The growth of factory automation has taken off in the last decade due to the surge in technology. This growth has led to higher expectations of automation, which have been met by industry and new innovations. With all the new developments it will be exciting to take a peek into what the future of industrial automation holds.
Growth of Factory Automation
There have been many new developments in industrial automation that have led to its growth. There has been the development of the programmable logic controller (PLC) which has made programming robots easier and more reliable. The easy programming of the PLC has been especially helpful in car manufacturing with automobile test installations which requires reprogramming often.
Another development in industrial automation is the replacement of large mainframes with PCs for control systems. This has helped reduce manufacturer costs along with saving factory space. PCs are also less complex to operate than mainframes.
No one knows for sure what the future of factory automation holds, but some possibilities include nanotechnology, wireless software, and complex adaptive systems. Innovators are looking to make all industrial software wireless while having a complex adaptive system in which peer-to-peer networks can communicate with each other. Aiding in the wireless networks will be nanotechnology which involves the use of small, low cost sensors. Another possibility in future industrial automation will be automated factories controlled by a single remote control. This would allow for faster networks, reliability, and for more customer involvement.
RobotWorx stays on top of the growth of factory automation by carrying the latest models of robots. Some of the newest additions to our inventory include the Motoman MA1900, the Motoman MH165, the FANUC M10iA, and the FANUC LR Mate 200iC.
Another area of growth in industrial automation is the invention of vision robots. These robots are composed of vision algorithms, temperature software, and cameras in order to be able to detect parts and navigate. FANUC has developed vision software called iRVision in which robots use laser sensors to position and automatically adjust programming in order to complete a task. One unit this is commonly used with is the FANUC M-16iB, which is carried by RobotWorx.
Automation in the U.S.
The growth of automation goes beyond just manufacturing; it has helped the U.S. create jobs, improve safety, and advance medicine. Advanced manufacturing with robots has produced higher quality cars that in return keep our roads safer with fewer accidents caused by mechanical errors. Automation has also helped keep our military safe with the use of ground robots and aerial drones instead of humans in combat zones.
The growth of factory automation has also lead to the creation of new jobs. Robots do not take away jobs, instead they make them. Manufacturers need people for operating the robots, allowing people to hold safer and better jobs. For every 1 engineer, there are 7 technician jobs created. The U.S. leads in the manufacture of medical, household, and defense robots; further driving the increase in the workforce.
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