Factory automation is the use of computer-controlled machines to carry out specific tasks in a manufacturing environment. This system can improve efficiency, accuracy, and consistency across a factory floor. Automation can help reduce the time it takes to produce products, while also reducing the number of errors made.
Factory automation systems can be broken down into three main categories: motion control, process control, and data acquisition. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to know which type of system best suits your needs before you make a purchase.
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Motion Control Systems: Motion control systems are the most basic type of factory automation system, and they use sensors to detect objects and movement within a factory. These systems are typically used for tasks such as assembly line production or product scanning.
One advantage of using a motion control system is that it’s easy to set up and use. You simply need to install sensors in the areas you want to track and then program the system to activate specific machinery when objects pass by them.
However, motion control systems are limited in their ability to automate complicated tasks. For example, they can’t typically interact with other parts of the factory network, which means you’ll need to rely on other devices to carry out tasks like printing or shipping.
Process Control Systems: Process control systems allow you to automate complex processes within a factory environment. These systems usually include software that allows you to specify how various machines should operate.