Automation in Manufacturing
What is Automation?
Automation or automatic control is commonly defined as the technology by which any procedure is carried out with minimal human intervention. It is simply the use of various control systems for operating machinery- be it industrial equipment or vehicles- with lesser human intervention than required before. The earliest example of Automation is considered to be the water frame, a spinning frame driven through water power, which though existed since ancient times in Egypt was patented and created for cotton production in 1771 by Richard Arkwright.
What Is Automation in manufacturing?
Industrial automation or automation used for industrial purposes began in the 2nd industrial revolution when the manufacturing industries went through a massive change going from using extensive labour for production to automated production lines.
Automation through the years
Industrial automation has been around for a long time and has been improved upon constantly with increasing advantages and different challenges.
Beginning of Automation: The 2nd industrial Revolution
Industrial automation began in the 2nd Industrial Revolution in 1870 which saw the utilization of electricity for the first time. After a few years, in 1913, Henry Ford famously used a moving assembly line to drastically reduce production time from 12 hours to about 90 minutes.
Automation in the 3rd Industrial Revolution:
The 3rd Industrial revolution began around 1950 with rapid technological advances in electronics, introducing technologies like computers, memory-programmable controls and such.
The manufacturing industry was thus, revolutionized and through partial automation by the use of the mentioned technologies the production process underwent another significant change. And since the advent of these technologies, we are now able to automate an entire production process without human assistance. Examples of this are robots that perform programmed sequences without human intervention, that is RPA. These are used mainly and invaluable in some dangerous, or precise processes, that humans might be incapable of like Weilding, Machine feeding and so on.
Automation now: The 4th Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0)
Compared to the first industrial, second industrial and third industrial – which was the computer or information age–, the fourth industrial revolution is the digitization of automation. The current industrial revolution is building on already present technologies like World Wide Web, Cloud computing and computer and with advancements of technologies like AI (Artificial Intelligence), IoT(Internet of Things) and Cloud Computing Machine learning we are currently undergoing a digital transformation.
For example, Production systems that already have computer technology are expanded by a network connection and this is the next step in production automation. The networking of all systems leads to “cyber-physical production systems” and therefore smart factories, in which production systems, components and people communicate via a network and production is nearly autonomous where a few skilled people are required to monitor the ongoings.
This is the stage where Thingstel comes into the picture, providing end to end IoT solutions so one doesn’t have to worry about much and obtain a smart manufacturing process. Things tell also provides an interface with real-time monitories and analytics and more so the client can have all crucial data on one dashboard
Automation in manufacturing has been extremely rapid in its advancements and its alright if you feel overwhelmed. We are more than pleased to talk to anyone interested to know more and explain it.