What is Industrial Automation?
Industrial automation is a set of technologies that uses control systems and devices, such as computer software and robotics, to enable automatic operation of industrial processes and machinery without the need for human operators. Industrial automation eliminates the possibility of human error, reduces costs, saves time, and achieves higher performance.
Industrial automation tools
A wide range of tools are required for industrial automation. They include various control systems that incorporate different devices and systems impacting aspects of the manufacturing process. The key tools are explained here.
A PLC is a ruggedized, digital industrial computer control system that is preprogrammed to carry out automatic operations in industrial processes. The PLC continuously monitors and receives information from input devices or sensors, processes the information, and triggers the connected output devices, to complete the task in the industrial process or machinery.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)
SCADA systems control and monitor industrial processes. The system acquires and processes real-time data through direct interaction with devices, such as sensors and PLCs, and records events into a log file. SCADA is important for data analysis, and enables effective decision-making for optimization in industrial processes.
Human Machine Interface (HMI)
An HMI is a software application that enables interaction and communication between a human operator and the machine, or production system. It translates complex data into accessible information, enabling better control of the production process and its various applications.
Artificial Neural Network (ANN)
An ANN is a computing system that is built like the human brain, a network of interconnected neuron nodes. ANNs simulate the way a human brain analyzes and processes information.
Distributed Control System (DCS)
A DCS is a central monitoring network that interconnects devices to control different elements within an automated system.
Robots can efficiently perform tasks in complicated or dangerous situations, improve production flow and quality, and increase safety for employees. Additionally, robots can make daily life much more comfortable or convenient.
The role of a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) in industrial automation
Programmable Controllers are similar to industrial computers. PLCs can work as standalone units that can continuously monitor and automate a process, specific machine function. PLCs can be networked; such a network can control an entire production line. PLCs can be adapted to monitor and control many sensors and actuators; they process electrical signals and use them to carry out preprogrammed commands for almost any application. PLCs are used in industrial automation to increase reliability, system stability and performance, minimizing the need for human operators and the chances of human error.
Unitronics Programmable Logic Controller
Unitronics is an innovator in the creation and design of Programmable Logic Controllers with integrated HMI panels and on-board I/O. Unitronics’ field-proven PLCs are used in a wide range of industrial automation applications, automating hundreds of thousands of installations in diverse fields, from the most simple to the most challenging and complex projects. Industries that use Unitronics PLCs for their automated processes include petrochemicals, automotive, food processing, plastic and textile, packaging, energy and environment, and waste water management.
Unitronics developed the first All-in-One PLC + HMI controllers on the market, and has consistently improved them based on market reviews and industry advancement.
Unitronics now offers several PLC product lines to support a broad range of system requirements. Compactly designed, these game-changing controllers create immediate savings by eliminating time-intensive tasks such as PLC-panel wiring and communication setup. Unitronics supports the All-in-One concept with revolutionary software that enables user to write a Ladder control program, design HMI and web pages, and configure all hardware and communication easily programmed in a single, intuitive software environment.
Read what our customers say about their successful experience with Unitronics products here.