What exactly is Automation? It means the use of various control systems for operating equipment such as machinery, process in factories, steering and stabilization of aircrafts and millions of other applications with reduced or minimal human intervention. Many processes have been completely automated. There are many benefits to automation such as saving energy, saving raw materials and to improve quality, accuracy and precision. The two biggest benefits of Automation is reduced labour costs and human safety.
There are several types of Automation used in an industrial setting. Sequential, logic sequential and computer control are most common. The PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) is the Automation tool of choice. It is basically a computer that can be programmed to perform literally thousands of different tasks depending on what input conditions are taking place to the PLC. Meaning that the PLC will not turn on a saw blade unless a magnetic sensor detects a piece of metal at the saw blade and the operators hands are away from the blade holding down 2 buttons.
Perhaps the best example we can give you of Commercial Automation that everyone is familiar with would be an Automatic Car Wash. Generally, Automation is used in a Commercial setting to assist, direct, contain or to entertain customers, clients or traffic. An example would be a hotel using Automation when a guest leaves their room, the occupancy sensor can detect that no one is in the room therefore turning all the lights off, turning the television off, and turning off the heating or cooling to a pre-set level.
When someone thinks of Home Automation, they usually think about audio, video, security, HVAC and lighting automation. Having access and control of all of these items from any room in the house, or from anywhere in the world. From a security aspect, when your away and the alarm is on, the lights can be made to turn on and off randomly to make it appears someone is at home. Music can be played in and controlled from any room in the house. Heating or air conditioning can be turned on from your cell phone when your on the way home so the house is at a desired temperature when you arrive home.