It is a technology dealing with the application of
For production of goods and services.Automation is broadly classified into-
The use of automatic machinery and systems, particularly those manufacturing or data-processing systems which require little or no human intervention in their normal operation. During the 19th century a number of machines such as looms and lathes became increasingly self-regulating. At the same time transfer-machines were developed, whereby a series of machine-tools, each doing one operation automatically, became linked in a continuous production line by pneumatic or hydraulic devices transferring components from one operation to the next. In addition to these technological advances in automation, the theory of ‘scientific management’, which was based on the early time-and-motion studies of Frederick Winslow Taylor in Philadelphia, USA, in the 1880s was designed by Taylor to enhance the efficiency and productivity of workers and machines. In the early 20th century, with the development of electrical devices and time-switches, more processes became automatically controlled, and a number of basic industries such as oil-refining, chemicals, and food-processing were increasingly automated. The development of computers after World War II enabled more sophisticated automation to be used in manufacturing industries, for example iron and steel. The most familiar example of a highly automated system is perhaps an assembly plant for automobiles or other complex products. Over the last few decades automation has evolved from the comparatively straightforward mechanization of tasks traditionally carried out by hand, through the introduction of complex automatic control systems, to the widespread automation of information collection and processing.
Types of Automation
custom-engineered, special-purpose equipment to automate a
fixed sequence of operations,high production rates, inflexible product designProgrammable automation
equipment designed to accommodate a specific class of
product changes, batch production, medium volume
designed to manufacture a variety of products or parts
low production rates, varying product design and demand
Many batch-processed products
Brackets, hinges, door knobs, locks
Flexible versus Fixed Automation
Capital intensity: the mix of equipment and human skills:
1. the greater the relative cost of equipment, the higher the capital intensity 2.the higher the capital intensity, the greater the degree of automation 3.Resource Flexibility: the ease with which the equipment and employees can handle a wide variety of resources
The main advantages of automation are:
* Increased throughput or productivity.
* Improved quality or increased predictability of quality. * Improved robustness (consistency), of processes or product. * Increased consistency of output.
* Reduced direct human labor costs and expenses.
The following methods are often employed to improve productivity, quality, or robustness. * Install automation in operations to reduce cycle time.
* Install automation where a high degree of accuracy is required. * Replacing human operators in tasks that involve hard physical or monotonous work. * Replacing humans in tasks done in dangerous environments (i.e. fire, space, volcanoes, nuclear facilities, underwater, etc.) * Performing tasks that are beyond human capabilities of size, weight, speed, endurance, etc. * Economic improvement: Automation may improve in economy of enterprises, society or most of humanity. For example, when an enterprise invests in automation, technology recovers its investment; or when a state or country increases its income due to automation like Germany or japan in...
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