Advancement in technology is happening almost every day and industries need to update their technology continuously to match the new standards so that they can keep growing when it comes to being efficient and competitive in manufacturing or production line.
Modern automation can provide the industry with a cutting-edge solution eliminating errors due to human accuracy and negligence. An automated system can help the industry achieve results close to perfection. Let us understand the components required for the automation process to control an entire plant.
Sensing Instruments and Actuating Devices:
Sensors (like RTD, thermocouples, strain gauges, etc.) are used to measure the process parameters physically such as pressure, level, temperature and flow and converts it into an electrical or pneumatic form which is then transmitted to the control panel. The signal is then analyzed by comparing the sensed variable to a set value to compute output via the controllers and sent as a pneumatic or electric signal to the actuating element like control valves, motors, relays, etc. The actuator further converts the electric or pneumatic input to a process variable.
Control system is the heart of an automation system as it plays a vital role in automating an industry. This is consists of microprocessor-based controllers which collect input signals from field sensors, computes the input based on the set value and program fed in it and produce an output which is transmitted to the actuating devices forming a closed loop control.
Control devices such as the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) come with installed dedicated software and have the capability to be programmed to perform the needed control operations. A PLC consists of Central processing unit (CPU), Digital Input/Output, Analog Input/Output, memory to store data, communication modules to interact with various field panels and power supply
Programmable logic controller (PLC)
PLC’s are a processor-based system which controls the entire production. Or manufacturing process by communicating with all the field devices and controlling all the plant processes. Placing a PLC in a plant transforms the factory completely. And makes the manufacturing line automated which means increased efficiency and higher profits.
Human-machine interface (HMI)
HMI is a communicating channel between machine and human to monitor and run the industry.
Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) which is a combination of software and hardware that allows an operator to control industrial processes from a remote location. It is an operating interface available to the operator. Where the whole graphical layout of the process along with the variable status. Alarm signals, logging results, etc are displayed on the console. The process parameters of the plant can be programmed through HMI to make physical changes in the field.
Motor control units (MCU)
MCU can automate the control of the motor in a plant by connecting it to the controller. So that the motor can start-stop, reverse or change speed remotely according to the input from the controller. Or due to various sensor outputs.
Due to the ever-changing technology. The automation system in factories become outdated but nowadays control panels are delivered with redundancy. And the provision of future expansion which comes handy when a factory decides to upgrade its control systems. Electrical companies like Titech who are producent af eltavler (manufacturer of switchboards) in Denmark provide custom control panels and Automation PLC’s in order to help small as well as complex industries to meet their manufacturing expectations in a budget-effective manner.