Automation of industrial processes is statistical and planning discipline that combines architecture, mechanisms and algorithms necessary for controlling the production process in order to obtain the finished product.
For example, heating is a process that has a specific, desired, the goal of achieving and maintaining specific temperatures (eg 80C). In this example, the temperature was controlled variable. At the same time, it is the input variable since it is based thermometer and that therefore decide whether to heat or not. Desired temperature (80C) and the terminal point of the scope. Standby heaters (for example, set the valves to leaky hot water through a pipe) called the manipulative variable, since it depends on the control actions.
Control device of the PLC (Programmable Logic Controller), are perceived analog and digital inputs, they can apply logical groups of commands, which results in a group of analog and digital outputs.
In the above example, room temperature would be the input for the PLC. Logical component to compare the final point of the scope and level of input temperature and determine whether it is necessary to warm up or cool down the room to the default parameter (temperature level) was constant. Output of the PLC to shut or opened the valve for flow of hot water, depending on the need for warming or cooling facilities. Complex systems can be controlled using DCS (Distributed Control System) or SCADA system.
In practice, the automation of industrial processes can be done in the following formats:
1. Discrete Automation - used in many manufacturing, moving and packaging systems. Robotic assembly, typically for automotive systems, can be characterized as discrete automation processes. Discrete production includes the production of metal parts such as seals. 2. Batch Automation - some applications require specific quantities of raw materials combined in a specific way within a certain time in order to produce average or end result. For example, production of adhesives usually requires mixing raw materials in warmed lend some time to produce the required amount of finished product. Other examples can be found in the food industry, beverage industry and chemical industry. Batch processes are typically used for production of relatively small to medium quantities of product per year (a few kg up to one million kg) 3. Continuous automation - includes variables that are calm and constant in time. Controlling the water temperature in the heated tank, is an example of a continuous control process. Some of the most important continuous processes are the production of fuels, chemicals and plastics. Continuous process control is used when large amounts of products of products during the year (millions to billion kg).
An application which unify discreet, continuous and batch automation is often called hybrid applications. Technological advances in monitoring, control and automation of industrial processes of the past decade has greatly contributed to the efficiency of manufacturing industry in the world.