Process Automation Tools: A Detailed Overview :
Process Automation tools are the nucleus of the Process Automation system. The system is invalid if there are no tools at work. Actually the effectiveness and efficiency is precisely defined by the great utility-enriched tools. Another thought must also be kept in mind that, only having the tools would not do, they have got to be used properly. In this post, I will be focusing on different Process Automation tools and brief understandings of each of them for creating in your mind a relatively clearer concept on the tools.
Detailed Explanation of Process Automation Tools :
There are a lot of tools included in the Process Automation. Before going into the detailed explanation, first we should have a clear idea about what is it? Process Automation refers to setting up devices and technologies to meet up the requirement of lessening operating costs of the firm. In simple words, the system eyes reduction of costs incurred by a firm while it is doing its tasks. As there are a lot of tasks around the firm, there are different kinds of tools which comprise the system. Let’s go straight to the details:-
The tools can be classified into separate types of Process Automation actually, such as
- Industrial Process tools
- Processing Software Tools
- Plant Automation process tools
- Manufacturing tools for Automation
Now, with differentiated classes of tools, here we go!
01. Artificial Neural Network (ANN) :
Among different kinds of Process Automation tools, this one is of unique particulars. It is exclusively acknowledged as the Neural Network. This very tool deals with processing data derived from different biology-related networks. The system controlling gets a new definition while it is working and different aspects like a medical patient history entry, data entries etc. In addition, tiring yet vulnerable tasks like data mining too can be done with this Process Automation tools perfectly.
02. Distributed Control System (DCS) :
This Process Automation tools remain among the manufacturing tools. It is favored by some other processes. Electrical power grids, electrical backup systems (generators mainly), traffic control system, oil refining plants, pharmaceutical plant management, handling of critical environmental issues – all are being widely influenced by this very tool single-handedly. It also prevails in the monitoring and communication networks.
03. Process Automation Softwares :
As each and every tool of the system is computerized and capable of running on electronic devices, there has to be involvement of softwares, because they carry the necessary commands and directions for the tools. The tools are controlled by the softwares, to say furthermore clearly. In this regard, the company that makes the tools, definitely has to have a close look at building the softwares that would suit the devices, make them work accordingly and thus prove to be efficient. In the market, there are a lot of softwares for different kinds of Process Automation tools. In a nutshell, the whole understanding of this portion of the article is, “The nucleus of all sorts of Process Automation tools is the softwares working inside or with them.”
04. Human Machine Interface :
The space where interaction between human and the machine takes place, is the Human machine interface. This Process Automation tools prevails in the Industrial tools. Human machine interface tool is responsible for the sound operation of machines, ensuring the service to the consumer’s (user’s) end, and bring back feedback from them towards the system creates for improving the system accordingly where necessary. Users get involved in interacting with the machines through this Process Automation tools. So the creator of the system can choose to progress like this: create a prototype of the main (final) system, allow the users to get themselves involved with it through the human machine interface, seek and develop the prototype accordingly and advance positively towards creating the ultimate system with clear concepts about the demands of users. Thus the whole procedure results in an easy, enjoyable and efficient using of tools by the users and ensure the satisfaction of them.
05. Motion Controlling tools :
This type of tools comes handy for robotics-related tasks and procedures. It is a sub-field tool of automation, by which the amount, direction and position of machines can be controlled. Though using kinematics more simpler than this, the utility of it is of no such difference. Generally a servo is the device which plays the key role in the operation of this sort of Process Automation tools. E.g. Hydraulic pump, linear motor etc.
06. Data Acquisition :
Data acquisition is the process by which signals are sampled which measure real world physical data and the resultants are converted to digital numeric values so that computers can ‘digest’ and exhibit them to the users. This Process Automation tools can convert analog data-forms into digital ones. Signal conversion, physical parameter conversion, signal conditioning are the basic components that comprise its working area which all results in a digitized form of data for the system to exhibit.
07. Programmable Logic Controller :
For automating electromechanical processes, this tool works. The greater effort-needing and mistake prone tasks like assembling the machine assembly lines in factories is done by this Process Automation tools. Multiple inputs going through multiple procedures of calculation and resulting in accordingly arranged outputs, temperature controlling, reduction of noise and vibration—are the key features of it.
08. Manufacturing Execution System (MES) :
This one is a manufacturing Process Automation tools. It is a computerized system that enhances ease in manufacturing tasks. Multitasking and controlling different types of processes simultaneously are some of its most attractive features. This Process Automation tools bring benefits like reduced inventory, vivid recording and exhibition of information on costs, quick set-up times for re-working and reducing waste and so on.
09. Industrial Control System :
It is a vast thing, this Process Automation tools works with a wide range of processes. Industrial Control System is generally used in water, oil, data, electrical and gas industries. Process Automation gets furthermore boost with as it covers up and supervises different sorts of controlling systems. Remote to extend control over local and away operations (field devices mainly do this part).
10. Computer-aided Manufacturing :
This is another Process Automation tools that is of manufacturing arena of Process Automation. It refers to using computer softwares to perform maintenance of machine tools and other machineries and accessories which are in progress in manufacturing. On the contrary, Computer-aided Manufacturing can also be used as the sole controller of operating activities like planning, management, inventory management, storage of a factory or firm. The key purpose of it is to create a smooth-running and sustainable production process by using the existing resources properly.