Why should I automate ?
Automations, in any field brings in the benefits of increased productivity and reduced costs. It provides higher production rates, increased productivity, more efficient use of materials, better product quality, improved safety and reduced factory lead times..
Higher output and increased productivity have been two of the biggest reasons in justifying the use of automation. Automated systems typically perform the process with less variability than human workers, resulting in greater control and consistency of product quality. Also, increased process control makes more efficient use of materials, resulting in less scrap.
Industrial Automations can be widely understood as a system comprising of interacting technologies and automated control devices that result into automatic functioning of manufacturing operations and controlling them without significant human intervention. The automation process typically uses devices such as PLCs, PCs, PACs, etc. and various types of industrial communication technologies.
A Fully Automated Production Line does not need people directly involved in the operation, and all or part of the process of the production is completed by mechanical equipment and automated systems. Therefore, in an automated environment, the tasks of human are more likely to change to system design, adjustment, supervision and monitoring the operation of the system rather than controlling it directly.
Types of Automations
1.Fixed automation (Hard automation): Fixed automation refers to the use of special purpose equipment to automate a fixed sequence of process or assembly operations. Each of the operation in the sequence is usually simple, involving perhaps a plain linear or rotational motion or an uncomplicated combination of two. It is relatively difficult to accommodate changes in the product design.
2.Programmable automation: In programmable automation, the production equipment is designed with the capability to change the sequence of operations to accommodate different product configurations. The operation sequence is controlled by a program, which is a set of instructions coded. So that they can be read and interpreted by the system. New programs can be prepared and entered into the equipment to produce new products.
3.Flexible Automation (Soft automation): Flexible automation is an extension of programmable automation. A flexible automation system is capable of producing a variety of parts with virtually no time lost for changeovers from one part style to the next. There is no lost production time while reprogramming the system and altering the physical set up.