Factory automation is based on the application of computers. It involves various technologies. These technologies are applied by persons highly qualified in automation engineering. The technologies involves in factory automation are motor control and drive system, robotics system, machine vision system, programmable logic control system and manufacturing executive systems. These are also known as automation tools without which automation is not possible.
Factory automation facilitates creativity and perspective to implement robot technology. It makes many manufacturing processes possible without human interference. Automation integrates logic, power, information technologies and process into one drive system. Automaton applied in the factory uses machine vision system. It uses robotic machine handling process to perform identification, orientation and decoding tasks. The programmable logic control system one the important automation tools facilitates the successful implementation of the automation control system. This system is capable of controlling all types of machine controls, web handling lines, paper machine and pulping processes. It also works as conveyor system and does the functions such as packaging and mixing, blending and batching.
There is need to unify the business with plant floor system in the present global scenario. The factory automation makes it possible. It also provides flow of information to instruct people and machines to deliver the product as per requirement. Some important functions performed under the automation include operation scheduling, resource allocation and status, labor management, quality management, process management and performance analysis.
Today the performance of an organization is based on two things namely effectiveness and efficiency. Effectiveness means ability to recognize and do everything that can contribute to the organization's development. Efficiency refers to the ratio of output to the input of any process or system. The efficiency and effectiveness of a factory or manufacturing unit are greatly advanced by the automation system. It contributes in increasing the production of the factory as well as makes the manufacturing process more flexible.
The quality control through factory automation is the key issue behind the application of automation. The global economy has made the economy more competitive. In this economic environment there is emphasis on the better quality of products. The automation system in the industries can play a major role in the quality enhancement. But running after the technological advancement with the revolution in information technology has raised many issues. A major section of workforce has been rendered jobless due to the automation system operation. Besides, the whole operation of the factory has become more and more dependent on the machines and instruments. It has opened the way for any major debacle at any time.
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