Industrial Automation: What it is?
Hi Greetings, here today we will try to find out answers of some basic questions asked about Automation those are
What is Industrial Automation?
What are the Components of Automation?
What is a PLC ? What is DCS?
Why We Need Automation?
What are the Advantages of PLC System?
What are the applications of PLC’s?
Difference between PLC & DCS?
Why do we need automation?
- To improve productivity
- Reduce costs.
- Increase flexibility to meet varying demand
What does automation include?
- Automation is used to describe a broad array of processes, products and systems working together to automate manufacturing. What is important is appropriate automation.
- In the broader sense, it includes elements like robotics, drives, programmable logic controllers (PLC) and computerized numerical control (CNC), production planning,
process optimization, open control systems, human machine interfaces (HMI), vision systems and industrial networks.
- The trend towards programmable automation started over 30 years ago in the USA, only in the last few years that Indian companies have started incorporating software systems at all levels of production.
Components of an automation system
- Main Controller (PLC, CNC, PC Based, DCS)
- Software (Soft Logic, Soft CNC, In Touch, I-Fix),
- Communications (Ethernet, Fieldbus, DeviceNet),
- Panel Components (starters, fusing etc.),
- Enterprise Software (SCADA, MES, MRP etc.),
- Sensors (flow meters, feedback, limit switches), and
- Actuators (valves, pumps, solenoids, heaters etc.).
Components of an automation system: DCS
- DCS solutions grew out of the requirements of the heavy process industries, and still dominate the large-scale applications prevalent in continuous process applications. In such large applications, utilizing thousands of I/O points, DCSs will likely remain the preferred alternative, but not without continuing to respond directly to challenges from both PLC and PC-based control systems.
PLCs challenge DCS
- PLC suppliers are invading the process control markets with units that perform batch processing as well as the more traditional discrete functions. A PLC can do nearly everything today that a DCS can do, though DCS might still have advantages in terms of redundancy (because the large-scale continuous processes involved are so complex and difficult to restart if anything goes wrong).
- Also significant is the trend to use hybrid controls that incorporate PLCs into DCSs.
Is industrial PC a threat?
The industrial PC is not yet a threat. Suppliers view it as an ally, providing the hardware and software components to upgrade “traditional” PLCs out of the “outdated” label
Why PLCs dominate PCs on the shop floor?
PLCs were originally designed as fast, robust controllers for discrete logic applications. Historically, PLC advantages relative to PCs have included:
- A large base of maintenance personnel experienced in troubleshooting and servicing systems with relay ladder logic programming, rather than PC software languages
- Better power failure response
- Cost advantages for simple machine control applications
- Higher reliability that minimizes the expense of shutdown, troubleshooting, repair, & startup
- Industrially hardened packaging
- Long availability and support for product models without the rapid obsolescence
Industry User Segments (Applications of PLC’s)
- Automotive, Building Automation, Cement & Glass, Chemical
- Electrical, Electronic, Elec Power, Fabricated Metals
- Food & Beverage, Machinery, Metals & Mining
- Oil& Gas, Pharmaceuticals, Pulp & Paper
- Refining, Water & Waste