Studies & Degrees in Industrial Automation
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Industrial automation is utilization of information technologies and various control systems to dramatically decrease the requirements for human work and input for the production of products, services, and goods. It is a step up above mechanization, which sought only to aid the human workers with the strength based duties of their work. Industrial automation not only assists in mechanical improvement of work, it also reduces the need for human sensory input and mental analysis. As technology takes great leaps of advancement at an increasing pace, industrial automation also becomes increasingly important in many facets of every person’s daily living experience.
Industrial automation has a very strong impact not only on the obvious field of engineering and manufacturing, but on other fields as well. For example, in the field of communication, much of the multitude of telephone operators that used to control the phone lines have now been replaced by more efficient and more cost effective automated answering machines and telephone switchboards. In medicine, processes such as radiography and electrocardiography are screened in the initial stages through automated systems. Even the laboratory analyses of cells, genes, and human tissues are accomplished at a much higher rate of accuracy and efficiency with instruments developed by industrial automation. Banks have been able to make the most out of industrial automation with the development of the automated teller machine which made 24 hour banking possible.
Because of this continuous development of industrial automation, there is a great need for people with expertise in this field. Proper education and training in this field is essential to keep the advances in check and to make the most of the automated technologies that are constantly being created and expanded.
A course in industrial automation would involve in depth studies regarding industrial automation software and hardware. Topics would usually dwell on familiarity with software concepts and relays, configuring input and output systems, entering and editing data, and establishing awareness with common industrial automation hardware. Heavy reference would also be given on industrial automation systems and networks. This would dwell on topics such as accessing system variables, messaging across networks, and tags (both produced and consumed). Familiarity with the different families of processors and their related hardware are also usually included.
Additional training for industrial automation topics such as troubleshooting and maintenance, motion control, and concepts development are also provided for a more rounded instruction. Troubleshooting and maintenance knowledge and skills are very important in the field of industrial automation. Diagnostics and connection training are usually the main thrust in this area of discipline. However, determining and locating systems faults and errors are also given great attention.
With all of this training, there are a lot of job opportunities available for the specialist in industrial automation. Manufacturing companies, medical offices and laboratories, communications companies, and information technology corporations all have a distinct need for industrial automation skills. Even the financial sector has a high demand for industrial automation specialists. Work as programmers, laboratory technicians, machine operators, production supervisors, and control systems managers are all within the realm of possible positions to be filled.