What is automation? It uses control systems for operating equipment with reduced or minimal human intervention required. You’ll see examples of automation in machinery, processes in factories, telephone networks, and in aircraft or ships. It is possible to have some wholly automated methods. Automation is great for saving labour costs, saving energy, and improving quality and precision.
The first actual use of automation, inspired by the word automatic, was when Henry Ford established an automation department for the first production line in the automobile industry in 1947. Since then, automation has been achieved using mechanical, pneumatic, and electrical devices and computers. Complex systems like those on an aircraft will use a combination of all of the techniques. For your own piece of automation, consider Electric Gate Installers Cheltenham to improve the security of your property. Visit Complete Gate Automation, who are Electric Gate Installers Cheltenham
The main advantages of automation include the following:
- Improved quality
- Increased productivity
- Increased consistency of output
- Improved robustness of processes or product
- Reduction in labour costs and expenses
- Reduction in cycle time
- The high degree of accuracy
- Replacement for jobs that are monotonous or physically tough
- Perform tasks beyond human ability, such as with heavy weight, size, speed, and endurance
- Replacement for humans in hazardous environments such as underwater, space, fire, or nuclear facilities
The disadvantages of automation in the workplace could be seen as follows:
- An automated system is vulnerable to committing errors outside its scope of knowledge if it has limited intelligence.
- The costs involved can be unpredictable and excessive and may amount to more than any possible savings from automating a process.
- The high initial cost of installing equipment
We see examples of increasing automation every day. McDonald’s fast food restaurant has introduced touch screen ordering and payment systems to reduce the need for cashiers. Some restaurants have automated delivery and send food to customers on a conveyor belt to replace waiting staff. You have undoubtedly used a self-service checkout in your local supermarket, dramatically reducing the need for many checkout operators.
Shopping is also becoming increasingly automated, with online stores offering apps where you can order and have your payment taken through an online transaction processing system. Your item is most likely picked by automated warehouse robotics such as those used by Amazon.
In motoring, we can also see the rise of automation with self-driving cars. The hope is for fully automated highways and vehicles to complete intelligent vehicle-highway systems that are safer and more eco-friendly.