Interdisciplinary Model-Based Development of mechatronic systems


In modern mechatronic systems more and more functions are fulfilled through IT. Thus, during the development of such systems the dependencies between IT-components and components of other disciplines have to be taken into account in order to assure the overall-functionality of the system and, in case of an interdisciplinary modularization, define optimal module boundaries for all disciplines. Through the short life cycles of software and electrics/electronics frequently changes and updates have to be conducted during later life cycle phases. Thereby, the change influences should be analyzed in a model based approach before they are implemented into the real system.

To face these challenges SysML4Mechatronics has been developed as modeling approach, which enables the modeling of the dependencies and interactions between the components of the different involved disciplines of mechatronic systems (mechanics, electrics/electronics and software). The modeling approach is based on the standardized Systems Modeling Language (SysML), which evolved from the Unified Modeling Language (UML), the de-facto standard modeling language of software development. As SysML was designed as a multi-purpose modeling language it has to be adapted for the specific application domain.


SysML4Mechatronics therefore offers the possibility to specify and model the component interfaces (ports), which can be discipline specific or interdisciplinary. For example, a sensor is on the one hand integrated physically into the system, has a connection to communicate with the PLC, and on the other hand is represented in the software. Accordingly, ports in the different disciplines are necessary.

The modeling approach enables furthermore to combine the discipline specific components to function-oriented interdisciplinary modules. Especially in the automated production systems domain a 1:1:1 modularization (i.e. same module boundaries in each discipline) often is not possible or profitable. In order to face this challenge, SysML4Mechatronics offers the possibility to define mandatory ports in the different disciplines, which have to be fulfilled by components outside of the module.
Through an integration of the required components and modules, the overall system can be modeled in an interdisciplinary way.

Figure 1 shows the described modeling approach at the example of the Pick-and-Place Unit (PPU,

Contact and further information

For further information please contact Dipl.-Ing. Konstantin Kernschmidt

Selected publications

  • Kernschmidt, K.; Vogel-Heuser, B.:
    An interdisciplinary SysML based modeling approach for analyzing change influences in production plants to support the engineering. In: 9th annual IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (IEEE CASE 2013), August 17-21, 2013, Madison, WI, USA
  • Barbieri, G.; Kernschmidt, K.; Fantuzzi, C.; Vogel-Heuser, B.:
    A SysML based design pattern for the high-level development of mechatronic systems to enhance re-usability. In: 19th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC), Cape Town, 2014.
  • Kernschmidt, K.; Barbieri, G.; Fantuzzi, C.; Vogel-Heuser, B.:
    Interdisziplinäre modellbasierte Entwicklung mechatronischer Systeme basierend auf SysML zur Steigerung der Wiederverwendung. In: In: Kongress Automation, 2014, Baden-Baden, Deutschland.
  • Feldmann, S.; Legat, C.; Kernschmidt, K.; Vogel-Heuser, B.: 
    Compatibility and Coalition Forming: Towards the Vision of an Automatic Synthesis of Manufacturing System Designs. In: 23rd IEEE International Symposium on Industrial Electronics, Istanbul, Turkey, 2014.
  • Feldmann, S.; Kernschmidt, K.; Vogel-Heuser, B.:
    Combining a SysML-based modeling approach and semantic technologies for analyzing change influences in manufacturing plant models.

    In: 47th CIRP Conference on Manufacturing Systems (CMS), Ontario, Canada, 2014. 
  • Kernschmidt, K.; Behncke, F.; Chucholowski, N.; Wickel M.; Bayrak, G.;  Lindemann, U.; Vogel-Heuser, B.:
    An integrated approach to analyze change-situations in the development of
    production systems. 

    In: 47th CIRP Conference on Manufacturing Systems (CMS), Ontario, Canada, 2014.
  • Kernschmidt, K.; Feldmann, S.; Vogel-Heuser, B.:
    Analyse von Änderungsauswirkungen in langlebigen Automatisierungssystemen.

    In: 1st Collaborative Workshop on Evolution and Maintenance of Long-Living Systems (EMLS), Kiel, Germany, 2014.