What are the Kinds of Automation Systems?
The last couple of years we have seen an expansion in Mobile Automation. The transformation from the wired to wireless phase has led to higher productivity and a better lifestyle among users. Let us look at automation systems and understand how they work.
Automation is a technological process which enables users to “automate” a certain task or a combination of tasks. It reduces manual labor and works via integration to feedback control loops, sensory systems, and automatic actuating devices.
Kinds of Automation Systems
Hardware and software tools have replaced the hard-wired mechanical systems and minimize human intervention. There are two kinds of automation systems which are used in different industries and business niche. All the automation systems are not similar. The difference lies in its functionality, application area and nature of control. They are briefly discussed here:
#1 Industrial automation
Processes which simplify the methods of industrial mass productions comes under industrial automation. Electrical automation helps to deploy intelligent manufacturing solutions which drastically improve the productivity potential, helps to reduce downtime and helps to improve business revenue.
The automation involves the use of sensors, communication modules, control devices, machine drives and various other equipment. Industries such as telecommunication, medical, computer and electronics, automotive, and consumer goods benefit from industrial automation.
These automation systems are flexible, integrated, programmed and fixed. There are certain types of industrial automation systems as well.
Numerically Controlled Machines
Also known as Computerized Numerical Controlled (CNC) machines, they control manufacturing operations by acquiring and calculating the manufacturing process variables. They are usually used in cutting and milling applications.
Computer – Aided Manufacturing (CAM)
In this process, numerically controlled machines and industrial robots control the complete manufacturing cycle. The systems use computers to plan and execute the products. Some relevant examples of this process include computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), computer-aided design (CAD), and computer-aided process planning (CAPP).
These robots perform tasks that are usually deemed hazardous or dangerous for humans.
Right from the planning stage to product dispatch, every step is automated and completely integrated within a system. This automation is a combination of industrial robots, numerically controlled machines, and other automated equipment.
#2 Home Automation
Technologies which helps to simplify our personal lives come under this category of electrical automation. Technologies which control kitchen appliances, home security, and other electrical equipment are part of this. They are also known as intelligent building controls that integrate with the household seamlessly.
Various sensors are used to sense motion, illumination, temperature, and pressure. This data is sent to the central controllers connected to programmable devices like PLCs. With the inputs from sensors, the controllers send signals to the controlled devices to engage in pre-defined activities.
As before, there are some common types of home automation systems.
Wired and Wireless
As the name suggests, this home automation channel can be setup both with wires and wirelessly. The wired system connects the equipment to a communication bus which is then further connected to the main controller to receive signals and send commands.
The wireless technology uses systems like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RF, GSM, and ZigBee to control appliances remotely. Wires are negligible and this is preferred for remote monitoring.
Power Line Home Automation
This system uses power lines to transmit data and it is a cheaper option comparatively. It is a bit complicated to setup the powerline home automation system though.
All the homes and industries use automation options that fall under the above-explained categories. The automation systems lead to reduced labor costs, accuracy, improved quality and improved productivity.