Understanding Electro-Mechanical Engineering: An Introduction to Mechatronics (IEEE Press Understanding Science & Technology Series)

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With a focus on electromechanical systems in a variety of fields, this accessible introductory text brings you coverage of the full range of electrical-mechanical devices used today.

You’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the design process and get valuable insights into good design practice.

UNDERSTANDING ELECTROMECHANICAL ENGINEERING will be of interest to anyone in need of a non-technical, interdisciplinary introduction to the thriving field of mechatronics.

From the Inside Flap

Understanding Electro-Mechanical Engineering: An Introduction to Mechatronics by Lawrence J. Kamm
A Volume in the IEEE Press Understanding Science & Technology Series


“An outstanding job in identifying and describing virtually all electro-mechanical devices in existence today.” —Dennis Lieu, University of California, Berkeley

“Thorough, detailed, and written at a comprehensible level.” —Seymour Kremen, Engineering Consultant

“Larry Kamm combines electrical and mechanical engineering to the highest degree of theoretical knowledge and practical experience.” —Jacob Rabinow, Consultant

Widely practiced, but rarely taught, the principles of electro-mechanical (mechatronic) devices and systems are of more relevance to electrical engineering than ever before.

Electro-mechanical devices such as keyboards, printers, and hard and floppy disk drives are parts of every computer system. Microminiature electro-mechanical devices etched from silicon are now key transducers and motors.

With a focus on electro-mechanical devices and systems in a variety of fields, this accessible introductory text brings you coverage of the full range of electromechanical devices used today.

You’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the design process and get valuable insights into good design practice. Understanding Electro-Mechanical Engineering will be of interest to anyone in need of a non-technical, interdisciplinary introduction to the thriving field of mechatronics.

Preface

A rocket streaks across the sky, guided by electro-mechanical gyroscopes and accelerometers. A cardiologist diagnoses a patient, helped by an electro-mechanical electro-cardiograph.

A scientist explores a law of nature on a computer, its data stored on electro-mechanical tape and disk memories. And the cardiologist and the scientist eat breakfasts prepared with electro-mechanical toasters.

In the real world, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering are inextricably entwined. Every electrical device is a mechanical device designed for its electrical properties and manufactured in a factory of mechanical machines; many mechanical devices are partly electrical and most are made by machines that are electrically powered and electrically controlled.

Electro-mechanical engineering is interdisciplinary. Electro-mechanical engineering deals with devices and systems combining electrical and mechanical phenomena. The art has been growing for over a century, but only recently has a new name – mechatronics – been applied, hence the title of this book.

A voltage amplifier is purely electrical; a steam engine is purely mechanical; but a motor, solenoid, switch, computer disk drive, and autopilot are electro-mechanical.

This book is for engineers who are already involved with electromechanical devices and systems and for those who only want to broaden their general knowledge. It is for both electrical and mechanical engineers and for engineering students who are considering entering the field.

Because the book contains almost no mathematics, it can be understood by technicians and laypersons who do not have formal engineering training. It will help engineering managers to understand and judge what their people are up to. It will help you to use electro-mechanical devices in your work, and it may even tempt you into venturing into the field as a profession.

The essays on design apply to engineering design in general, not just to the design of electromechanical devices and systems.

This book is a qualitative survey of principles and examples. It contains almost no performance or size data except some suggestions of magnitude; there are many orders of magnitude in the electrical and mechanical parameters involved and in the accuracy of the devices dealt with.

Many an electro-mechanical device is designed by a team of electrical and mechanical engineers, each understanding little of the capabilities and limitations of the other’s art. The result can suggest the classic definition of a camel as a horse designed by a committee. But if both arts reside in the same mind, both arts can be combined in an optimum design.

I learned this as a young engineer in the relay business. After endless hours of wrangling with a mechanical designer with whom I shared mutual ignorance, I sat myself down at a drawing board and the result was a revelation.

Scattered through the book are essays on systems, devices, history, design, and engineering philosophies that relate to the subject matter. If my statements are controversial, so much the better.

I hope my experience will stretch your imagination and help your career – and do so with interesting and easy reading.

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