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What is Industrial Automation

By OTC Insights Team on October 24, 2022

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OTC Insights Team

Established in 1963, OTC Industrial Technologies is one of the largest industrial distributors & service providers in the United States. We're committed to seeing industrial operations advance through expert technical solutions & unmatched support using our years of experience.

Industrial automation is the use of technology to control industrial processes and machines. 

Industrial automation systems can increase your manufacturing process's quality, flexibility, and accuracy. The main advantages of industrial automation include increased productivity, more freedom for workers, more accurate information, and increased safety.

However, there are concerns that some manufacturers have regarding industrial automation. Many are initially skeptical when confronted with the initial costs associated with installing an industrial automation system.

For those companies that recognize the advantages offered by industrial automation, the investment is worthwhile.

All you need to know about Industrial Automation. Expert serivices and innovative products. Industrial Automation and Manufacturing Today

Despite the initial misgivings regarding the cost, industrial automation has been finding acceptance from manufacturers across verticals in recent years. Increased productivity, quality, and safety ensure that manufacturers see a quick return after that initial expense.

Industrial automation is here to stay and will continue to revolutionize the manufacturing industry. Let’s dig into how industrial automation works, and what it can mean for manufacturers.

What is Industrial Automation?

Industrial automation leverages both physical technology and software, or information technology, to complete work in an industrial setting. It uses technology to perform tasks that aren’t necessary for human intervention, eliminating the need for some manual labor.

In most cases, the work completed by industrial automation are better suited to machine labor, so humans can focus on the work they are better suited to complete.

Industrial automation systems have three main elements: sensors, controllers, and actuators.

Industrial Automation Sensors

These devices measure a physical property and convert it into a signal that a controller can read. Common examples of sensors include temperature sensors, light sensors, pressure sensors, and flow sensors.

Industrial Automation Controllers

Controllers are devices that receive the signals from sensors, interpreting the information and then providing a programmed response. Many manufacturing processes use programmable logic controllers (PLCs), special-purpose computers designed to control industrial processes.

Industrial Automation Actuators

Actuators receive the response from the controllers, and then carry out the action. They are devices that change the physical world in some way. Common examples of actuators include motors, valves, and pumps.

Advantages of Industrial Automation

The main advantage of using industrial automation is increased productivity. Industrial automation can increase productivity by performing tasks that would otherwise have to be done by human workers.

For example, an automated system can operate a machine 24 hours a day without requiring breaks. This increases the output of a manufacturing process.

Industrial automation can also improve the quality of products by reducing or eliminating human error. With a programmed response in the controller going to an actuator, the reliability and consistency of output can be controlled.

 Another advantage of industrial automation is increased flexibility. Automated systems can often be reconfigured quickly to produce different types of products. This is much more difficult to do with manual methods.

Industrial automation systems also have the advantage of accurately collecting data about production processes. This data can be used to improve process efficiency and quality control. Finally, industrial automation systems can enhance safety by performing potentially hazardous tasks for human workers.

Getting Started with Industrial Automation

Despite the disadvantages, industrial automation has been finding more and more acceptance from various industries in recent years because of its vast benefits, such as increased productivity, quality, and safety at low costs. For more information on incorporating industrial automation into your business, contact experts at OTC.

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