Browse Definitions:
Definition

industrial automation

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Industrial automation is the control of machinery and processes used in various industries by autonomous systems through the use of technologies like robotics and computer software.

Industries implement automation to increase productivity and reduce costs related to employees, their benefits and other associated expenses, while increasing precision and flexibility.

With the Industrial Revolution came mechanization, which brought cheaper and more plentiful goods. Generally, the mechanical processes in industries were faster and produced greater quantities of goods but still required skilled workers. Not only did machines require operators but when errors occurred, they would waste materials, cause production issues and even damage equipment.

With the arrival of automation, control loops were added to machine operation. These can be open control loops that allow for human input or closed loops which are fully automated. Industrial control systems (ICS) allow for monitoring and control locally and remotely. With these increasingly advanced control mechanisms, industries can operate 24 hours a day. Productivity has increased, errors are reduced and quality is improved. However, automation does have some negative impact, including high initial costs, reduced worker employment and the elimination of some ethical human oversight. As automation continues to advance and gain popularity in new industries, it is possible to see these events increase.

Recent advancements in automation in industrial production are focused on flexibility and quality. Manufacturing flexibility not only allows for more product types, but also lets consumers order customized products that are automatically produced.

This was last updated in October 2017

Continue Reading About industrial automation

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • security information and event management (SIEM)

    Security information and event management (SIEM) is an approach to security management that seeks to provide a holistic view of ...

  • polymorphic virus

    A polymorphic virus is a harmful, destructive or intrusive type of malware that can change or 'morph,' making it difficult to ...

  • cyberterrorism

    According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, cyberterrorism is any 'premeditated, politically motivated attack against ...

SearchHealthIT

  • accountable care organization (ACO)

    An accountable care organization (ACO) is an association of hospitals, healthcare providers and insurers in which all parties ...

  • patient engagement

    Patient engagement is an ideal healthcare situation in which people are well-informed about -- and motivated to be involved -- in...

  • personal health record (PHR)

    A personal health record (PHR) is a collection of health-related information that is documented and maintained by the individual ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF)

    NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) is a technology specification designed to enable nonvolatile memory express message-based commands to...

  • cloud object storage

    Cloud object storage is a format for storing unstructured data in the cloud.

  • parallel file system

    A parallel file system is a software component designed to store data across multiple networked servers and to facilitate ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close