Mechanical engineering has eased our everyday activities by creating technologies that are essential for modern society
The use of problem-solving techniques and applying them to design and manufacturing of an object is called Mechanical Engineering. A mechanical engineer turns a concept into a real life product with the help of creative and analytical knowledge. Mechanical engineering has an important role in manufacturing technologies, right from cars to aircraft. Many technologies would not have existed without mechanical engineering which makes it an essential subdivision of engineering.
Over the next 20 years, mechanical engineers will be summoned to create technologies that promote a clean, healthy, safe, and sustainable global environment. According to a report by ASME, the vision for the year 2028 for mechanical engineers is that they will need to work together with partners all over the world to utilise innovative solutions and best practices. This will be done in order to improve the life quality of people.
The report also states that professionals in the domain of mechanical engineering are likely to be at the forefront to develop ground breaking technology for environmental remediation, power generation, farming, food production, housing, transportation, safety, security, healthcare, water resources and harvesting of renewable energy resources.
The report says that sustainable development will be a common vision in the technical community worldwide. It will involve collaborating tools that will permit mechanical engineers to help them get the collective wisdom of those already in the field. This collaboration will also catalyse the development in the domains of automation, nanotechnology, and large-scale systems. In the next 20 years, both nanotechnology and automation will takeover the technological development. These technologies will also be a part of all aspects of technology that affect the daily lives of people.
Being a vast discipline, mechanical engineering effectively covers everything that can move. It is so wide due to the fact that it covers areas of design and manufacturing of anything that has a moving system. It ranges from the smallest components of a system to the finished machine and equipment as a whole. There have been various innovations in the field of mechanics that have ranged from classic ‘simple’ machine to complex concepts like CNC.
Wheel, Pulleys, Airplanes, Ships, Printing Press, Motors are some of the innovations that came to life in the past and are still a part of our lives today. These inventions have made our day to day life easier and are a gift of mechanical engineering to mankind.
A recent invention created with the help of mechanical engineering is called the Acoustic Wave Separation. This uniquely patented technology cleans (separates) water and other liquids from contaminants. The secret behind this ground-breaking technology is acoustic waves that clear all types of foreign substances like radioactive material, hydrocarbons, bacteria, chemical additives, salt and other substances, without using any chemicals or filters. It was created with the aim to process 378541 litres a day for the oil and gas industry. The same technology can be used to clean blood during surgery and has multiple uses in the gene and cell therapy.
Another recent creation in the field of mechanical engineering is an Ultrasonic Tubular Reactor. This reactor produces Biodiesel from waste cooking oil. Biodiesel is a renewable substitute of petroleum diesel and it has a number of benefits. It increases the security of energy, improves the quality of air and environment, and has safety benefits. The invention of the Ultrasonic Tubular Reactor is path breaking as the production of Biodiesel will prove to be beneficial in daily lives of people.
The innovations in the field of Mechanical Engineering have enabled us to perform many tasks with ease, without realising the great technology that lies behind them. The inventions have met a wide range of human needs and have helped the society at large.
Sanjeev Sharma is a Professor and Head IEDC, Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Landran