
Mechatronics is a recently developed field, designed to meet the needs of our advancing manufacturing industry. It started as a way to integrate pieces of mechanical systems (such as hydraulics and pneumatics) with computerized control systems, but quickly became essential to modern manufacturing processes. Today, there is great demand for high-quality goods – ones made with precision and accuracy. At the same time, there is a need to improve production, through automation and technology, to help reduce emissions and costs. Mechatronics, also known as mechatronics engineering, provides that very solution. It keeps production running smoothly, safely, and efficiently.
Why is Mechatronics Important?
As noted above, mechatronics is improving the world of manufacturing, one automated solution at a time. It makes production more affordable for manufacturers, and makes higher quality goods for consumers, in faster than traditional time. Mechatronics has become an integrated part of modern manufacturing for this reason – not to mention, has helped produce mechanical-electrical systems such as anti-lock brake systems in cars.
What is a Mechatronics Engineer?
Mechatronics engineers, commonly known as mechatronics technicians or electro-mechanical technicians, are the heart behind the work. They combine their knowledge of mechanical technology and electrical circuits to advance manufacturing forward. These professionals are responsible for operating, testing, and maintaining automated, robotic, or electromechanical equipment. Common duties of a mechatronics technician include:
- Reading blueprints, schematics, and diagrams
- Using precision measuring instruments
- Operating metalworking machines
- Inspecting, repairing, and calibrating hydraulic and pneumatic parts
- Testing the performance of electro-mechanical assemblies
- Installing electronic parts and hardware
- Operating, testing, or maintaining robotic equipment
- Analyzing and recording test results, often through written documentation
The work of a mechatronics engineer will vary by employer and workplace. Some design, develop, and manage high-tech and automated engineering systems. Others might apply those solutions to the manufacturing of consumer products, such as cameras. Occasionally, they will be solely responsible for studying and testing the feasibility and performance benefits of new mechatronics equipment.
How to Get Into a Mechatronics Career
As much as we might think robots are going to take over our jobs, the field of mechatronics (and manufacturing as a whole) will always need human workers like you. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, electro-mechanical technicians in the U.S. can expect to earn an average of $58,350 annually.
How do you get into mechatronics, exactly? Mechatronics technicians typically need to have a postsecondary certificate or an associate degree in this field of work, says the BLS. Some level of college education will prepare you in advanced topics like industrial robotics, computer-aided design, electrical schematics, electrical maintenance, hydraulics and pneumatics, and more. The right program will also prepare you with practical training in the field. Once you earn the proper education, you may also consider becoming certified in the field.
Goodwin University has partnered with the German American Chamber of Commerce to offer a full-time Mechatronics Systems certification program – designed to get students into careers they love. Our classes combine hands-on training – in-field and in our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility – with innovative classroom instruction.
Upon finishing your classes, which take just three semesters, you can earn professional certification. Specifically, you will earn IHK (Industrie und Handelskammer) certification by the German American Chamber of Commerce, indicating that your knowledge and skills are aligned with German quality manufacturing standards.
The future of manufacturing is now. Now is the time to enter this fast-emerging field of mechatronics. To learn how to get started at Goodwin University, call 800-889-3282 or visit us online today.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.