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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.
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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
References in periodicals archive ?
Giuseppe Lippi: The widespread incorporation of laboratory automation was mainly driven by the concept derived from industry that robots decrease manufacturing costs and can perform tasks at a pace no human could possibly manage.
"As a global leader in laboratory automation, Siemens has the solutions to help you drive better outcomes by turning complexity into efficiency.
From automated instruments and task-targeted automation powered by advanced robotic solutions with multiple connectivity options, to total laboratory automation with track-based systems, automation solutions today are scalable and flexible to meet the demands of any size laboratory.
ALA seeks to provide a greater understanding of the importance and value of automation technologies in laboratory settings, to advance science and promote education related to laboratory automation by encouraging the study, advancing the science and improving the practice of laboratory automation across industries such as drug discovery and development, clinical diagnostics, food and agriculture, forensics and securities, energy, commodity chemicals and polymers among others.
Gene Expression Markets in Europe is part of the Drug Discovery and Diagnostic Technologies Subscription, which also includes research in the following markets: Contract Research Organisations (CROs) markets in Europe, Nucleic Acid Isolation Markets in Europe and Advances in Laboratory Automation Markets in Europe.
New five- and six-axis jointed-arm robots suitable for injection machine tending, assembly, or laboratory automation are offered by Rixan Associates, Dayton, Ohio (North American distributor for Mitsubishi Robots of Japan).
Westward's General Manager, Debra Wielkopolska, and Nicola Wilson, the Microbiology Manager, studied the problem, looked at the solutions and prepared a business case for laboratory automation. The proposal was accepted by the Board and building work commenced in March 2004.
Protedyne Corporation, a leading laboratory automation supplier, today announced that it has completed the installation and site acceptance of its BioCube System LX2000 in Eli Lilly's Indianapolis facility.
The new PCIDAQ 04 series is recommended for rugged applications such as automotive and cable testing, transient signal measurements, automated test equipment, laboratory automation, and biotechnology measurements.
"The acquisition of Data Centric Automation provides Kendro with significantly greater capability in laboratory automation for drug discovery," comments Dennis M, Pope, President of Kendro.
Life Sciences services include: market sizing/forecast data on life science technology markets; a series of subscription "Continuous Intelligence Services" that cover such topics as drug discovery and development, clinical trials, bio-IT, chem-IT and laboratory automation; and, leading indicators and benchmarking studies.
Worldwide Computer Products News-30 January 2004-LabVantage ships upgraded laboratory automation solution(C)1995-2004 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD

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