Companies that decide to start industrial automation procedures have different types of automation available. It all depends on their adoption, the product range, and the production volume.
Hard automation or Fixed Automation
An automation process wherein the robot or machine performs a specific and highly repetitive task refers to hard automation or fixed automation. In addition, it is helpful for a very high production volume.
It is called fixed automation because the processes remain fixed and cannot undergo any changes. It is considered the most economical automation.
It is related to those pieces of equipment that are designed to adapt to a wide variety of product configurations.
Soft automation requires product configuration and processes are controlled by a computer. The process can be programmed according to the operation of different products.
A program that requires a set of coded instructions for the system to interpret controls programmable Automation procedures.
Flexible Automation offers flexibility to configure a machine that matches a new product in a short time.
Industrial Automation Systems
Automation cut down the requirement of manual work in a factory. However, some operators are still required to monitor machines and perform maintenance. On the contrary, an industrial automation system no longer needs human interference in the process.
When an industry implements such an industrial automation system, it helps the whole production procedures to be executed from start to finish, without individual assistance.
Based on different functionalities, different automation systems are developed:
Artificial Neural Networks is an arithmetical or computational model that imitates neural connections. The network structure adapts to vary depending on the information. They are utilized to categorize relationships and recognize patterns in data sets. Some of the applications involved are control systems, email spam filters, spoken or written text, pattern recognition in systems, and automated financial trading systems.
Distributed Control System is not centralized and prolonged by the system. These controls are long-drawn-out according to the part of the system to be watched. They are utilized in oil refineries, traffic light control systems, and power stations
Human-machine Interface (HMI) systems are based on human intervention to function. They are utilized in computers and ATMs.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System can be comprised of other systems such as an HMI linked to remote terminal units. They work to decode sensor signals into clear data. This system fully controls the manufacturing location and different production plants. They are quite like distributed control systems except that in SCADA systems the control is not performed in real-time. However, it is quite negligible and they are usually utilized in similar applications.
A programmable Logic Controller is system working in real-time. They control devices in an industrial production line. PLCs are little programmable computers, which control and automate procedures in real-time. They are made to control several input and output signals. These systems include different applications and so have different utilization as they control the working logic of plants, industrial procedures, and machines.
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