Industrial Automation refers to the use of information technologies, artificial intelligence or control systems for handling processes, operations and machinery. It is mainly done to minimize the use of labor. The concept of manufacturing in the current scenario revolves around the idea of automation, artificial intelligence and motion control. It can also be said that automation aims at replacing human involvement from a task with that of logical programming with the help of dominant machines. However, industrial automation comes with a few advantages and disadvantages which have been discussed below:
- Reduced Cost: Using robots instead of employing human manpower is considered to be cheaper since after the initial cost, there is usually a minimal cost of electricity, repair and maintenance involved which turns out to be much more economical than paying the salaries of employees in the long run. Industrial automation involves minimal number of employees just to overlook the whole process and the rest of the operations are done automatically.
- Improved Quality: Machines provide accurate results and are more precise which further results in consistent and superior quality. The same cannot be done by humans, as human are prone to errors.
- Improved Efficiency: It cannot be denied that machines are more productive than humans. After a point of time, humans need a break, unlike machines. Machines can work for as long as it is required. This leads to greater efficiency when compared to humans.
- Safety: Industrial automation is considered to be safe since it can operate in areas where there is a risk to human life. A decrease in accidents and workman’s compensation claims have duly been noted in areas where industrial automation has been put to use.
- Can only perform repetitive tasks: Even though machines provide with better quality, it has been noticed that they cannot perform non-repetitive tasks and tasks that need customization or even tasks that involve complex productions. On the other hand, humans are able to perform customizable tasks.
- Expensive Installation: Even though, using industrial automation saves up on a lot of cost in the long run, the initial cost of installations turns out to be expensive which, for any business is difficult to fit into its overall budget.
- Maintenance & Trainings: Machines and robots involve time to time maintenance to ensure smooth flow of operations and maximum efficiency. Apart from the maintenance, the employees handling the machines needs to be trained thoroughly with the system to avoid any unexpected losses or hindrance in the operations.