Automation is a term defined as the process in which machines will perform the tasks done by human beings. In simple words, the replacement of human operations by using computers. Industrial automation plays a vital role in increasing productivity and cost reduction.

Elements of automation

  • Power source
  • Process
  • Controls
  • Feedback
  • Programmable Command

The basic elements of any automated process that includes

  • A power source
  • Feedback control
  • Programmable command

Types of automation

In recent years, the major development happened in the automation field. There are five different types of automation that include:

  • Flexible manufacturing systems(FMS)
  • Computer -aided manufacturing(CAM)
  • Information Technology(IT)
  • Robots
  • Numerically controlled(NC) device
  • Computer integrated manufacturing(CIM)

Flexible manufacturing systems (FMS)

It comprises of numerically controlled devices, robots and automated material handling systems used in the manufacturing of products in different machines.

Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)

It includes the usage of the computers in the production planning and control function to manufacture industrial products. It comprises of robots, numerically controlled devices and other automated tools.

Information technology (IT)

It consists of all related computer technologies being used in the manufacturing field for easy facilitation of manufacturing process.

Numerically controlled (NC)

Machine tools have been programmed to execute manufacturing operations of products.


It will execute all types of tasks been usually handled by humans. In manufacturing, robots will handle a variety of tasks such as welding, painting, testing, inspection etc.

Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM)

It interlinks all types of manufacturing operations through an integrated computer network. The main applications of computer-integrated manufacturing that include product design system changes, cost reduction and manufacturing operations optimization.

Steps to upgrade automation systems

At the time of upgrading your automation system, the following points are to be considered:

  • Define a clear purchase plan
  • Nominate an experienced person
  • Define your goals to upgrade
  • Define a plan how to achieve your goals
  • Define a criteria to choose vendors

Advantages of industrial automation

  • Business process integration
  • Repeatability
  • Quality factor
  • Improved productivity
  • Optimization of manufacturing operations
  • Reduction of waste
  • Labor costs reduction

Major players in industrial automation

  • RobotWorx
  • Yokogowa
  • National Instruments
  • Rockwell Automation
  • ABB
  • GE Fanuc
  • Honeywell etc.

Thus, factory automation will result in improving safety, productivity and quality of manufacturing operations. And also, it can reduce costs; optimize manufacturing operations and suitable return on investment.