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Recent Trends in Industrial Automation

COIMBATORE – 641 004

The following write-up is completely related to the role of automation in industries for its
development. Primarily it starts with the introduction to industries followed by its general
classification into sectors. Then continued with the introduction to automation in industries,
impact of automation and current emphasis of developed automation in industries, followed by
the main tools of automation which are, Artificial Neural Network(ANN),Distributed Control
system(DCS),Human Machine Interface(HMI),Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition.
Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), Instrumentation, Motion Control and Robotics. Then we
have mentioned about the advantages and disadvantages about the development in industrial
automation. Then we finally concluded the developments in industrial automation socially and

An industry (from Latin industrius, "diligent, industrious") is the manufacturing of a
good or service within a category. Although industry is a broad term for any kind of economic
production, in economics and urban planning industry is a synonym for the secondary sector,
which is a type of economic activity involved in the manufacturing of raw materials into goods
and products.
Many developed countries (for example the UK, the U.S., and Canada) and many
developing/semi-developed countries (People's Republic of China, India etc.) depend
significantly on industry. Industries, the countries they reside in, and the economies of those
countries are interlinked in a complex web of interdependence.

The industrial revolution led to the development of factories for large-scale production,
with consequent changes in society. Originally the factories were steam-powered, but later
transitioned to electricity once an electrical grid was developed. The mechanized assembly line
was introduced to assemble parts in a repeatable fashion, with individual workers performing
specific steps during the process. This led to significant increases in efficiency, lowering the cost
of the end process. Later automation was increasingly used to replace human operators. This
process has accelerated with the development of the computer and the robot.

Automation is the use of control systems (such as numerical control, programmable
logic control, and other industrial control systems), in concert with other applications of
information technology (such as computer-aided technologies [CAD, CAM, CAX]), to control
industrial machinery and processes, reducing the need for human intervention. In the scope of
industrialization, automation is a step beyond mechanization. Whereas mechanization provided
human operators with machinery to assist them with the physical requirements of work,
automation greatly reduces the need for human sensory and mental requirements as well.
Processes and systems can also be automated.

Automation plays an increasingly important role in the global. Engineers strive to
combine automated devices with mathematical and organizational tools to create complex
systems for a rapidly expanding range of applications and human activities.Many roles for
humans in industrial processes presently lie beyond the scope of automation. Human-level
pattern recognition, language recognition, and language production ability are well beyond the
capabilities of modern mechanical and computer systems. Tasks requiring subjective assessment
or synthesis of complex sensory data, such as scents and sounds, as well as high-level tasks such
as strategic planning, currently require human expertise. In many cases, the use of humans is
more cost-effective than mechanical approaches even where automation of industrial tasks is
When automation was first introduced, it
caused widespread fear. It was thought that the
displacement of human operators by
computerized systems would lead to severe
unemployment during 1980’s . What role
automation has played in these changes has not
been well studied. . Some argue that the opposite
has often been true, and that automation has led to
higher employment

Today automation of the workforce is quite advanced (in communication, medical,
banking, textiles, industries and so on) not to increase the productivity but to improve the quality
and flexibility and continues to advance increasingly more rapidly throughout the world and is
encroaching on ever more skilled jobs, yet during the same period the general well-being and
quality of life of most people in the world have improved dramatically.

Automation tools

Different types of automation tools-

DCS Distributed control system

PLC Programmable logic control

PAC Programmable automation controller

ANN Artificial neural network

HMI Human machine interface

SCADA Supervisory control and data acquisition

Distributed control system
A distributed control system (DCS) refers to a control system usually of a
manufacturing system, process or any kind of dynamic system, in which the controller elements
are not central in location (like the brain) but are distributed throughout the system with each
component sub-system controlled by one or more controllers. The entire system of controllers is
connected by networks for communication and monitoring. DCS is a very broad term used in a
variety of industries, to monitor and control distributed equipment.


Programmable logic controllers (PLCs), are frequently used to synchronize the flow of
inputs from (physical) sensors and events with the flow of outputs to actuators and events. This
leads to precisely controlled actions that permit a tight control of almost any industrial process.

Programmable automation controller
A programmable automation controller is a compact controller that has the features and
facilities of PC-based control system with that of PLC'. PACs are most often used in industrial
settings for process control, data acquisition, remote equipment monitoring, machine vision, and
motion control. Additionally, because they function and communicate over popular network
interface protocols like TCP/IP, OLE for process control (OPC) and SMTP, PACs are able to
transfer data from the machines they control to other machines and components in a networked
control system or to application software and databases.

Artificial neural network
An artificial neural network (ANN), usually called "neural network" (NN), is a
mathematical model or computational model that tries to simulate the structure and/or functional
aspects of biological neural networks. It consists of an interconnected group of artificial neurons
and processes information using a connectionist approach to computation. In most cases an ANN
is an adaptive system that changes its structure based on external or internal information that
flows through the network during the learning phase.In more practical terms neural networks are
non-linear statistical data modeling tools. They can be used to model complex relationships
between inputs and outputs or to find patterns in data.


Human-machine interfaces (HMI) or computer human interfaces (CHI), formerly
known as man-machine interfaces, are usually employed to communicate with PLCs and other
computers, such as entering and monitoring temperatures or pressures for further automated
control or emergency response. Service personnel who monitor and control these interfaces are
often referred to as stationary engineers.


SCADA stands for Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition. It generally refers to an
industrial control system: a computer system monitoring and controlling a process. The process
can be industrial, infrastructure or facility based.

Robotics is the engineering science and technology of robots, and their design,
manufacture, and application. Robotics is related to electronics, mechanics, and software. The
word robot was introduced to the public by Czech writer Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R.
(Rossum's Universal Robots), published in 1920. The first recorded use of the term was by Isaac
Asimov in his 1941 science fiction short-story Liar.

✔ Replacing human operators in tedious tasks.
✔ Replacing humans in tasks that should be done in dangerous environments (i.e. Fire,
space, volcanoes, nuclear facilities, under the water, etc)
✔ Making task that are beyond the human capabilities such as handle too heavy loads, too
large objects, too hot or too cold substances or the requirement to make things too fast or
too slow.
✔ Economy improvement. Sometimes and some kinds of automation implies improves in
economy of enterprises, society or most of humankind. For example, when an enterprise
that has invested in automation technology recovers its investment; when a state or
country increases its income due to automation like Germany or Japan in the Century or
when the humankind can use the internet which in turn use satellites and other automated

✔ Technology limits, nowadays technology is not able to atomize all the desired tasks.
✔ Initial costs are relative high. The automation of a new product required a huge initial
investment in comparison with the unit cost of the product.
✔ Unemployment. It is commonly thought that automation implies unemployment due
to the fact that the work of a human being is replaced in part or completely by a
✔ Environment. The costs of automation to the environment are different depending on
the technology, product or engine automated.
✔ Human being replacement. In the future there is a possibility that the Artificial
intelligence could replace and improve a human brain and the robots would become
not only fully automated but fully autonomous from the human beings
Everything in this world which has merits will also have demerits. We can’t raze the demerits
but we can reduce it. Hence we conclude saying that there are need of developments in industrial
automation but, at certain limits in such a way that it wouldn’t affect the routine activities of the