Introduction to Automation

                         Introduction to Automation

What is Automation?

There is nothing more to explain it as the name suggests the meaning. The process of making an industrial Process or application work automatically is called automation.

Say for example,
bottle filling or box filling process,  manufacturing of almost every product can be automated.

Scope of Automation? or Need for Automation?

In this modern era almost every manufacturing plants and power plants are automated. There are three main reasons for that,
  1.  Increased productivity
  2.  Increased safety
  3.  Decreased Man power.
Guess how much time it takes to build a whole car?
It takes 29 to 30 seconds to build a whole car. Yeah you read it right, with automation being adopted by almost every production company this became possible.
So, I guess we are clear about the need for Automation.

How is Automation possible?

So here comes the best part, Automation is only possible with 2 most essential things,
  • Controller
  • Sensors

What is a controller?

Controller is like a brain for the process, it does the thinking and takes the action. We have to program the controller according to the application which is automated .

Say for example:
I am automating the tank filling process, I do the coding to maintain the level in the tank to avoid overflow.
Now I am automating a bottle filling process in which case I will do a different coding.

So the controller can be programmed for your needs accordingly.

What controllers can be used to automate a process?

Depending on the process the controller is chosen, if it is an industrial process the most commonly used controllers is PLC.

If the process is Electronic friendly then micro controllers such as PIC, ATMEGA controllers etc.

Languages used to program a PLC,
  • Ladder programming
  • Functional block diagram
  • Sequential instruction list
Ladder programming is the most commonly used language to program the PLC, followed by functional block diagram and sequential instruction list.

In case of micro controllers the most commonly used language is Embedded C, C some even uses python.

What is Sensor?

Sensors are like a heart of the process, with out the sensors giving signals to the controller the process cannot be automated.

Basic parameters in almost every process,
  • level
  • pressure
  • flow
  • temperature
  • vibrations
So each parameter has many types of sensors for sensing and giving input to the controller. For the details of each sensor and its types, output signals and the tutorials on how to program the plc and micro controller follow this blog and wait for upcoming tutorials.