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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.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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.

Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson


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.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005
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* What are the key factors driving the global industrial controls and factory automation market
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For the last 17 years Panasonic has been a leading producer of CD, CD-R and other optical media and the factory automation machinery to produce it.
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The HR31 series of low profile power supply connectors is ideal for factory automation networks.
"In addition, customers report that they like the 'one-stop shopping' aspect of being able to outsource all of their automation needs, including software, to PRI." PRI pioneered flexible factory automation systems for the semiconductor industry, and remains the only vendor able to provide integrated hardware, software and service solutions for semiconductor manufacturers.
HD Systems offers a line of miniature DC servo actuators for use in applications such as robotics, instrumentation, and factory automation where precise motion control is required.
It has been designed to be placed in-line with feed systems in factory automation systems, packaging lines and other automated factory settings.
Designed for factory automation, the IMM is robot ready, incorporating an SPI standard robot interface and mounting pad.
(Nasdaq:PRIA), Billerica, Mass., a leader in semiconductor factory automation, has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Promis Systems Corporation Ltd.
Factory Automation, one of the segments analyzed and sized in this study, displays the potential to grow at over 10.2%.