Automation is a kind of technology by which repetitive tasks, processes, and procedures are carried out by minimum help of humans. The technology may be complex or simple depending upon the task/s it performs. So, in this article, we explain the basic questions such as what is automation, its types, and advantages.
In addition, mechanization also involves various kinds of machines, switches, controllers, and computers. In any mechanization, use of sensors and computers are inherent. However, some kind of automation can work on simple mechanics. The simplest example is the thermostat that controls the temperature by controlling the compressor.
The brief history of automation
The automation technology dates back to 300BC in the Greek and Arab era. At that time, Cteibius, a Greek inventor, described a float regulator in water clock. It was the first feedback control system.
The industrial revolution in Europe brought a surge in mechanization. At that time windmills, furnaces, and steam engines used some kind of mechanization. The use of automatic control systems such as the pressure regulator, and temperature control devices were common.
Furthermore, in the modern world, after the invention of computers, the mechanization takes a big leap forward. Nowadays, various manufacturing processes are fully autonomous. Modern airplanes can fly autonomously and so on.
Mechanization and human life
Mechanization makes human life better. The boring repetitive tasks are now carried out by machines. The increase in the use of automation helps humans concentrate on creative work. So, the increase in creativity leads to increase in the invention.
In addition, the mechanization in the modern home ensures a more relaxed life. You can now remotely control the temperature of your home, and keep your food hot when you arrive. Now with Google Assistant, you can even automate watering the plants. Although this is an insane level of computerization, it keeps your plants green when you are on a vacation.
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Types of automation
The automation has numerous types. The type of mechanization varies in accordance with the type of industry. In mechanical industries, the mechanization helps to improve efficiency and minimum turnaround time. So, it also helps to increase production without compromising the quality. The use of robotics in the industrial application is increasingly popular. So, this brings efficiency in each and every process.
Now automation in IT, Retail, E-commerce, home automation, healthcare, highway systems, logistics, warehousing, and waste management are some of the recent types of automation.
The mechanization increases the scale and simplifies the mass production. The less human interference leads to more productivity; be it day or night. The increase in the efficiency results in savings. The automation increases the speed of production. At the same time, consistent production is also possible.
A decrease in labors leads to more savings. So, you are less dependant on human labor. Some complex tasks need the highest accuracy and precision. The mechanization in these tasks brings the same accuracy every time.
The complex environments such as heat, fire, and nuclear facilities are threats to humans while mechanization in these areas brings safety. The computerization in the automation can handle the tasks which are beyond the human capability. This also creates skilled jobs such as controlling and programming those computers.
The biggest disadvantage is a significant initial cost of implementation. The increase in the use of automation also leads to unemployment. Furthermore, failures in automatic processes may lead to significant delays. Besides, the automated systems are vulnerable to attacks and hacking.
Future of automation
Furthermore, the increased computational power brings more power to automate. The advancement of new technologies such as artificial intelligence leads to total computerization. The self-driving cars are becoming a reality. So, the future driving will increasingly use automated technology. The rise of the internet supplements remote automated environment. So, the future is all about automation.
Image courtesy: Multivac, ISA