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4 Types Of Industrial Automation And The Right One For You

Industrial automation refers to computerized systems used in manufacturing that handle various processes and machinery without the involvement of humans. The productivity that Automation drives cannot be overemphasized. If you want to know how Automation can improve your productivity, Check out how we improved production efficiency in this facility by 250% with automation

Industries have started implementing automated systems to boost productivity and efficiency at work as a result of modernization and technology and ignoring it can only mean one thing, You are comfortable with the less productivity you have in your facility. With the increase in the industrial automation market and industries wanting to implement these processes, it is paramount to know the types of automation and the types of industries that need them. This is to help you pick the right one meant for your business. 

Fixed Automation System:

Fixed industrial automation systems, also known as hard automation, perform a single set of tasks without deviation. This type of system is typically used for discrete mass production and continuous flow systems due to its function.

An automatic conveyer belt system that moves objects from point A to point B with little effort is an example of a fixed automation device. Its purpose is to boost efficiency. Automated conveyer belts execute fixed, repetitive tasks to reach high production quantities, much like any other piece of fixed automation system equipment.

Although limited, repetitive manufacturing allows for variations within the manufacturing process (e.g. in food packaging or the textile industry)

Adopting a fixed automation system, such as automated conveyer belts, and incorporating value-added solutions to reduce both time and labor costs in their installation, relieves competitive pressure on your business, increases your profit margin, and keeps you one step ahead of the competition. Using bundled wire for automated conveyer systems is an example of a value-added solution. This not only reduces installation time but also labor costs and protects employees from injuries caused by pulling wire during installation.

Programmable Automation:

Programmable automation, as the name implies, operates using commands delivered by a computer program. This means that the resulting processes can vary greatly depending on the instructions provided to the computer via a series of codes. However, because the programming efforts are not trivial, the processes and thus the tasks do not change significantly. This type of industrial automation is common in mass production settings that produce similar products and use many of the same steps and tools, such as paper mills or steel rolling mills.

The following manufacturing processes are compatible with this system:

Manufacturing in which the same products are produced in large batches over a long period of time. These types of equipment can operate with little human supervision. They are commonly used in the manufacture of automobiles and machinery.

The initial cost of installing programmable automation equipment may be high, but because the processes are continuous and relatively unchanged, they are less expensive in the long run.

Flexible Automation

This type of automation, also known as soft automation, is used in computer-controlled flexible manufacturing systems and allows for more flexible production. Because each piece of equipment receives instructions from a human-operated computer, the tasks can vary greatly depending on the code delivered to the computer. This type of automation is typically used in batch processes and job shops with a wide variety of products and a low-to-medium job volume, such as textile manufacturing.

The following manufacturing processes are compatible with this system:

  • Discrete manufacturing allows for limited variations within the manufacturing process, such as in food packaging or the textile industry.
  • Job shop manufacturing is more labor intensive than other types of manufacturing because it occurs within defined production areas.

Integrated Automation

Integrated automation is the total automation of manufacturing plants, with computers and control processes handling everything with minimal human intervention. Computers can create the necessary parts, test them, and fabricate them. Integrated automation, like flexible automation, is suitable for both batch and continuous process manufacturing.

This type of automation is used in the following technologies:

  • Computer-aided process design
  • Computer-aided design and production
  • Machine tools for computer numerical control
  • Control of production and scheduling by computer
  • Systems for automatic storage and retrieval
  • Machine systems that are adaptable
  • Robots and other automated material handling systems
  • Conveyor belts and cranes that are automated

Having industrial automation processes helps to: Reduce operational costs, increase productivity, increase reliability and above all optimize performance. 

Would you like to improve your organization’s industrial processes? CaTS can help you improve productivity in your workplace by automating certain industrial processes. Click here to learn more

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