9 November

Different Types of Industrial Automation Systems

This history began in the 18th century when the world’s first automatic flour mill was developed. It was a complete novelty back then, as it could function with no human intervention. Ages have passed and humanity continued to improve this system. To keep up with the constantly growing human wants and level of competition, modern plants steadily apply automation.

Automation plays a major role in modern manufacturing, as it increases efficiency and reduces costs. Automated systems can also provide better quality control, as they are able to detect and prevent errors before they become a problem. Automation also helps to reduce waste, as it can be programmed to use only the resources needed to complete a task. Nowadays, many companies are using automation for manufacturing can increase their production capacity and meet customer demands faster and more efficiently. The use of automation solutions like Sciotex’s manufacturing vision systems seems to make it easy for manufacturing companies to increase production, improve safety, and enhance their operational effectiveness. Automation solutions can help companies reduce downtime and human error, while also providing real-time data that can be used to improve processes.

Today, different types of automation exist, most of them being in high demand. It may be necessary to examine your labor conditions, manufacturing and assembly operations, and labor costs and learn about the different industrial automation applications before selecting one for your company. Understanding how competitive your business is in the current market is also a significant point. These are not the final criteria, but they’re the most important ones.

Reasons to Apply Industrial Automation System

Other less obvious benefits can appear in your enterprise after implementing industrial automation. They include minimization of a man-made factor and manual workers can be involved in more active processes. On top of that, human operators are less likely to be damaged by chemicals or high temperatures. As a result, manufacturing companies may need to use proper automated systems, such as Material Handling Systems, in their production workflow. Automated systems reduce the risk of injury or illness to operators by providing safety features like temperature monitoring, automated chemical handling, and guards that prevent operators from coming into contact with hazardous materials. Additionally, automated systems increase production efficiency and reduce labor costs, which can help a company save money in the long run.

Not to mention more efficient use of materials and higher production rates. Here, at RIOS, we have ready-made solutions to make your company achieve new heights. Our AI-controlled robots can do the following:

  • ASTRIA for quick material handling
  • DION for food items handling
  • LUMOS for quality control
  • HERMES for packing SKUs into poly bags
  • VULCAN for sorting, packing, and palletizing goods

As you can see, your current manual workers can be replaced with robotics. They cope perfectly with recurring tasks requiring the same actions.

Fixed Automation System

Judging by its name, this process is all about a fixed set of operations that are rarely subject to any changes. Due to its limited functionality, this type of automation is usually used in mass production. It has the following advantages:

  • High volumes of production
  • Stably high quality of production
  • Reduced cost per unit produced

There are also disadvantages such as:

  • High initial cost
  • Inflexible to changes

Fixed automation is perfect for companies creating food products of one variant. This allows an enterprise to effectively produce these items in quantity and pack them at an increased speed.

Programmable Automation System

Unlike the previous system, programmable automation is more flexible and can be reprogrammed according to the company’s needs. To change the set instruction, a human operator rewrites a code. However, it can’t be changed completely. That’s why programmable automation is still more common in mass production.

This is one of the most widespread types of industrial automation, as it satisfies the majority of needs of mid-sized businesses. It’s usually used in paper mills or steel rolling mills. Plants producing automobile and machinery parts also apply it. This type has the following upsides:

  • More flexible to changes
  • Works well for batch productions

The downsides include the following:

  • High initial cost
  • Lower production levels
  • Takes a lot of time to reprogram
  • Requires a team of specialists to change the code.

Compared to fixed automation, the number of released units will be lowered. The secondary settings are easy to change, but the main program remains the same Still, this is a great solution for factories making different variants of foods.

Flexible Automation System

The name says it all, as this system adapts to your company’s needs. This is a great solution for factories dealing with flexible production. All equipment is controlled by a human-operated computer. This allows them to change the settings according to what product is created. The mentioned system boasts the following benefits:

  • Highly flexible
  • New changes are easy to implement

The pain points look like this:

  • Expensive custom machinery equipment
  • Higher cost per unit produced
  • Requires a team of specialists for remote control

This type of automation is usually used in job shops with a large variety of products available. Textile manufacturing is a great example of an enterprise implementing it.

Integrated Automation System

Being entirely handled by computers with minimal human intervention, it’s the most complex automation system. With its help, the enterprise designs and fabricates parts. It boasts the following pluses:

  • Excellent flexibility
  • Reduced risks

Still, it has several minuses:

  • Weak management and overall process control
  • Lack of communication during production
  • Extremely expensive to implement
  • Requires a team of specialists to fix breakdowns

Premised on the described classification of automation, this type is one of the rarest. A company should decide when and for what purpose to use it.

Infographic Created by Meyer Industrial, Durable High Temperature Valve for Medium-Pressure Applications