automation

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Related to Factory automation: Process automation

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.

automation

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.

automation

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 ?
What are the key factors driving the global industrial controls and factory automation market
Mitsubishi Electric is one of the world's most highly respected factory automation companies, and is the largest provider of factory automation products in Japan and Asia.
Commenting on the announcement, Hartmut Putz, President of Mitsubishi Electric's Factory Automation European Business Group said, "This step ahead underlines the importance of the Scandinavian and Baltic States region to our business.
Online Development is a "fast track" developer of factory automation hardware and software for OEMs such as Rockwell Automation and ProSoft products in the industrial market space.
The company provides factory automation services for industrial applications to industry leading companies to help these companies realize their business goals by using factory automation systems which include robotics, PLCs, visualization and HMI, IT systems, custom software and AC/DC Drive and servos.
The new sensors deliver breakthrough performance and programmability to simplify the design of factory automation controls, platform monitoring systems and other motion-sensitive industrial tools and machinery.
NEW DELHI, India -- HCL Technologies Ltd ("HCL"), a leading global IT and engineering services provider, was awarded the 2005 Semiconductor Factory Automation Solutions Customer Value Enhancement Award from Frost & Sullivan.
a global supplier of factory automation equipment, announced today it has established an alliance with Silicon Valley-based Absaria to provide "touchless diagnostics" and predictive maintenance solutions for the semiconductor industry.