What is industrial automation?
Industrial automation is the usage of many control device to control various operations in an industry with zero interventions from humans and to offer automatic control performance. In factories, control strategies implement a set of technologies to get the desired output which deems automation system the most important one. Industrial automation uses the advanced control strategies like modern control hardware devices, cascade controls, standalone computing systems, communication systems, alarming and HMI systems.
Importance of industrial automation
- To eliminate the periodic or manual checking
In various critical apps, periodic checking of the process variable is needed to perform many industrial operations. Automation equipment fades the periodic or manual operations and builds automatic working conditions.
- To enhance productivity
Industrial automation and automating other production processes raises the production rates by producing output in tenfold in given labor input.
- Reduces the production cost
Industrial automation reduces the human intervention to control the processes. This also reduces the investment in hiring the labor and hence, the production costs too.
- Enhances product quality
Doing the same work continuously may not be perfect and ideal in all cases when it comes to quality specifications with human efforts. When it comes to industrial automation and equipment, you can get a reliable and quality product when using the real time hardware control devices.
- To enhance the flexible features
When using industrial automation and equipment, processes are merely managed without having any complex environment especially during the manufacturing processes.
- It is operator friendly and enhances the safety
The complex nature of working on the equipment and processes is eliminated by implementing industrial automation. It alters the position of the operator as operator to the supervisory position.
Structure of Industrial Automation
- Sensor level or process layer uses the sensors and actuators to determine the value of process variables continuously. These are eyes and arms of industrial processes.
- Automation control level or control layer uses the industrial control equipment such as PCs, PLCs, DCS etc. This level uses many embedded processors and PID algorithms to control the processes.
- Supervising level or SCADA layers collect channel info and stores data in a database. It gathers info from many control devices and showcases on HMIs. It also notifies to indicate the levels of process and control variables. It also uses special software to accumulate data and communication protocols to interact with field devices.
- Enterprise level is responsible for tasks like scheduling, orders and sales, product planning etc.