What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about automation systems? Is it a home automation system, or industrial or some other type? Whichever it is, you are right. There are many different types of automation systems, used in many different working environment to keep the devices and systems running smoothly and more efficiently. Today, these automated systems are most commonly used in the manufacturing industry, because they improve the efficiency and productivity significantly.
Automation systems used in manufacturing are connected to a central computer or controller as commonly called, which is designed to control all parts of automation systems that are connected. In most cases, the controller is located on a rugged foundation so that it can handle the most difficult working environments and extreme temperatures without interruption. The processor, or the main part of the controller, has a clock rate that operates extremely fast. The faster the clock rate, the more instructions the controller can send and receive from the automated devices.
The main function of the controller is to maintain control over the automation systems all the time. Either using local control or remote control points to communicate with automation devices, the controller sends and receives information directly from the system. All automated devices used manufacturing environments are wired or wireless connected.
In addition to controlling automated machines, the controller also monitors various data, such as temperatures, tank pressure and other features, depending on the model. Also, the computer is able to interface with outside systems for exchange of data. And while many would believe that these systems require a specific type of computer, the controller of automation systems is no different than a typical personal computer. It really is hard to believe that a personal computer is the heart of any manufacturing plant that uses an automation system.
As said earlier, there are many different types of automation systems and devices, used by different users in different working environments. Some automation systems are used to create a product from the start to end, while other types are used to transport personnel from one point to another. In addition to manufacturing and production processes, automated systems have an unlimited number of suitable applications, such as: industrial control, programmable logic control, numerical control systems, medical applications, printing applications and many others.