6 Difference Between Machine And Mechanism (With Chart)

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What A Machine?

A machine is a mechanical structure that uses power to apply forces and control movement to perform an intended action. Machine can be simple like a lever or pulley or they can be more complex like computers and sensors that monitor performance and plan movement, often referred to as mechanical system. Machines are usually powered by chemical, thermal or electrical means and are often motorized.

Though all machines are mechanisms, all mechanisms are not machines. A machine has two functions: transmitting definite relative motion and transmitting force. These functions require strength and rigidity to transmit the forces.

What You Need To Know About Machine

  1. If the system is used with an objective of transforming mechanical energy, then it is described as a machine.
  2. Every machine has to transmit motion because mechanical work is associated with the motion and thus makes use of mechanisms.
  3. A machine can use one or more than one mechanism to perform the desired function.
  4. Machines are meant for doing some useful work.
  5. A machine may contain several mechanism and other elements.
  6. Shaping machine, lather machine, screw jack etc are examples of machines.

What Is A Mechanism?

A mechanism is the heart of a machine. It is the mechanical portion of a machine that has the function of transferring motion and forces from a power source to an output. Mechanisms are assemblage of rigid members (links) connected together by joints also referred to as Mechanical linkage or linkage.

Mechanisms generally consist of moving components that can include:

  • Gears and gear trains
  • Belt and chain drives
  • Cam and followers
  • Linkage
  • Friction devices such as brakes and clutches
  • Structural components such as a frame, fasteners, bearings, springs, lubricants
  • Various machine elements such as splines, pins and keys.

What You Need To Know About Mechanism

  1. If a machine is used with the objective to transfer or transform motion without considering forces involved, the system is said to be a mechanism.
  2. The mechanism is concerned with the transfer of motion only.
  3. A mechanism is a single system to transfer or transform motion.
  4. The main function of mechanism is to transmit or modify motion.
  5. A mechanism consists of several links joined together.
  6. Oscillating cylinder mechanism and scotch yoke mechanism are examples of mechanism.

Difference Between Machine And Mechanism In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON MACHINE MECHANISM
Description If the system is used with an objective of transforming mechanical energy, then it is described as a machine.   If a machine is used with the objective to transfer or transform motion without considering forces involved, the system is said to be a mechanism.
Main Function Every machine has to transmit motion because mechanical work is associated with the motion and thus makes use of mechanisms.   The mechanism is concerned with the transfer of motion only.  
Nature A machine can use one or more than one mechanism to perform the desired function.   A mechanism is a single system to transfer or transform motion.  
Components A machine may contain several mechanism and other elements.   A mechanism consists of several links joined together.  
Examples Shaping machine, lather machine, screw jack etc are examples of machines.   Oscillating cylinder mechanism and scotch yoke mechanism are examples of mechanism.