• br
Shalini Chakraborty

BRIEF REVIEW ON TYPES OF AUTOMATION

Recommended Posts

Let's begin in the chronological way of knowing what actually is Automation, types, implementation and so forth. In this article, we can easily generalize the types of Automation systems. While discussing on the brief overview on Automation, we can realize that its the mechanization which has provided an edge to automation, however, there is an immense need of maintenance and feedback while dealing with them. The integration of several industrial places all across the world shows a clear indication on how we have stepped into a new era where we are seamlessly enhanced productivity and made our task easier. Hence, let's take a note of the different types of Automation.

Basically, they are of three types: fixed automation(hard automation), programmable automation (soft automation), flexible automation. In fixed automation, we use special purpose equipment, the operation is simple but it's hard to incorporate changes in the design. In programmable automation, the production equipment is designed with the capability to change the sequence of operations to accommodate different configurations. Flexible is further an enhanced programmable automation system where there is no production time lost and changeovers can be made easily. 

It can be also categorized into the following:

Industrial Automation performs tasks with minimal human intervention and repetitiveness.

Numerically Controlled Machines perform operations with the help of computers with high accuracy and minimal errors.

Industrial Robots are the most important segment of automation as they have helped in maintaining the persistence of industrial activities.

Flexible Manufacturing Sytems have also enhanced the flexibility in manufacturing with changing parts and processes.

Computer Aided Manufacturing involves usage of computers in production, planning, and control of FMS systems, generally CAD, CADD.

Hence, automation has not only helped in fetching the big manufacturing targets in an easier way but has also increased the efficiency with which the systems work currently.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the most interesting examples of automation that I have worked on is a paper cup making machine. Everyone has seen paper cups. They come in many different forms, from simply conical forms to more complex truncated cones with a flat bottom. The come in small, medium, and very large sizes. How do you make such things cheaply, cleanly, and fast?

Starting with a long coiled sheet of paper, the pattern must be cut out, rolled up, a bottom added, and the whole thing sealed. This is quite a sequence of operations, and the machines that do this consist of a number of stations, each station performing one operation and then passing the work piece on to the next station. The machines that I worked on were all cam controlled, which is to say they were a form of hard automation. Cam driven systems are extremely repeatable, but they are fairly difficult modify for a different product. They are also capable of operating at incredible speeds. I saw machines making 1200 paper cups per minute. The literally come flying out the end to be caught and packaged for distribution. The machines are quite expensive, but the number of paper cups they can make is absolutely huge!

DrD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Sir, that's the inbuilt nature of automation. Though the machines are expensive, the production quality and quantity are large. Also, irrespective of the complexity of the process, the precision, accuracy, and flexibility are quite good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • br
  • br