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  • An Insight into Industrial Automation – Reduced Turnaround Time and Improved Processes

    Published On: 01/20/15

     Automation refers to the use of automated equipments for the execution of business-related processes. These equipments may range from simple sensing devices to high-tech robots and other hardcore machines used to manage and execute multifaceted businesses tasks that otherwise might be too complex for manual techniques. The advantages commonly attributed to automation include increased throughput, higher production rates, efficient use of inventory, improved safety, improved accuracy, reduced labor cost, reduced factory lead times, better product quality, reduced turnaround time and increased ROI. Though, good workmanship by humans is unmatched, but the lack of skills remains a challenge for many. This is where automated systems come as a life saver that helps narrow down the skills gap.


    In the current scenario, where people are becoming more technologically sound, there is no such field that is not making use of automated systems. From large manufacturing industries to small retail stores, every field is capitalizing on it. Focusing on the industries, automation systems are now becoming the soul of business operations. Different from traditional mechanization systems that, to some extent, required some sort of human assistance for operation, today’s highly advanced systems can operate on their own with no manual intervention. The computerized control systems, high-tech robotic devices and workflow applications, primarily constitute the industrial automation. In a broad sense, following are some of the tools that comprise industrial automation:


    ·         Information technology (IT): IT includes the hardware and software applications that provide data, knowledge, and information required to execute processes. The examples include ERP software, simulation tools, M2M communications, apps for workflow management, embedded systems, PLCs, robots and more.


    ·         Auto-CAD/CAM: Auto-CAD/CAM is in integral part of product lifecycle management. It optimizes the product development cycle from designing to manufacturing and bringing the products to market faster, and at the least possible cost.


    ·         Control systems:  Controller is a device that automates, manages, directs, and regulates the functioning of other devices. PLCs, RTUs, PACs, radios and variable speed drives are some of the examples.


    ·         Robots: Automated robots are used at every step of the way in the manufacturing industry. The robotic applications can be classified into three categories: 1) material handling 2) processing operations and 3) assembly and inspection.


    ·         Flexible manufacturing systems (FMS): FMS allows several machine tools to be linked together by a material-handling system, and a central computer. This automated coordination enables components to be produced at very low costs. It also has the ability to switch from the machining of one component to another.


    ·         Computer integrated manufacturing (CIM): CIM facilitates automation in industries by allowing the integration of different computers to control the entire production process. This leads to faster and less error-prone processes.

    Industrial automation is revolutionizing the commercial world by enabling the businesses to bring their products faster to the market. With different players landing in the space, it has become quite complex to survive in this pool of sharks, always looking to beat the competitor. In this situation, only that business can survive who can keep pace with the customer demands. And, with traditional manual techniques, it’s not feasible. 

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