Civil Engineer Technology

Automation – How does it work in Industrial Automation?

Automation is the use of largely automatic equipment in a system of manufacturing or other production processes. This typically includes the use of PLCs, sensors, robots, and motors among many other things depending on the automated process. 

Automation saves time and money. It also helps remove human mistakes. Another upside is that the use of automation creates many high paying careers for maintenance workers, engineers, and programmers. 

How does it work?

An everyday example of automation is of park automatic car wash. Once the was is been select, that input will run a certain program on the controller. Next, drive forward until the sensor indicates, starting the wash cycle and another sensor tells the driver when to stop. From there, the wash will continue through the cycle that the controller is running. In a car wash, the nozzle spring the water and chemicals will travel aside from a vehicle and an anticipate will notice when it is past the vehicle.

This saves water, chemicals, and time by controlling when the nozzles spray, as well as serves as an input to advance to the next step of the wash. Once the car is a shower, the program tells the wash to spray the next chemical. This is done by the controller turning on and off each pump as it needs. The controller runs through the rest of the cycle and washes which is select in the beginning. Once all steps have been completed, the driver will be signed to pull out of the wash.


How does Industrial Automation work?

Each industrial process needs to start with some sort of input. That input can be a sensor, pushbutton, switch, among many other possibilities. Typically a person will start the process with one of these input devices or it could be a sensor that detects an object automatically. Those inputs go to a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) in which it will then make decisions base on how it programs. 

The PLC gets activate after the output program sets. Output can be anything that does work such as a motor, solenoid, radiator, or a light. In an electric process, that output will generally act as an input to the PLC. Combines with other input devices or programming, to keep the process running. 

Automation has to have many aspects of working together in order to function properly. The automation process will not start again until it does not get a stop signal. 


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