Change is the result of all effective learning. The more you learn, the greater the challenge of mastering each new thing. Why not automate it? Automation makes learning simple and easy. You get to do your work with a snap of your fingers. Automation learning is crucial. There is no way to escape the automated world. Without the knowledge, it might surprise you or scare you. So, let's learn more about it.
What is Automation?
Automation is a method of performing tasks without involving humans. Also, it is software that empowers computers to work without you having to direct them. We use Automation in various forms, from ordering food to planning your day. Automation has made life easy. We use Automation every day! For example, a car with an automatic transmission saves fuel and reduces carbon emissions. Also, a house with automated systems like automatic doors saves energy. Automation has been around since the beginning of time. However, we've only recently figured out how to make it work well enough to use in our day-to-day lives!
Automation is a topic that has come up in business and life way earlier. The reason for this is simple. Automation makes life easier. It is not necessary to spend hours at a time on a task. Machines can complete the task by automating it. It improves our productivity. It makes it possible to spend more time with your family, expand your business, or pursue a hobby. We should adapt ourselves to it. With Automation, we will be able to perform tasks more quickly in the future as we age. Implementing flawless Automation is a must to avoid problems in the future.
There is an old saying: If you're not moving forward, you're moving backward.
Well, guess what? The same applies to your business. If you don't adapt to Automation, your competitors will leave you in the dust. Automation empowers businesses to focus on the things that matter. As a result, they can grow their business without worrying about repetitive tasks. It can lead to satisfactory customer service, higher profits, and more satisfied employees.
Principles and Theory of Automation
The three basic building blocks of Automation are:
Almost without exception, an automated system will exhibit all these elements.
Any automation system needs the power to perform its task. There are many sources of energy available to us. The most commonly used power source is Electricity. Electrical Power is the most versatile. It can be generated from other sources(like solar, wind, hydro, etc.) and converted to other power sources(like mechanical, hydraulic, etc.).
The actions performed by automated systems are of two types:
Transfer & Positioning
In the first case, energy is applied to accomplish a processing action on an entity. In the process, metal may be shaped, plastic molded, electrical signals switched in a communication system or data processed in a computerized information system. All these actions entail using energy to transform the entity (e.g., the metal, plastic, electrical signals, or data) from one state or condition into another more valuable state or condition. The second type of action—transfer and positioning—is most readily seen in automated manufacturing systems designed to perform work on a product. Product placement is generally accurate at each processing location. In automated communications and information systems, transfer and positioning refer to the movement of data (or electrical signals).
Feedback controls are widely used in modern automated systems. A feedback control system consists of five essential components;
Controller & actuating devices
This kind of system is also known as closed-loop feedback control.
The program specifies how the automated system functions to accomplish its desired result. A set of programmed instructions determine the actions to be performed by the system. The content of the program varies considerably depending on the system.
For Relatively Simple Systems, the program consists of a limited number of well-defined actions performed continuously and repeatedly in the proper sequence with no deviation from one cycle to the next.
For more complex systems, the number of commands could be pretty large, and the level of detail could be significantly greater.
Finally, for Relatively Sophisticated Systems, the program provides for variations in raw materials and other operating conditions, which alters the sequence of actions taken to perform their work.
Programming commands are related to feedback control in automated systems. The program controls the sequence of values for inputs (set points) of feedback control loops. The need for feedback control arises when variations in raw materials are fed into a production process. The system must consider these variations by making adjustments in its controlled actions. Without feedback, the system would be unable to exert sufficient control over the quality of its output.
Programmable machines often make decisions during their operation. The decision-making capacity is contained in the control program in the form of logical instructions that govern the operation of such a system under varying circumstances. Machines with decision-making capacity are helpful because they can allow these machines to detect and recover from errors, monitor safety, interact with humans, and optimize processes.
Types of Automation
1. Fixed Automation
Fixed Automation, also known as Hard Automation, automates a sequence of repetitive tasks. It involves rotational or linear motion or both. Fixed Automation repeats the same tasks with identical units. Advantages of Fixed Automation are improved production rate and low cost of units (compared to flexible Automation). One drawback is that new jobs must replace the automation units when done.
2. Programmable Automation
Programmable Automation allows you to install new programs to the system that automate processes. It allows you to reprogram tasks after one type of batch is complete. It is unlike fixed Automation, which only has one set of operations. Examples of programmable Automation are traditional thermostats and traditional cruise control. A speed or temperature is set, and the mechanisms produce the programmed outcome. Programmable Automation offers you more flexibility in dealing with variations in designs. It is the best fit for batch production of a variety of designs. Due to change-over time between functions, it produces fewer units.
