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Factory Automation: The Current State & Future Outlook

DAS Services Inc.

Factory automation systems make use of various control systems for handling and operating machines in process industries such as boilers, switching in the telephone network, heat treating ovens, steering, and stabilization of ships, aircraft, and applications with reduced human work. You can find both partially automated devices and fully automation devices. 

Various means, which include mechanical, pneumatic, electronic, hydraulic, electrical, and computers in combination achieve automation. Modern factories, ships, and airplanes use all these techniques together in various complicated systems to achieve automation. 

The Importance of Factory Automation 

The industrial automation devices can generate the fullest growth with technologies such as nanotechnology, MEMS and nanotech sensors, and nanoscale assembly systems. These technologies can measure anything in the machine-to-machine networking systems. Real-time automation equipment will give a pool of chances for multi-processing and adaptive systems. It is needless to mention that, many new software applications contain distributed peer-to-peer networks and wireless sensors. 

The software applications allow each node to communicate easily with each other and this remains the future of the factory automation. On the other hand, automated industries and processes are costly to be reconstructed, so these companies should have flexible and configurable factory automation components. For easy reconstruction, direct access to most automation tools such as valves, drives, motors, and switches is required. The automated processes lead to more productivity and fewer employee mistakes. 

Current State of Factory Automation

Leaving everything to automated robots is a dream still for many industries. As of now, car assembly factories are using industrial robots for their effective operation. The industrial robotic equipment gets hold of improved vision systems, high computing abilities and improved freedom of operation. However, the robots still need human controls in high structured circumstances. The industrial robots remain inflexible for the use of medium and small industries. 

This clears that industrial robots are a good fit for large industries and big processes. Automation is still relying a lot on the computer and its software programs to integrate, automate and operate various manufacturing components. Due to this dependence, automation in the manufacturing industry is defined as computed integrated automation. 

Future of Factory Automation 

The current state of the automation may depend on computers, but its future looks very bright. Future industrial robots will be multi-functional, so the same robots can be used for various functions and operations. The future industrial robots will contain many abilities associated with human workers such as to work autonomously and the ability to make decisions. The future industrial robots will have predictive maintenance and self-diagnostic abilities. 

With no doubts, the future of factory automation will be convincing and remains more useful in human resources, energy, and raw materials. On the other hand, automation does not bring any mass unemployment. Instead, the mass use of future industrial robots will create more jobs for human workers. Humans and future industrial robots will work together to create a productive and efficient work-space.

Therefore, we have discussed factory automation, its current state, and future. I hope that this article would have conveyed some handy information on factory automation.