Industrial automation began with the invention of the computer numerical control devices for high-precision aerospace manufacturing in the United States during the Second World War. These devices were controlled by some of the early industrial computing systems. But until the 1950s, they still required a significant amount of human input.
Industrial automation is one of the most notable and impactful steps toward solving the above-mentioned problem. The use of data-driven control systems, such as computers, process robots, or controllers, to operate machinery or industrial processes in a way that eliminates the necessity for human intervention is known as industrial automation.
By using new, creative, and integrated technologies and services, Industrial Automation helps to improve product quality, reliability, and production rate while lowering manufacturing and design costs.
What is Industrial Automation?
Automation is a sort of mechanization that completes a task by combining a specialized machinery mechanism with human operators. Mechanization is the manual operation of a task that uses powered machinery and relies on human decision-making.
Automation, on the other hand, replaces human interaction with logical programming commands and sophisticated machinery. The replacement of human intellect with computers and equipment is known as industrial automation.
Industrial automation, in a nutshell, is the use of pre-programmed technologies and automatic control devices to automate and control industrial processes without requiring significant human interaction, resulting in greater performance over manual control. PCs, PLCs, PACs, and other automation appliances, as well as various industrial communication systems, are among the technologies used.
The Importance of Industrial Automation
Industrial automation is important not just because it is cost-effective, but also because it has allowed many businesses to replace humans for the most monotonous, time-consuming operations and provide more value to their production lines than ever before.
With the introduction of automated industry, particularly in the 19th century, manpower was required to operate inordinately more powerful industrial machinery than ever before.
The power of these machines, on the other hand, rendered people more of a servant to them than a master concept that was frequently portrayed in early twentieth-century art, such as Fritz Laing’s iconic film “Metropolis.”
Acolytes of theories like Taylorism, where every human action in industrial space was indefinitely repeated and – inevitably – obliged to be done at an even higher rate of productivity, avoided these same themes.
For still basic industrial manufacturing processes, industrial automation reduced the need for human control. This resulted in the displacement of some jobs, but it also made the remaining human employment more productive, creative, and satisfying than the old industrial jobs.
In many respects, automation permitted the growth of the knowledge economy and white-collar occupations – including, of course, those programming industrial automation systems – as well as the leisure that the service economy provides, as well as the global development of material prosperity.
The Benefits of Industrial Automation
Henry Ford’s assembly line, according to some, was the first example of industrial automation. Industrial automation, on the other hand, has evolved far beyond the assembly line.
It comprises the employment of robot-controlled or high-powered computer-controlled technologies. Control systems manage information technologies that handle procedures and duties that were previously handled by humans.
There are various advantages to switching to automation,
Quality that is more consistent:
A uniform product is produced by an automated industry.
There are fewer accidents: Any dangerous duties in the production process will be taken over by a well-designed industrial automation system, lowering the risk of an employee accident.
Productivity has increased: Even when the corresponding labor force diminishes, automation enhances production dramatically.
Tools that are related to automation
Depending on the tool used, industrial automation has a variety of effects on the manufacturing process. Here’s a rundown of the most common industrial control components.
Distributed Control System:
DCS is an acronym for Distributed Control System. A distributed control system is a control system with many control loops. Throughout the system, there are various autonomous controllers. Large manufacturing operations, such as chemical or water treatment plants, oil refineries, or nuclear power plants, utilize these systems. For example, Mark IV General Electric turbine control systems utilized DCS after mark III. DS3800DDIB, DS3800DCMC1C1C components are part of this series.
Robots are machines that improve their processes through machine learning. They can use embedded control or programming from an external device to carry out complex activities automatically. By doing dangerous operations, robotics improve automation quality, increase production flow, and reduce the risk of labor damage.
Human Machine Interface, or HMI:
HMI is a term that refers to how humans interact with machines. An HMI is a graphical user interface that allows an operator to interact with a controller. This frequently incorporates a touchpad or a touch panel.
HMIs, on the other hand, can now be embedded into mobile devices such as smartphones thanks to IoT technology.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, or SCADA, is an acronym for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. For high-level commands, SCADA control systems use computers, GUIs (graphical user interfaces), and networked data communications. Networked modules handle real-time control computations from field sensors and actuators. This information is fed up to the supervisory level via many levels of control.
This is used to translate and analyze data. In terms of function, SCADA is comparable to DCS systems, but it employs a variety of methods to control all aspects of the plant. Industrial systems are becoming increasingly complex, and they frequently require connectivity via IoT data communications.
Programmable Logic Controller:
A PLC is a type of industrial digital computer that is used to automate manufacturing processes. Even when used for a long time, PLCs can withstand extreme environments. PLCs are used in the control systems of robotic equipment and assembly lines.
Summary – Industrial Automation
Henry Ford’s assembly line, according to some, was the first example of industrial automation. Industrial automation, on the other hand, has evolved far beyond the assembly line. It comprises the employment of robot-controlled or high-powered computer-controlled technologies. Control systems manage information technologies that handle procedures and duties that were previously handled by humans.
On the shop floors of manufacturing plants and in board rooms around the world, manufacturers are debating the question of industrial automation. Manufacturing businesses can no longer afford to ignore industrial automation. Industrial automation must be considered in modern manufacturing situations in order to maintain a competitive level of competitiveness.
Suppliers like World of Controls have an extensive range of refurbished, quality, and reconditioned automation components from companies like GE, Bently Nevada.