Understanding Industrial Automation With An Exampleadmin
Consider a manual industrial production process, where an operator is observing the temperature of an oven. Assume the task is to reach a certain temperature and maintain that temperature for about 15 minutes.
So, the operator has to first adjust the amount of fuel to the oven by controlling a valve to rise the temperature to the desired amount. Once the necessary temperature is achieved, it has to be maintained by constantly adjusting the valve i.e. either increase or decrease the fuel depending on the temperature for the next 15 minutes.
Now, with industrial automation, the whole process is taken care of without the help of an operator. First, there is a temperature sensor placed near the oven which reports the temperature to a computer.
Now, there is motorized valve, which is also controlled by the computer, for the fuel to be supplied to the oven. Based on the temperature readings from the sensor, the computer will open the valve to allow more fuel in the beginning. Once the desired temperature is achieved, the valve is shutoff.
But the computer can open or close the valve, even to allow a tiniest amount of fuel to flow, based on the temperature readings. The timer in the computer will indicate once 15 minutes is up and the computer can completely shut down the system.
The above example may seem vague but it helps in understanding how a typical industrial automation system can be implemented. In the above example, there are absolutely zero human interventions and the whole task is completely carried out by the automation system.
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