3. Flexible Automation
This Automation is an extension of programmable Automation. In manufacturing, tasks can be completed on demand, just like flexible Automation allows for different procedure outcomes and high output. We can almost eliminate downtime and make simple changes to boost our output rate. Flexible Automation lets us switch tasks without complex programming, and adaptive cruise control and self-learning thermostats are examples of this.
Pros and Cons of Automation
Automation reduces operating time. Tasks are done faster and save us plenty of time. Also, we can focus on innovation.
Automation reduces time, effort, expense, and manual errors. It gives your business more time to focus on its primary objectives.
We can focus on new tasks, as repetitive tasks are done automatically. As a result, the productivity of firms/ organizations/ tasks increases remarkably.
The lesser human intervention, the fewer oversights, and problems will arise. But, all the same, things happen the same way every time. That way, you can see exactly when processes, tests, updates, and workflows will happen. Also, you can know how long they'll take and trust the outcomes.
More people imply more potential for knowledge gaps. More knowledge gaps mean that one side of your business may not know what or who it involves on the opposite side. Codifying everything leads to more control.
Improved quality and consistency
Automating processes ensures high-quality results as tasks are identical and without human error.
Increased employee satisfaction
Manual tasks are tedious and laborious. Automation allows your employees to work on more engaging activities. Thus, increasing employee satisfaction.
Increased customer satisfaction
Happier employees, faster processing, and time savings can increase customer satisfaction.
The goal of an automated enterprise is to get work done faster. By automating the tasks, the IT staff can focus on critical issues, resolve them and make them routine. However, the implementation of Automation is expensive. In simpler words, the installation cost is high.
Automation is not intelligence. Some parts may be vulnerable outside of that scope, depending on what's automated and how it's constructed. Limiting Automation in some aspects or functions can mitigate this concern. Your Automation is mere as intelligent and safe as how it is implemented, so keep that in mind.
The main application of Automation is the manufacturing process. At its core, it is fully automated and creates an interconnected network of units. It gives the essence of Industry 4.0. Cloud Computing and the Internet of Things are forming the future intelligent factory. Some areas where Automation is implemented:
Process Control Units
Automated power production
Industrial transport automation
And many more.
Automation at Abhyaz
Automation software with us:
CIMSIM is a didactic tool for teaching and training Manufacturing Automation. CIMSIM is an extensively used tool that enables users to adapt to industry-relevant shop floor practices across various manufacturing verticals. It enables users to apply their skills in the real-time industry.
M-Robot is user-friendly 3D software for simulation and programming. It allows you to easily design applications, whether a beginner or an experienced roboticist. It's easy to use and has axis programming & cartesian programming so that you can train yourself with robot operations. And it allows you to watch your code at work! Ready-made applications are available to test and learn before designing your code.
AristoSim is a 6-axis articulated robot that can work as a stand-alone system. It can also be programmed to interact with a real-time robot (ARISTO) to conduct experiments.
Workspace LT™ Simulation software helps you take full advantage of industrial robots and Automation. It eliminates the need for other CAD software. It gives an affordable Windows-based solution, supports the use of SpaceMouse for actions on the model, and provides accurate Kinematic modeling.
AUTOMGEN is a software tool for automated programming and system testing. It simulates 2D and 3D components running on a Windows PC. It is used to learn about Automation, particularly within the industry for application development.
Explore the CNCTrain Library software here: CNCTrain Library Software
Automation can help you accomplish more with less effort. It's the next frontier in education technology. It has an immense impact on your lives. We have been using Automation to our advantage for years, but now that it has become mainstream, the possibilities are endless. Soon we will be able to use Automation in almost every aspect of our daily lives and do so without even a second thought. It is an exciting time, and I am eager to see how Automation will continue transforming our lives.
Q1. What is Automation?
Ans: Automation is a method of performing tasks without involving humans. Also, it is software that empowers computers to work without you having to direct them.
Q2. What are the Types of Automation?
Q3. Give some daily life examples of Automation.
Ans: Some examples of Automation in daily life are:
Automatic washing machines
Global Positioning System(GPS)
Use of auto-pilot on airplanes
Automated Retail and many more
Q4. Why is automation simulation necessary?
Ans: Automated simulation software allows professionals to test robotics and design components virtually. Mapping their interactions within active conveyor systems is also possible. Using simulation programs, you can estimate failures and downtime issues virtually. Following repeated simulations, Automation allows you to reduce the chances of actual losses.
Q5. What is the CNCTrain Library?
Ans: This solution is aligned with NEP2020. It offers hybrid learning solutions with analytics and online experiential learning delivery. It provides a library of e-learning content, supporting engineering simulation software. In addition, it offers standard training modules in CAD, CAM, CAE, Automation, robotics, and IT4.0. Engineering education skill centers, training divisions, NGOs & CSR contributions use our library.