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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.


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 ?
Automated Trading Desk, LLC (ATD), a pioneer of automated trading technology, today announced that its retail execution platform, ATD Financial Services, LLC (AUTO) launched the first-ever automated pink sheet and bulletin board trading execution service.
ADC's new OmniReach(TM) Automated Copper Cross-Connect (ACX) System provides a flexible, scalable platform that allows carriers to remotely move, add and change services for customers.
SpeechCycle's voice self-service solutions revolve around its Continuous Improvement Process to address the full lifecycle of speech applications - which means its automated agents never grow obsolete.
SoundBite has benefited greatly from the phenomenal adoption of automated voice messaging solutions over the past two years, and we are well positioned to take further advantage of the growing demand for compelling customer contact solutions," said Peter Shields, president and CEO, SoundBite.
SpeechCycle's automated agents are provided on-demand using the multi-tenant Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model which enables them to scale to handle millions of calls as well as peak times and spikes in call volumes.
Benefits of Automated & Rapid Microbiological Tests 30
But the point I really want to make clear is that the automated underwriting platform isn't just about automation.
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Automated teller machine operator means any person that operates an automated teller machine at which a consumer initiates an electronic fund transfer or a balance inquiry and that does not hold the account to or from which the transfer is made, or about which an inquiry is made.
believes that automated cars and roads are "inevitable.
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