In industrial automation, requires so many tools. The key tools of industrial automation are as follows.
Programmable logic controller(PLC)
PLC monitors are receiving information from input devices, processing the information, and triggers the output devices, to complete the work in the industrial process.
These are in different sizes. Some are small to fit in your pocket and some are large enough to require their own heavy-duty racks to mount. PLCs are very fast, easy to operate, and writing a program is very easy. The programming of PLCs is in different ways.
The PLCs use one of the 5 main programming languages. They are ladder diagram,structured text,function block diagram,Instruction list,or sequential function charts.PLCs are an essential hardware component element. The functions of PLC divided into 3 main categories. Those are inputs, outputs, and the CPU.
More advanced instructions of the PLC may be implemented as functional as functional blocks, which carry out some operation when enabled by a logical input and which produce outputs to signal.
Supervisory Control and data acquisition(SCADA)
SCADA systems control and monitor industrial processes. This system process the real-time data through direct interaction with devices. Such as PLCs, sensors, and also we can record events for a long time. SCADA is important for data analysis, and it has decision-making for optimization in industrial processes.
It is a combination of software and hardware elements. The SCADA architecture begins with PLCs or RTUs. PLCs and RTUs are microcomputers. These communicate with a factory machine, sensors, HMIs, and end devices, and then route the information from those objects to computers with SCADA software.
This software will processes, distribute, helping operators, displays the data, and other employees analyze the data and make decisions.
Human Machine Interface(HMI)
An HMI is a software application that enables interaction and communication between human and the machine. It will convert complex data into accessible information. It will control the production process better.
Here the functionality of an interface from machine to machine or device to device. HMI forms include,
- Touch display panels
- Pushbuttons and switches
- Mobile devices
- Computers with keypads
HMI interfaces are used in so many applications across manufacturing, automotive, processing, and other industries.
The industries such as,
- Food processing
- Oil and gas
- Pharmaceutical manufacturing
- SCADA systems
- Robotics applications
HMIs are often more robust, more complex interfaces capable of handling the inputs and outputs to operate plant-wide operations.
Artificial Neural Network(ANN)
An ANN is a computing system. It is built like a human brain. In this network, the neurons are interconnected. It will analyze and process the information.
In neural networks a series of Boolean logic gates connected in a system by AND, NOT, OR, XOR, etc. we call this system an artificial neuron.
ANN is mainly responsible for processing information from biological networks. The structure of ANN changed based on external and internal data of the system. The application of this automation tool includes financial application and data mining.
Distributed control system(DCS)
It is a central monitoring network that interconnects devices to control different elements in an automated system.
The main function of the DCS is the monitoring networks. In the manufacturing industry, there are several processes. It contains one or more controller elements that are distributed in the system.
The applications of DCS are, electrical power grids and generation plants, traffic signals, water management systems, environmental control systems, chemical plants, oil refining, and sensor networks. DCSs are used to control industrial processes to increase their safety, cost-effectiveness, and reliability. The processes include in DCS are,
- Chemical plants
- Petrochemical and refineries
- Nuclear power plants
- Water treatment plants sewage treatment plants
- Food processing
- Automobile manufacturing
- Pharmaceutical manufacturing
A DCS includes software elements and also hardware elements. A DCS functionality is similar to today’s supervisory control and data acquisition(SCADA).
Robotics are performed tasks efficiently in complicated or dangerous situations, by this, we can increase the production flow and quality and also increase safety for employees.
Nowadays, robotics are used everywhere around us. These are very much useful in complex tasks. These are used in performing various application tasks. They are, allocating, painting welding, repairing, and so on.,
While producing higher product quality, robotics are helping to reduce lead time.
The applications of industrial robotics are,
- Arc welding
- Spot welding
- Materials Handling
- Machine tending
- Picking, packing, and palletizing
- Mechanical cutting, grinding, deburring, and polishing
- Gluing, adhesive sealing, and spraying materials
- Other processes like inspection, waterjet cutting, and soldering robots.
Industrial automation basis
The subsystems and components of machine automation system are,
- Programmable controllers
- Power distribution
- Safety system
- Motor control and drives
- Discrete and analog I/O
- Human-machine interface
- Communication systems