Industrial automation has greatly revolutionized modern industry. The collaboration of robots, computers, and IT for controlling different industrial processes has improved productivity and reduced cost. Therefore, many industrialists are investing money in industrial automation in 2022 to manage their businesses. A survey by Fortune says that total spending on industrial automation will reach 296.70 billion dollars by 2026.
Industrial automation is a term used to describe the control of industrial processes and machinery using modern technologies like robots, computers, and information technology as a replacement for humans. Companies are adopting Industrial automation because it offers immense flexibility and productivity while reducing operational costs.
Some people think that industrial automation is just using robots in industries. In reality, it is a very broad term. It is, in fact, a collaboration of robots with Artificial Intelligence and Information technology to make machines smarter enough to control themselves without human intervention.
This article will tell you the advantages of industrial automation in the modern era. Besides, we will also discuss five reasons for investing in automating your business.
Examples of Industrial Automation:
You might have seen videos of robots assembling cars. It is a very good example of Industrial automation. Robots are used widely nowadays for multiple tasks like assembling, welding, screwing, and packaging components. Similarly, you can find numerous examples of automation in other business areas, such as logistics, supply chain, agriculture, medicine, etc.
Types of Industrial Automation:
There are three types of industrial automation.
Fixed automation, also known as hard automation, is a type in which all the automation functionalities are fixed. You cannot change the configuration of these machines anytime easily. This type of automation requires a very large initial investment for accurate design. Once built, these machines provide good help in performing fixed tasks. However, you cannot alter the configuration of such devices to do other jobs. In short, fixed automation is not flexible.
Examples of fixed automation are following
- Automated assembly lines
- Conveyer systems
- Machining transfer lines
It is a type of automation that allows you to change the configuration of machines at any time to perform different tasks. You can easily write new programs for each process to change the operation sequence. It finds its importance in batch processes. For each batch, you can reprogram equipment to accommodate the new production style.
Examples of programmable automation are given below
- Numerically controlled machines
In this type of automation, humans can control machines via computerized systems such as human-machine interfaces (HMI). These systems are very flexible and can be adapted to do multiple tasks by giving commands on the computer. If you go to any industry where engineers provide instructions to machines via computerized displays, they use flexible automation.
Examples of flexible automation are the following.
- Material handling systems
- Central computer control system
Advantages of Industrial Automation:
Industrial automation has become a critical part of every industry nowadays, as machines can work continuously without human input. It also reduces a lot of costs related to human operators. The butter to bread is that it is increasing the efficiency of operations simultaneously. Let us see the benefits of industrial automation in detail here.
Industrial Automation reduces operational costs as robots can work 24×7 without taking rest. Besides, the cost of operating robots is far less than humans’ wages. Apart from that, these robots can give more output than humans simultaneously. Consequently, they can save a lot of employers’ money. Undoubtedly, it requires a large initial investment, but it saves a lot of operating budgets in the future.
Automation also gives the power to monitor machine conditions by embedding sensors. It also provides the ability to monitor hazardous places. Therefore, managers can easily monitor processes that are not monitorable by humans. Using this data, managers can make better decisions to control operations.
Automation technology can also perform functions exceeding human capabilities. Therefore, industries can now do tasks previously impossible for humans. It also helps deal with challenges like staff shortages and repetitive human errors. Therefore, modern enterprises are rapidly adapting automated solutions for their production units.
Workplace safety is one of the most important things for any industry. The good news is that industrial automation is offering great help in ensuring workplace safety too. For example, robotics and data collection with IoT is enhancing workplace safety by executing difficult and risky jobs. Besides, these solutions also track workplace environments and help in predicting accidents before they happen.
This technology also ensures consistent quality of output. There are always chances of errors in manual work. However, automated solutions have little probability of mistakes. Therefore, you can enhance the quality of your product by deploying industrial automation.
Increase Work Speed:
You know that robots can work 24×7 without rest. In comparison, an average human can work only 40-50 hours per week. Therefore, the use of robotics in the industrial era has rapidly increased production speed.
Better Communication and Monitoring:
Industrial automation, in collaboration with IoT and AI, offers better monitoring of manufacturing plants. It uses different IoT devices to surveil processes. Apart from surveillance, it also has the ability to produce a comprehensive report about the whole unit. In this way, employers can spend much time planning and improving business.
Reason to Invest in Industrial Automation:
By now, we have discussed the advantages of Industrial automation in the present world. Now, we will quickly see 5 reasons you should invest in automating your business.
- It will help you completely automate your business. So, you can earn maximum profit with a little effort using automation.
- It will enhance work quality at your plant by offering remote monitoring and control of processes.
- It will save a lot of your spending on workplace safety.
- It will tweak your product speed to market. The reason is that robots can work continuously without taking breaks.
- Humans make mistakes when they are tired. However, it is not the case with machines. Therefore, it can dramatically prevent materials and machinery from damage.
Disadvantages of Industrial IoT:
By now, we have only discussed the benefits of IoT in the industry. However, it also has several drawbacks that we have discussed here
- The initial cost of implementing IoT in your plant is very high. So, you need a huge investment to automate your business.
- You always need some skilled professionals to operate these machines. So, if your industry is in some underdeveloped area, you will face many difficulties in finding good professionals there.
- Data collection in IoT is communicated over the internet. So, there is always a threat to data security.
- You cannot automate every process. So, you have to divide tasks between machines and humans. Sometimes, it becomes difficult for managers to incorporate robots with manual labor.
Nowadays, automation is also collaborating with robotics, artificial intelligence, and information technology to upgrade the industrial process. Hence, it empowers you to control the whole business remotely at a minimum cost. Therefore, you should also consider bringing automation into your business now!
If you want any automation-related consultancy in your business, feel free to contact us. We have a team of experienced automation engineers who have already solved multiple problems in the industries. They will be more than happy to serve you with your problems.