The question arises what is industrial automation?
Industrial automation is the process that makes use of control systems, like computers or robots, information technologies for handling different processes and machines in an industry to replace a human being. It is the second step in the scope of industrialization.
In other words, industrial automation can be defined as the set of technologies and automatic control devices.
These technologies help in achieving superior performance than manual control.
Increase Quality and Flexibility in Manufacturing Process
In the past time, the purpose of automation was limited to increase productivity and to reduce the cost that is associated with human.
Cost associated with human includes wages & benefits.
Now- a- days, the focus of automation has shifted towards increasing quality and flexibility in a manufacturing process.
Advantages of Industrial Automation:
Industrial automation reduces healthcare costs, paid leave and holidays associated with a human.
It doesn’t need any employee benefits like bonuses, pension etc.
Although it is associated with a high initial cost that save the monthly wages of the workers which leads to substantial cost savings for the company.
The cost of maintenance associated with machinery is less because it does not often fail. In case of failure, only computer and maintenance engineers are required to repair it.
- Increase productivity
Many companies hire hundreds of production workers to run the plant for the maximum number of hours.
However, the plants have to be closed for maintenance and holidays.
Industrial automation plays the important role in achieving this task.
It allows the company to run a manufacturing plant for 24 hours in a day 7 days in a week and 365 days a year.
It leads to a significant improvement in the productivity of the company.
- Increase Quality
Automation eliminates the error associated with a human being. Usually, unlike human beings, robots do not involve any fatigue, which results in products with uniform quality manufactured at different times.
- Improve flexibility
Usually, when a new task is introduced, it requires to provide training to the employees but, robots can be programmed to do any task.
It makes the manufacturing process more flexible.
- Improve Information Accuracy Rate
Automated data collection can help you to collect production information, improve data accuracy, and reduce your data collection costs.
Thus, it helps you to make the right decisions and improving your processes.
- High safety Rate
Industrial automation can make the production safe for the employees by assigning dangerous tasks to the robots.
Disadvantages of Industrial Automation:
High Initial costs:
The initial cost to switch from a human production line to an automatic production line is very high. Also, a substantial cost is included.
Substantial costs include assigning training to employees to handle this new sophisticated equipment.
The future of industrial automation:
Though, the future of industrial automation is quite bright.
Now-a-days, Engineers are focusing on improving the current industrial robots to provide future robots that can multi-function.
Through automation, only one machine can execute a lot of different industrial duties.
However, the industrial robots are projected to have more capabilities, like human workers, such as the ability to make decisions and to work autonomously.
Advancement in automation means that the future factories will be quite efficient in the utilization of raw materials, human resources, energy etc.