Industrial Automation is defined by the Automation Federation as "the creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services." Industrial automation has produced many of today's technological advances such as computers and cell phones. Automation allows the creation of complex applications to become a reality, thus emphasizing its importance.
The importance of automation has also been stressed through its number of advantages it has brought to the manufacturing world. Automation has helped manufacturers increase their:
- production rates
- efficiency with materials
- product quality
- worker safety
- flexibility and convertability in manufacturing processes
Automation has also helped reduce waste, factory lead times, and production costs. It has allowed manufacturers to produce a broader range of products with the ease of being able to swich from product A to B without having to reconstruct entire production lines. As technology increases, so does the importance of automation.