What is industrial automation?
For years, the process of automation has generated exponential changes in the way we live and work. It seems incredible to imagine that much of what we know today is intimately linked to technological advances, as we live in an era in which automatic tools facilitate every aspect of our lives and daily activities.
Without a doubt, technological evolution represents an increasingly indispensable advance, not only in our lives, but also in the world of companies, industries and sales. All these changes and progress are an imminent response to the needs of human beings. Currently, industrial automation is an increasingly common method in the contemporary world, since the mechanical and computerized work of some machines is more in demand to perform different tasks on a daily basis.
If you still do not know what industrial automation is, in this post you will see its fundamental aspects. We are also going to explain the functionality of this tool today.
What is industrial automation?
Historically, the need to create effective tools to improve and drive the production, distribution and marketing of products has been a constant job for humans. For these reasons, industrial automation is an indispensable tool when it comes to manufacturing a quantity of high-quality products in record time, since its main function lies in creating machines and technological systems capable of performing repetitive and mechanical tasks that can replace the human intervention and increase production. The automation of industrial processes, therefore, allows manufacturing time to be reduced, operators to reduce their workload and the margin of error to be less and less in the production area.
What is industrial automation for?
Although industrial automation has a fairly broad functionality, it is important to emphasize some benefits of this process:
Basically, industrial automation allows not only to increase the production of different products, but also for their manufacture to be more homogeneous and of quality.
Being a computerized process, the margin of error that exists in production is very low, so that the manufacture of products will always be constant and without interruptions.
For companies or industries, this mechanism allows reducing both manufacturing times and costs in materials and labor.
Although industrial automation is thought to pose a threat to operators of industries or companies, it is important to note that its functionality has made it possible to reduce the use of people in polluting or harmful environments. In the same way, this tool has been essential to carry out jobs that require the transfer or loading of large goods and that, logically, an operator cannot perform.
The truth is that industrial automation companies not only have a fairly broad functionality in the production sector, but it is also a profitable tool for any company or industry, which can make the investment profitable in record time.
Now that we know what industrial automation is and its functionality, let’s see where this process can be applied.
Application of industrial automation
Since we understand that this mechanism’s main objective is to increase production while improving the quality of products and reducing costs and risks, it is possible to intuit that industrial automation and robotics is integrated in companies or sectors of food, metallurgy, pharmaceutical, automotive and even chemical industries. Let us remember that although there are automatic machines that allow moving objects and goods, it is also possible to find technological tools capable of differentiating between volume, weight and the elements that make up a product, therefore, industrial automation can be applied in different areas.
Types of industrial automation
Being a fairly broad and innovative field of study, it is important to differentiate between the types of industrial automation that exist. Logically, the type of automation will depend on the objective of the company or industry when it comes to manufacturing its products.
If you want to produce identical parts in large volumes, fixed automation is the ideal tool to carry out this action. This type of automation is designed to carry out a specific task that can also be done at very low cost.
On the other hand, programmable automation is more useful when looking for low-volume production of different types of objects, as this tool allows machines and software to be configured according to the programmer’s needs.
Finally, flexible automation It could be considered the best option, since it incorporates the functionalities of the previous two. Its production level is medium and allows adjustments to be made in the production line.
New trends in industrial automation
This year marks the beginning of a new decade, so it is logical that in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world, technologies change exponentially. In the area of industrial automation, there will be multiple transformations that we will witness thanks to the advancement of Industry 4.0.
The manufacture of new tools connected to intelligent technologies will allow industrial automation to expand and reach new levels of production. The blockchain, for example, is a key technology for machines to be able to make decisions independently and communicate with each other. In other words, they will be able to perform different actions such as ordering a missing part or controlling the production chain.
In the same way, machine learning will open new horizons in this area, since with this the machines will be able to learn automatically and act in consequence of the learned patterns.
On the other hand, robotics will also make its leap to stardom in the world of industrial automation thanks to the creation of collaborative robots, that is, robots designed to work in collaboration with a person, and to exoskeletons, robotic suits that fit the body of the operator so that it can perform greater functions and tasks.
There is no doubt that in these times, industrial automation is a process that will allow to achieve an improvement and optimization in the production areas of any company or industry and that will bring with it an even greater range of opportunities and advantages.
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