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Related to automation: Office automation, Home automation


The use of machinery, rather than persons, to complete a task. Automation has become increasingly common with leaps in technology that occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries. Automation is thought to have increased efficiency; for example, it made mass production of goods possible. Critics contend, however, that it renders jobs obsolete, undermining workers and reducing people's knowledge of how to "do" things. See also: Industrial Revolution.


the use of mechanical or electrical machines such as robots to undertake frequently-repeated PRODUCTION processes to make them self-regulating, thus avoiding human intervention in these processes. Automation often involves high initial capital investment but, by reducing labour costs, cuts VARIABLE COST per unit.

Automation can be applied to mass production, PRODUCTION-LINE operations which are performed in a fixed sequence with high volumes but in a relatively inflexible way, where changes in the process to accommodate product changes are difficult and costly to implement (fixed automation). Automation can also be applied to lower volume BATCH PRODUCTION type operations, allowing in this case for greater flexibility in accommodating product changes by reprogramming the numerically-controlled machine's/robot's instructions to facilitate rapid changeovers (flexible or programmable automation). See FLEXIBLE MANUFACTURING SYSTEM.


the use of mechanical or electrical machines, such as robots, to undertake frequently repeated production processes to make them self-regulating, thus minimizing or eliminating the use of labour in these processes. Automation often involves high initial capital investment but, by reducing labour costs, cuts VARIABLE COST per unit. See FLEXIBLE MANUFACTURING SYSTEM, PRODUCTIVITY, TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESSIVENESS, CAPITAL-LABOUR RATIO, MASS PRODUCTION, COMPUTER.
References in periodicals archive ?
Today, storage process automation is typically equated with capacity provisioning and positioned as a natural extension of SRM.
Responding to the strong market demand for its family of tape automation products, Exabyte Corporation (OTCBB:EXBT), an innovator in tape backup, restore and archival systems, recently announced a new Program to help VARs establish a Tape Automation Practice.
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Opsware Network Automation System 6 provides the first proactive network change and configuration management solution that focuses on preventing non-compliant changes from being propagated into the network environment.
A major benefit of AutoMate is its flexibility and versatility, which allows the Cancer Center to set up a more dynamic system architecture for application and system integration," said Dustin Snell, CEO of Network Automation.

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