In this era of stiff competition, every industry demands high quality products and services with affordable prices. For this type of challenge, industries are opting for new automated manufacturing devices. Industrial automation has received wide acceptance from many industries due to its many benefits.
Of late, there have numerous debates stating the use of automation in industries. Questions are abound on the way automation will change the lives of low level workers. Agreed, the definition of industrial automation is to make use of computers or robots or various processes to handle machineries or perform actions similar to a human being. In other words, it is the next step of mechanization in the road of industrialization. (If you want the definition of mechanization, it is the operation of machinery by human labor.)
Some Advantages Of Industrial Automation
The main reason of introducing automation was not only to enhance the productivity but also to reduce the cost connected with human operators. But in recent times, the focus has clearly shifted to improvement in quality as well flexibility in the manufacturing process. Some benefits
- Low operating costs
- Eliminates health care cost of workers
- No paid leaves
- No national holidays.
You have a successful manufacturing business. But to remain successful, you have to hire workers. When the demand for your product goes high, the workers need to be on the job three shifts a day. But the machineries can only work for specified hours. They also need to be checked for maintenance. But in case of industrial automation, the company can run the manufacturing plant for more than the normal working hours. This will definitely enhance the productivity of company.
There may be chances when workers can do errors due to lack of rest. But in automation, they do not suffer from fatigue and the result will be products of uniform quality, manufactured at various times.
A new update regarding the process and procedure. The worker needs to be trained, whereas for a robot, only the programming needs to be done for every new task. This, in turn, makes the manufacturing process flexible.
Automation allows you to collect the perfect data so that you can analyze and make the best decisions. You can reduce your waste and improve the processes.
There are some industries where the workers have to work in hazardous environment. Automation can be used to make the production area safe by deploying robots.
Automation reduces the inspection part of machineries and quality check. By adjusting the process variables and values, the equipment can produce products of the desired quality.
Now, shall we look into the types of industrial automation systems?
Fixed Or Hard Automation –Some industries which use this automation are paint shops, conveyors and distilled processes.
Programmable Automation –Some industries which make use of this automation are paper mills, industrial roots and industrial robots.
Flexible/Soft Automation –Few industries which use this automation system are multi-purpose CNC machines, automobiles and automatic guided vehicles.
However, making the shift from human production to using robots is very high. Also, training should also be provided to employees to handle the new equipment.
There are debates abound as to how automation will change the world. True, it may, it will, and some jobs will definitely go down the ladder. But new sets of jobs will be generated which needs qualified professionals of high caliber.
But it is also not proper to view automation in only the negative way. Who knows? Automation and human mind, when combined, may give rise to a new set of scientific tools that may solve many problems. Let us hope for the same.
There are some sectors which will remain untouched by the process of automation, within the next decade. First will be the organizations that belong to the home improvement services. Since they provide doorstep repair services for different kinds of problems and challenges, a human presence is needed. Similarly, in the hospital sector, it is human touch that can lead to the curing of diseases. You can go on and on.
But to say the least, it is better to keep yourself updated with the recent technological changes in your specific field.