Engineering system co-design with limited plant redesign

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rather than designing engineering systems from the ground up, engineers often redesign strategic portions of existing systems to accommodate emerging needs. In the redesign of mechatronic systems, engineers typically seek to meet the requirements of a new application via control redesign only, but this is often insufficient and physical system (plant) design changes must be explored. Here, an integrated approach is presented for the redesign of mechatronic systems involving partial plant redesign that avoids costly complete redesign. Candidate plant modifications are identified using sensitivity analysis, and then an optimization problem is solved that minimizes redesign cost while satisfying system requirements. This formal methodology for Plant-Limited Co-Design (PLCD) is demonstrated using a robotic manipulator design problem. The PLCD result costs significantly less than the full redesign, and parametric studies illustrate the tradeoff between redesign cost and performance. It is shown that the proposed sensitivity analysis results in the lowest cost limited redesign.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-217
Number of pages18
JournalEngineering Optimization
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014


  • Control
  • Design optimization
  • Energy efficiency
  • Passive dynamics
  • Robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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