The definition of the conceptual design phase has been expressed in many different phrasings, but all of them lead to the same conclusion. The conceptual design phase is of the highest importance during the design process, due to the fact that many crucial decisions concerning the progress of the design need to be taken with very little to none information and knowledge about the design object. This implies to very high uncertainty about the effects that these decisions will have later on. During the conceptual design of a mechatronic system, the system to be designed is modeled, and several solutions (alternatives) to the design problem are generated and evaluated so that the most fitting one to the design specifications and requirements is chosen. The purpose of this chapter is to mention some of the most widely used methods of system modeling, mainly through hierarchical representations of their subsystems, and also to present a method for the generation and evaluation of the design alternatives.
Part of the book: Emerging Trends in Mechatronics