Industrial Automation Technology

Industrial Automation Technology refers to the control of industrial machines and their various processes thereby reducing the need for human intervention. Industrial automation technology utilizes various control systems such as programmable logic control, industrial control, and numerical control system. These applications are usually used in conjunction with information technology systems such as computer technology that controls automated machines.

Automation is a step forward from mechanization because it greatly reduces the mental and sensory needs of humans, whereas mechanization helps the human operator with the muscular requirements for the job.

Industrial automation plays a huge role in the global economy, and engineers are working hard to combine mathematical tools with automated tools to produce better and more complex systems for evolving applications and human activities.

Machine automation and other technologies have had a major impact on various industries, for example; Telephone operators have largely been replaced by automated switchboards and answering machines, and automated teller machines now make money transactions easier and help reduce bank visits.

Industrial automation is used across a wide range of industries for a wide variety of applications and some of these may include:

o Mechanical engineering

o Industrial control

o Electronic engineering

o Integrated circuit design

o Motion control and fluid control

o Data acquisition software

There are many advantages and disadvantages in the scope of industrialization and some of these advantages are:

o Economic improvement

o Can be used to perform dangerous tasks

o Can replace boring human tasks

Some of the main drawbacks are:

o Automation has its limits and currently cannot replace all human tasks

o Unpredictable development costs

o Initial set-up costs are usually high

Some critics argue that automation will lead to higher unemployment, others argue that the opposite is true and that automation has led to higher employment.