Technology advances continue to be used in everyday life. One of the latest developments is incorporating automation in different business aspects, from automated opening doors to assembling necessary parts. The largest duty that is performed by automation and robotic technology is the manufacturing of products.
To produce these manufactured products, automation uses three different types, including programmable automation, flexible automation and fixed automation.
Programmable automation is used to make specific products in batches. These products can be made in enormous batches, such as several thousand, or smaller batches, such as a few dozen. By using programmable automation, you are able to input what needs to be made and how many, and work on other projects while you monitor the progress. Programmable automation also allows you to produce a large quantity in less time than it would take a group of individuals to make the same amount. The most commonly used programmable automation device are industrial robots, as well as machine tools and logic controllers.
Flexible automation is one step up from programmable automation. With programmable automation, in order to change the product that is being produced, you have to spend a large amount of time configuring the machine to produce the new piece that is needed. As a result you lose not only time, but production time, in the end costing you a lot of money. Flexible automation gives you a variety of choices when selecting what products need to be produced. Being able to switch back and forth between different products as needed with ease is paramount. One of the most commonly used flexible automation that’s used in many different industries is the robotic arm. You can program them to do almost anything that an individual would do with their own hand.
Fixed automation is when the machine itself is made to only produce one type of product. It is not a simple matter of reprogramming the machine. The machine would need to be taken apart and its wiring, gears and other hardware would have to be changed, a process that is far easier said than done. One example of a fixed automation machine is the transfer lines used in the automotive industry, machine assembly lines and certain chemical plant machines.
While many people may be skeptical of automation in businesses, in many fields these machines have begun to save lives, save money and allow people to perform previously impossible tasks. When a SWAT team gets called to a building for a bomb threat, they are often able to use a flexible robot to disarm the bomb and prevent any civilians or SWAT personnel from getting hurt. The next time you see an automation in action at a business, remember that they are able to produce more, prevent people from getting hurt in certain situations and allowing new ideas to be tested.
With such a diverse selection of automation technology available, more and more businesses have begun to locate machines to perform many tasks, from the most basic to the most complex tasks that they need done. As technology continues to develop, the world will begin seeing more and more automation machines coming into business to perform tasks as needed.