Scope of Industrial Automation in Mechanical Engineering

In the present era of competitive market, the customer is pretty much aware of their need to the basic requirements and luxury one. The industrial Automation in Mechanical Engineering and manufacturing industry finds a significant changeover in the past few years as the demands for the products increases. With the increase in the product demand, there is a huge surge in the market to provide better product design with excellent product quality.

The productivity needs to be increased as per the public demand but there should be no compromise with quality to attract the consumer. The products now are very much complex and so the processes too. Now it is very difficult and also very time consuming to manufacture these products without the use of advanced machines and processes. The use of machines helps the humans to manufacture a product with different shapes and sizes which also ease the tedious work. Mechanization is the word which is used when the machines replaces the human power to save the efforts. Automation can be defined as the process of perform tasks without or very less human involvement, using special and advanced computer-controlled devices/machines that perform and control manufacturing processes.

In every industry high production rate are achieved using the advantages of automation. Automation is a technology dealing with the application of mechatronics and computers for production of goods and services. Automation includes automatic assembly lines, Industrial automation robots, Automatic material handling, Automated storage and retrieval systems, Automatic inspection systems, Feedback control systems, Computer systems for automatically transforming designs into parts. All these technologies improve the quality and impart the flexibility in automobile, mechanical and manufacturing industries.

Implementation of automation in the mechanical engineering is important due to various reasons. Now days mechanical industries facing issues like shortage of labour, high labour cost, demand of high productivity, competitive market, better safety measures and reducing manufacturing lead-time with reduction in cost. Automation is now often applied primarily to increase quality in the manufacturing process, where automation can increase quality substantially. For example, welding various components in the automobile assembly in various position is a challenging task but with the help of industrial automation robots this task can be performed efficiently without any errors and defects. Industries transformed using automation technologies because the error rate using automation techniques were reduced to 0.00001% from about 1.5% (manual work). Various hazardous processes like oil refining, handling chemicals, working in the very hot and cold environments are now easily tackled using automation.

Automation is now popular in various industries due to its increased flexibility and convert-ability in mechanical industry. Due to the frequent change in shapes and design in the automobile sector manufacturers are increasingly demanding the operations setups to easily switch from one to another by investing huge cost. A wide application of the automation and control system can be easily seen in the following industries:

  • Manufacturing (welding, painting, loading/unloading, machining, casting, forging etc.)
  • Material Handling (Transport, pick and place, palletisation)
  • Space industry (to hold heavy telescopes, to repair shuttles in space)
  • Military (Remote bomb detection, smart bomb)
  • Medical Applications

Al these applications are associated with the use of mechanical engineers to develop an automated system. So, automation is a prime requirement for various mechanical industries and a great opportunity for mechanical engineers in the future perspectives.