The Association of German Engineers
The Association of German Engineers (VDI) > Engineering > VDI Societies > Product and Process Design > Product Development and Mechatronics
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Product Development and Mechatronics

A successful company not only has to offer outstanding technical products – it also has to keep an eye on economic principles during design. The focus is increasingly on the sustainability of a product. In this connection, the technical division Product Development and Mechatronics deals with machine systems, mechatronic systems, development/design methodology, technology management and information processing in design.

Methodical development of solution principles, methodical design and technical-economical design are the basis for the success of companies in the marketplace. The analysis of the design process, deadline and capacity planning and the economic decisions made during design are indispensable for this. More than ever, the possibility of later recycling and re-use must be taken into account during product development. Suitable data processing and documentation systems must be used. Recycling-friendly design makes a valuable contribution to the long-term success of development and design.

The further development of the individual elements such as screw connections and seal connections and the refinement of the calculation methods are necessary focuses of efforts in future. Thinking in systems, for instance in mechatronics, will provide further approaches to solutions.


The Technical Division Product Development and Mechatronics currently deals with the following topics:

Information processing in product development and design
The development of high-quality technical products on schedule and on budget requires numerous calculation tasks of various types to be solved during the design process. The scope of duties to be accomplished by designers covers a large number of engineering disciplines such as the design of machine elements, strength calculations, kinematic considerations and flow calculations as well as thermodynamic considerations and calculations of electric fields.
The increasingly rapid execution of even the most complex calculations puts the designer in a position to examine, in the course of product development, alternative suggestions for solutions with regard to the fulfilment of their function and to calculate variants with regard to geometrical material parameters and different technical solutions.


Product development processes and design methodology
The competitive manufacture of technical products is affected to a considerable extent by the efficiency of the development and design process. This process is characterized by a wide range of problems to be solved, company-specific conditions and development trends in markets and work procedures. A generally useful methodology for the development and design of technical systems and products must take this diversity into account if it is to do justice to the requirements of the practical sphere.


VDI-GGT joint commission Gerontotechnik®
(barrier-free products and services for all generations/convenient solutions for a better life with technology)
The demographic change will permanently alter business life and the world of work in Germany over the next thirty years, bringing great challenges for the economy in the process. This requires a rapid change of ideas in the design of products, services and jobs. We are getting older and working longer. At the same time, there is a growing expectation to live independently and stay mobile for as long as possible. For this we need technical solutions today. These must meet the requirements of older people in particular while offering a life of more comfort to all generations alike.

The aims of Gerontotechnik® are as follows:

  • Development of technical solutions aiming at supporting an independent lifestyle and increasing well-being. The focus here is on the over-50s, but this is only the core target group.
  • Adaptation of products, services and jobs to human patterns of behaviour, life circumstances and lifestyles. Adapt technology to suit people – not the other way round!
  • Achievement of an acceptance of technology which spans the generations by providing convincing benefits. 
  • Creation of barrier-free living environments for everyone - easily, safely and reliably!

The VDI would like to actively support these aims. This is why it cooperates with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gerontotechnology GGT (German Society for Gerontotechnology) in Iserlohn, founding the VDI/GGT joint committee Gerontotechnik® with it in 2010. Standards for the design of gerontotechnological solutions are to come into being there under the umbrella of the Technical Division Product Development and Mechatronics. All experts from science and industry who can provide skills or experience here are welcome to do so.