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  • What is Automation?
  • Process Automation
  • Definition of Automation
  • Impacts of Automation
  • Classification of Automation
  • Automation In Production System
  • Applications of Automation
  • Different Technologies used in Industrial Automation

What is Automation?

The word “Automation” is derived from the greek word “Auto” and “Matos” where Auto means ‘Self’ while Metos means ‘To Move’ or ‘Moving’. So, The word Automation gives the meaning ‘Self dictating’ or ‘a mechanism move by itself’.

Process Automation

The automation Process can be applied on any working process or Machines or devices. These are also known as Applications of Automation. This working process on which Automation process is applied is called Process Automation.


  • Boiler Automation
  • Home Automation
  • Industrial Automation

Definition of Automation

Automation refers to the collection of personnel, hardware, and software that can affect or influence the safe, secure and reliable operation of an industrial process.

Automation is the use of control systems, such as computers or robots and information technologies for handling different processes and machinery to replace a human being.

Hence, Automation is the technique of making an apparatus, a process, or a system operate automatically.

Impacts of Automation


  • Increase Productivity
  • Improve the quality of product/process
  • Reduce Labour Cost
  • Reduce Maintenance Cost
  • Reduce Production Cost
  • Improve Safety in working conditions
  • Increase Efficiency
  • Improve Consistency of process
  • Reduce the need of manual Checking, etc.


  • Increase Unemployment
  • Higher Initial Cost
  • Unpredictable Maintenance Cost, etc.

Classification of Automation

Three types:

  • Fixed or, Hard Automation
  • Programmable Automation
  • Flexible or Soft Automation


This type of Automation performs fixed and repeatedly operations in order to achieve high production rates.
It uses a special or, dedicated purpose equipment to automate the fixed processing design.
So, It is inflexible in providing product variety. But it increases the efficiency with high production rate and reduce the unit cost.
For Examle:

  1. Matching Transfer Lines
  2. Automated assembly Machines etc.


This type of Automation is designed with the capacity to change the sequence of operation to accommodate different product configurations.
This type of automation is best suitable for the Batch production process(Many Similar items are produced together).
For Examle:

  1. Paper Mills
  2. Steel Rolling Mills, etc.


This is an extension of Programmable Automation. A flexible Automated system is one that is capable of producing a variety of products (Or, Parts) with virtually no time lost for changeovers from one product to the next.
There is no production time lost while reprogramming the system and altering the physical setup (tooling, fixtures and machine setting).
For Examle:

  1. Automobile Industry
  2. Steel Rolling Mills, etc.

Automation in Production System

Applications of Automation

Automation is present in many forms in our everyday life and in industry.
Some Common examples are:

  • Industrial/Plant/Factory Automation
  • Home/Office/Building Automation
  • Scientific Automation
  • Network Automation
  • Data Center Automation


Industrial Automation uses a combination of hardware and software technologies that enable control and management over industries.


  1. Power Plant
  2. Oil & Gas Refinery
  3. Chemical Plants
  4. Manufacturing Plants
  5. Production Plants
  6. Water Treatment Plant
  7. Product Packaging, etc.


It uses a combination of hardware and software technologies that enable control and management over appliances and devices within a home/office or building.


  1. Lifts
  2. Escalators
  3. Traffic Light
  4. Street Light
  5. Home Appliances
  6. BMS
  7. DGs, etc.


It is used for the research and development of any technology.


  1. Medical Science
    a. ECG
    b. EMG
    c. X-Ray
    d. MRI
  2. Satellite Control
  3. Missile Control, etc.


It is the process of Automating the Configuration, management, and operation of a computer Network.


It enables the bulk of the data center operations to be performed by software programs.

Different Systems / Technologies for Industrial Automation

  • PLC (Programmable Logic Controller)
  • SCADA (Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition)
  • DCS (Distributed Control Systems)
  • HMI (Human Machine Interface)
  • VFD (Variable frequency drive)

PLC (Programmable Logic Controller)

PLC is an Industrial digital computer. It is used to control a manufacturing process, such as assembly lines or Robotics devices.
PLC can store the programs into a memory . It also stores the parameters like Temperature, Pressure, etc.

SCADA (Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition)

SCADA is a control system Architecture, that uses computers, Networked Data Communication and graphical user Interface for high level Process.
It is a system of software and hardware elements, that allows industrial organization to

  1. Control Industrial Process locally or an remote location.
  2. Monitor, gather and process realtime data.
  3. Directly interface with devices such as switches, Pumps, Motors etc.

DCS (Distributed Control Systems)

A DCS is a Digital Automated Industrial Control System.
It is not a centralized control system but are distributed throughout the system, that operates all the machineries.

HMI (Human Machine Interface)

HMI is a user interface of a control panel that connects a person to a Machine, system or device.

VFD (Variable frequency drive)

In Automation Systems any Motion Control is done by drives.

Motion Control means:

  1. Speed Control
  2. Direction Control
  3. Energy Saving