Industrial automation utilizes a wide variety of electrical, electronic and mechanical equipment to control and monitor industrial systems, such as water treatment plants, power generation and distribution centres, buildings, pulp and timber mills, mining, Gas & Oil along with manufacturing and production operations.
Industrial automation systems include
- PLC (Programmable Logic Controller)
- SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition)
- HMI (Human Machine Interface)
- Motion Drives
- Sensors & Transducers (proximity, temperature, flow etc.)
- MCC (Motor Control Centre)
Modern industrial automation systems can be traced back to the industrial revolution of the late 18th century, where advanced (for their time) mechanical systems were implemented to increase the quality and quantity of manufactured products. Technology growth and developments are a direct result of industrial automation systems.
Examples of this can be seen in food and automotive production, where automated production lines utilizing robots and high speed processes have increased output exponentially while lowering the defect rate of products to almost zero. Implementing industrial automation systems, when done correctly, also ensures workers exposure to workplace hazards are minimized, if not eliminated.
Industrial automation systems monitor and control an almost endless variety of processes, ensuring safe and efficient operation while allowing for change as required. Industrial automation has been essential in the development of modern society, where choice, health and quality of life, among other things, are all important byproducts.
When it comes to choosing an industrial automation design partner it is important to consider all aspects of the automation process, not just the cost of hardware. Successful industrial automation design and implementation requires a thorough understanding the entire design process, from the initial project scope to understanding the processes under control, the hardware elements, installation procedures, programming requirements, documentation, back-up support and most importantly the safety aspect