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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 ?
Automatic / Self Driving Car Market - Companies Comparative Analysis
For plan years beginning after 2007, plans that offer automatic enrollment and meet certain requirements are exempt from the usual nondiscrimination tests that apply to employees' elective deferrals and employer matching contributions.
Another employer concern has been the fiduciary responsibility and liability for investment of contributions made to a plan through automatic enrollment.
a new melter, dosing furnaces and automatic pouring, incorporating new mold-handling equipment and installing a conveyor system for shakeout, the Gerstmeiers brought their shop to a higher level of metalcasting.
Plastic embossing machines, calenders, plastic laminators, roll coaters of all types, flame laminators, slitting units, tension control units, unwind and rewind units with automatic splicing and flying start features.
Over the last 10 to 15 years, various automatic transmission technologies, including step automatic transmission, AMT (automated manual transmission), CVT (continuously variable transmission), and DCT (dual clutch transmission), have been developed.
With the advancement of an information society and increased freedom of movement across borders, the dynamic development of technology supporting automatic speech interpretation and translation to support communication between different languages is rapidly progressing.
357 automatic, a department could issue them a 9 millimeter in a similar or same-size handgun that they may feel more comfortable with; hopefully, better marksmanship skills would result.
The new automatic fuel surcharge policy is a result of a joint MTMC-industry fuel board, which held its first meeting Nov.
This engine will be mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.
Domestic and foreign manufacturers offer semi-automatic--only variations of assault rifles, submachine guns, and other automatic firearms for civilian sale in the United States.
NEC was the first to produce an award-winning fully automatic projector last year and we've improved upon previous models by reducing the new NP projectors size and weight by 20%," said Keith Yanke, senior product marketing manager, NEC Corporation of America, Visual Systems Division.

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