Automation, the term that we all have come across during our daily life, but what exactly is automation.
Well in simple terms, Automation is referred to as, the process of using automatic machines and advanced tools with an operating or processing mechanism to perform high precision work at a faster speed without much human interference. The devices and equipment used in this case are both electric and mechanical.
Most of the industries are using this process for its various advantages. But what are these advantages and what extra equipment are needed for it? Let’s find out.
Advantages of Automation in Industries
The increasing technology complexity and goods demand have a drastic effect on industrial sectors. Whether it is a pharmaceutical industry which needs to pack medicines or a mechanical industry with its needs to cut metal, automation is always a preferred option. It is not only quick and accurate; it is also flexible and safer in comparison to the existing methods.
Automated machines can work 24 hours and 365 days which is not possible for any human. There are chances of damages and breakdown, but then human worker also falls sick. Moreover, the latest machines are coming with better resilience, which helps to deal with this issue.
Additionally, automation is a one-time investment. Once you have laid the whole setup, you might need some maintenance but that’s it, you don’t need to pay any salary or allowances. As for the maintenance part, you can contact professional services like electrical maintenance Bundaberg.
Basic Components Of Industrial Automation
Like every other part of the industry, the automation system also consists of various components. The setup starts from the input power source, and end at the final product or service. Some of the most known elements of this system are:
Power Supply Unit And Its Accessories
The first and foremost need of thing is power. No wonder, the automation system also needs a dedicated system for proper working.
Moreover, the industrial supply is electricity is mostly in AC form, which is not ideal for most machine and circuits. So, you have to convert them into stable DC voltages before use. The power supply unit will also ensure that your devices don’t get affected by power surges.
You can further use some circuit breaker, regulators, indicators and fuses to ensure the safety of the system. Some industries also prefer additional buffers and UPS for the more delicate circuitries like the PLC.
The most common problems with this component are a short circuit, power surges, and overheating. Most of which are avoidable with regular inspection and maintenance.
Logical Controlling Unit
The automatic systems mean that the operator doesn’t have to provide continuous instruction. The machine instructions are stored into a storage device, and then the system automatically works on it, unless interrupted. As storage units and automatic systems are involved, a processing unit is necessary. This job is done by an industrial grade digital computer known as the PLC or Programmable Logic Controller.
This part is also responsible for receiving and storing instruction from the operator.
Industries use PLC rather than a regular computer as it is fast and more durable. It has a powerful processor that can handle thousands of machines at the same time that too without mistakes. Further, its rugged build provides excellent resistance against severe environmental conditions.
This part may be substantial in build, but it is delicate in operating. A slight error in power, maintenance or handling can easily damage it. It is essential that you contact experts like the professional at electrical maintenance Bundaberg for its maintenance and checking.
Industrial Sensors And Feedback System
When you are dealing with high-speed industrial processes, heat, expansions, forces and a lot more factors come into play. These changes are sometimes so minor that human eyes don’t even see them. Further, the PLC need information about the machine to find the state of a process, and you cannot do all this manually. Moreover, what’s the meaning of automation if you have to do it all manually?
For this work, the automatic feedback system comes into play. It consists of sensors which detect the movement in various parts of the automated machine and then provide feedback of the operation to the brain. The processor then calculates the changes in state and applies changes according to it.
This system helps the process in determining the starting and ending point of machine operation. It is also an excellent defence against minor errors.
The most obvious problems with this system are the error in the range of sensor, calibration, and malfunctioning of a sensor. Most of these are easy to handle with some experience and knowledge.
The latest technology has provided us with very accurate and intelligent machines, but they are still a tool. They don’t have their own thinking power, so human intelligence is necessary. The industrial automation system comes with a Human-Machine Interface unit for this purpose.
This unit consists of various hardware and software that act as a bridge between the human and the machine. This unit converts the human language into a form that the computer can understand. Some can also translate machine signals to human language.
This unit is necessary as it enables you to feed instructions to the PLC for all the works. It is also beneficial for logging, signal alarms, database and more.
Drives and Motor Control Unit
Motor unit is the part of automation that is responsible for receiving PLC signals and conveying them. They turn these signals or instruction into actual physical work that the user needs.
This unit comes with various relays, transformer, overload protection units, terminal block and a lot more. These components ensure that the error is setup or power doesn’t affect your machine.
You can buy a ready to use the unit or go for a manual assembly unit, all up to your needs.
The technical trend of today’s market is changing every day. So, to stay ahead in business, you have to change with them. The latest types of automation systems are now coming in various scales for all types of industries.
You can also opt for robotic arms and conveyors for further enhancing productivity without compromising the accuracy and precision of the products. Just remember, to get some advice about electrical maintenance from professionals.