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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 ?
Congress's intent was clear when it included the provision for automatic enrollment in the PPA '06: many employees were not properly saving for retirement, and Congress wanted to facilitate increased savings.
Equipment, supplies and services for CD and screen and pad-transfer printing include automatic and semi-automatic screen printers, pad-transfer printers, and visual inspection systems for CD, medical, pharmaceutical and container decorating markets.
Ride comfort is a major criterion for any automatic transmission, but automated transmission systems differ substantially in terms of the level of shift comfort and spontaneity they afford when changing gears," said Wagner.
PDA-operational Japanese - English travel conversation, automatic speech translation software in 2002
Our consensus was that we should have a fuel policy that fairly compensates our industry partners when the price of fuel rises," said Frank Galluzzo, Director, Distribution Analysis Center, which developed the automatic fuel surcharge policy.
A four-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission is included.
The story was accompanied by illustrations of several semi-automatic versions of automatic weapons, with captions that cited the much higher firing rates of the automatics.
To give the presenter the ultimate ease of use this projector also includes many automatic features including auto focus, auto vertical keystone correction, auto source selection, quick shut down and AutoSense[TM] technology, all wrapped up in a super lightweight package.
License holders of district Muzaffargarh can deliver their automatic weapons to the office of deputy commissioner.
Speaking on the introduction of Automatic Transmission in the XUV500 W6 FWD variant, VivekNayer, Chief Marketing Officer, Automotive Division, M&M Ltd.
2006-45, the Service updated its automatic consent procedures for certain eligible corporations to change their annual accounting periods.

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