0 Replies Latest reply on Sep 13, 2019 11:55 AM by rscasny

    Do You Know the Three Types of Industrial Automation?


      In many circles, when you say the term "industrial automation," the word that comes into mind is robotics. I'll agree that robots are amazing pieces of engineering, but they are not the beginning and the end of all automation.


      There are three types of automation:


      • Fixed: traditional manufacturing equipment that do one thing and only one thing. Think of a bottling line that inserts the soda and caps the bottle.
      • Programmable: this is for batch production up to a few thousand parts. Disadvantage: the automation equipment has to be re-programmed for different kinds of batches, thus there are inefficiencies inherent in this type of automation.
      • Flexible: like programmable automation but flexible automation can automate the production of different batches of products simultaneously. This is the paradigm of Industry 4.0, advanced manufacturing, etc.


      So, where do robots fit in?