Why Industrial Automation & Robotics in Mechanical Engineering if it's more electricity?


Thread Starter

Rushi Shroff

In India, M. Tech course of Industrial Automation & Robotics is under Mechanical department. Generally Electronic & Instrumentation/Communication/Electrical engineers are process control engineers.

Why it is under Mechanical Engineering department?

Bruce Durdle

The first rule of control engineering is that you can't hope to control anything unless you understand how it works. While the tools currently in use for control are primarily electronic, the equipment being controlled is mechanical (in the case of robotics) or chemical (for process control).

I have seen a couple of amazing cock-ups (and one near-miss that could have been disastrous) because this rule was ignored.

James Ingraham

You could argue that "Process Control" is essentially unrelated to "Industrial Automation & Robotics." In process control everything is continuous and analog. Flow, pressure, temperature, etc. Once the process is complete and you get discrete units (boxes, cans, etc.) you switch over to "automation." Now you're dealing with on/off. Motors, sensors, actuators, etc. I have vastly over-simplified, but the point stands.

While electrical controls are important in automation, they are always controlling something mechanical. A mechanical engineer sizes a conveyor (or whatever) based on weight and friction and duty cycle and speed, and other physical attributes. The motor to drive the conveyor is based on the mechanical power needed. The drive mechanism is chosen based on how the load should move. etc., etc., etc.

-James Ingraham
Sage Automation, Inc.