Industrial automation means that processes within an industry are automated, whereby people work is replaced by machines. This requires robots, machines and control systems. Through industrial automation a constant quality is achieved and a company can also produce faster and more. In the context of industrialization, industrial automation is the second step following mechanization.
Examples of industrial automation
Automation was first widely adopted in the American auto industry. In fact, no (production) company can do without industrial automation. Just think of the assembly line, product packaging, metal production, including welding and cutting and the food and beverage industry. But the quality control of these machines is also increasingly performed automatically, using data. The greater the production numbers, the greater the added value of industrial automation.
Which techniques are used?
Various techniques and systems have been developed for controlling and monitoring machines. What is applicable depends entirely on the type of process to be automated. A selection of the possible industrial automation techniques:
DCS – Distributed Control Systems are used within the manufacturing industry. It is a control system with which processes can be monitored and controlled. Think, for example, of opening and closing valves or controlling a pump.
ERP – An ERP system is software that supports business processes. It helps to merge the various administrative and financial processes within a company into one system. Think, for example, of managing stocks, which gives your insight into when certain products need to be reordered or which products remain on the shelf for too long.
Lean manufacturing – This is partly in line with the ERP described above, as it also relates to inventory management to a certain extent. Lean manufacturing can be translated as ‘lean production’ and means that production involves as little waste as possible. All production processes are so closely related that you do not end up with intermediate stocks.
MES – A Manufacturing Execution System is an information system that manages production. The system keeps track of exactly what happens on the work floor. If production figures are lagging, it can be determined on the basis of the data from the MES where exactly things go wrong.
Motion control – Motion control stands for exactly what the name suggests: the controlled movement of objects. To promote the throughput speed, it is important that the speed of movement through machines is optimal.
PLC – The Programmable Logic Controller controls machines using a microprocessor. The computer receives data and, on that basis, sends signals to the machines. What the PLC should do exactly is determined by programming it.
SCADA – SCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition and is used to provide insight into the performance of various machines within large industrial systems. The SCADA collects data, processes it and can make a visualization of it. This gives insight into the points for improvement of various machines.
SFC – Short for Sequential Function Chart: a programming language with which PLCs can be programmed.
Industrial automation: from design to realization
In order to optimize your processes, it is important that we develop applications that fit seamlessly into your specific processes. Our electrical technicians and engineers therefore work closely with you to optimize your processes. The optimization starts with a design and then proceeds to realization. To guarantee the quality of the installation, it is extensively tested. If the installation meets all requirements, commissioning will follow on site. So, we optimize your processes from start to finish. In this way you are assured of good industrial automation.
The benefits of industrial automation
As mentioned earlier, industrial automation ensures more efficient processes. This is often accompanied by cost savings. In addition, industrial automation also improves: – Productivity; – quality; – flexibility; – check. By optimizing your processes, you increase productivity and improve quality. In addition, the process with industrial automation also becomes a lot more flexible.
Cost-effective and profit-increasing in the long run
A caveat to the above is that the implementation of industrial automation requires a significant investment. We do not ignore the fact that the purchase costs for software and machines are not small. In addition, your staff must be trained to operate the equipment. The transition to industrial automation is therefore definitely a long-term choice.
Stalwart International, One of the best Process Equipment Suppliers in India.