The advancement in technology has been a boon to humans as the majority of tasks are now undertaken by machines. This has proved to be not only cost-effective for the businesses, but also time-saving. A major part of this technical assistance is seen in the industrial sector. This reduced need for human efforts and time in the industrial sector is known as industrial automation. Industrial automation in more specific terms refers to the replacement of humans with machines using advanced control devices.
A major component of industrial automation is dependent on different types of control panels. Control panels serve the purpose of conducting the operations in a systematic manner by providing adequate signals to the machinery and equipment. Some common types of control panels used for automation include PLCs (Programmable Logic Controller) and PACs (Programmable Automation Controller).
How Industrial Automation Helps?
Industrial automation has been used in industries for the considerably high quantity of production it provides without any extra cost. A lot of production cost is saved on the reduced assembly line of manpower with the help of industrial automation. This automatically brings down the cost of production. Also, with automation, the amount of precision in the processes increases, enhancing the uniformity of production and overall production quality. Another added benefit is the reduction of human error due to reduced manpower. This also leads to a reduction in manual routine checking.
Some Common Types
1. Fixed Automation
This type of automation has a fixed procedure to perform in a repetitive sequence without any constant need for change in the signals. It is commonly used for processes involving a high amount of production and assembly lines.
2. Flexible Automation
A flexible automation, as the name suggests is adaptable and is performed by a user giving commands in the form of codes in a computer system. These codes then become the sequence of the process to be performed. This type of automation is commonly used in multipurpose CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines.
3. Programmable Automation
In a programmable automation, the sequence of operations can be changed by modifying the program fed to the computer. Also, new program additions can be made in this type of automation. Programmable automation is used in steel rolling mills and batch processes.
To aid industrial automation, advanced automation equipment are used. Automation equipment are specially created equipment or machinery that are used for each of the above-mentioned automation types. These automation equipment include sensors, actuators, industrial computers (PLCs), Human Machine Interface (HMI) and communication systems.
Industrial automation is a comprehensive process that requires a good understanding of different control panels to perform the functions properly. If you plan to implement such types of automation in your business, reach out to our Electrical, Instrumentation and Controls experts to know more.