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    Home : Application Briefs : Consultants in Mechatronics and Real-Time Control Quickly Produce Multi-Domain System Models

Consultants in Mechatronics and Real-Time Control Quickly Produce Multi-Domain System Models

Application Briefs
 
The Challenge
Quanser Consulting Inc. is a world-leading expert and supplier of academic experimentation in the area of mechatronics and real-time control. Its engineers are responsible for designing and implementing a range of innovative, complex systems to provide solutions for its customers’ needs. The applications of its systems range from simple devices, such as an inverted pendulum on a cart for academic study, to specific solutions for industries in the areas of aerospace, robotics, and biomedical, chemical, and civil engineering.

With the diversity in their application needs, the challenge for Quanser engineers is to quickly and easily create high-fidelity models for their systems. Their system models are the crucial element in facilitating the concurrent design of both the system and its controller, as demanded by the mechatronic approach. Since mechatronic systems are, by definition, multi-disciplinary in nature, Quanser engineers need a modeling tool that can provide flexible support for multi-domain system modeling.

Furthermore, technical documentation on the system model is essential to the success of each project. Having an intuitive documentation environment for creating high-quality technical content is important for not just industrial applications, such as stating significant assumptions made for a particular design, but also for academic study, in the form of course and laboratory curricula.
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The Solution

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Prior to MapleSim, Quanser engineers had already leveraged the flexibility and the state-of-the-art symbolic and numeric computation engine in Maple to create high-fidelity models for all of the systems that they design and develop. Maple’s smart document interface provides the perfect environment for them to deliver high-quality, high-impact technical content to their customers. With the introduction of MapleSim, the Maple advantage is further accelerated with the easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI) and the automatic model equation generation capability. The physical modeling methodology employed within MapleSim re-enforces the mechatronic approach for system design and analysis through its native support of integrated interactions between multi-domain components.

In combination, MapleSim and Maple allow Quanser engineers to significantly reduce the development time of their models from months to weeks, from weeks to days, and from days to hours. As an example, the model of a 3-degrees-of-freedom helicopter experiment, which would have required several days of work to derive its dynamic equations from first principle, was created within a few hours.