We now use the term "automation" for specific techniques combined to operate automatically in a complete system. These techniques are possible because of electronic devices, most of which have come into use in the last thirty years. They include program, action, sensing or feedback, decision and control elements as components of a complete system.
The program elements determine what the system does and the step-by-step manner in which it works to produce the desired result. A program is a step-by-step sequence that breaks a task into its individual parts. Some steps in an industrial automation program direct other parts of the system when and how to carry out their jobs.
The action elements are those, which do the actual work. They may carry or convey materials to specific places at specific time or they may perform operations on the materials. The term "mechanical handling device" is also used for the action elements.
Perhaps the most important part of an automated system is sensing or feedback. Sensing devices automatically check on parts of the manufacturing process such as thickness of a sheet of steel or paper. This is called feedback because the instruments return or feedback this information to the central control system.
The decision element is used to compare what is going on in the system with what should be going on. It receives information from sensing devices and makes decisions necessary to maintain the system correctly. If some action is necessary, the decision element can give instructions or commands to the system.
The control element consists of devices to carry out the commands of the decision element. There may be many kinds of devices: valves that open or close, switches that control the flow of electricity, or regulators that change the voltage in various machines. They make the necessary corrections or adjustments to keep the system in conformity with its program.
An industrial engineer working with automated systems is a part of a team. Many components of the system, such as, for example, computersare electronic devices, so electronic engineers and technicians are involved. Many of the industries in which automation has proved particularly suitable - chemicals, papermaking, metals processing - involve chemical processes, so there may be chemical engineers at work too. An industrial engineer with expertise in all these fields may become a systems engineer for automation projects, thereby coordinating the activities of all the members of the team.
UNIT I. AUTOMATION OF PRODUCTION PROCESSES | Task 1. Pronounce correctly the following words and word combinations. Learn them by heart. | AUTOMATION | Task 5. Put in the missing prepositions. | APPLICATIONS OF AUTOMATION AND ROBOTICS IN INDUSTRY | AUTOMATION IN INDUSTRY. AUTOMATED PRODUCTION LINES | Task 3. Find in the text the English equivalents for the following. | Task 6. Find the synonyms in the first list and the antonyms in the second list given below. | Task 1. Pronounce correctly the following words and word combinations. Learn them by heart. | ENERGY AND ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING |