Automation is the use of technology to reduce the need for human work in the production of goods and the performance of services. Automation is used in a wide range of industries, from manufacturing to medical to communications to banking (ATMs).

Automation components can be anything from simple solenoid valves to complex pneumatic logic control systems.

Automation Company Links:

  • Don Wolf & Associates, Inc., is a leading distributor of a broad range of components for automation. They offer fluid control products, miniature pumps, solenoid valves, and much more.
  • Dyco, Inc. is a world leader in the design, manufacturing and installation of automation products for plastic container handling systems. They have experience handling plastic containers, cable conveyors and table top conveyors.
  • Isel USA is a manufacturer and provider of automation products for linear motion systems. They keep an inventory of linear rails, bearings, V guide rollers, ball screws, ball nuts and aluminum extrusions, belt drive slides, gantry positioning tables, stepper controllers, and software to support their products.

Automation Advantages

Some of the key advantages of automation include the ability to work in dangerous environments where humans would be unable to go; the ability to perform tasks that are beyond normal human capabilities in size, weight, speed, etc.; and cost effectiveness—automated machinery will quickly pay for itself in terms of human labor costs saved.

Additionally, automation also increases the quality of manufactured goods—automated machinery greatly reduces the possibility of errors in production.

Modern automation components are also often very versatile, featuring easy convertibility to switch from manufacturing one product to manufacturing a different product quickly, with very little downtime and very little human involvement.

Automation Tools & Applications

A very wide variety of controls and human-machine interfaces (also called computer human interfaces) exist to operate automated equipment. These controls are often aided by specialized software, including computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programs, which further improve the precision and quality of production.

The availability of different control systems also makes it possible for automation to be used in a broad range of applications. Among many other applications, automation can be used in:

  • Video surveillance systems: in indoor and outdoor environments, using stationary or mobile cameras
  • Highway systems: in still-developing, fully-automated highway systems with intelligent vehicle-roadway interaction (i.e. little to no human control of vehicles required)
  • Industrial and manufacturing: in assembly lines, equipment controls, and other similar operations
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