Industrial Automation can be defined as the use of computer aided control devices to operate different industrial processes by replacing human involvement. Industrial automation helps to operate multiple processes in controlled manner. It helps for mass production by reducing time and increasing production quality. Industrial Automation consists of different levels such as sensor level, automation control level automation, supervision level and enterprise level.
The sensor level can also be called as the process level that uses sensors and actuators for getting values of the process variables on periodic or continuous basis. Control devices like PC’s/PLC’s/DCS and others are used by the automation control level. PLC is majorly a machine control whereas DCS leads the process control. The automation control level operates using different embedded processors, PID algorithms to control all processes. Industrial automation includes various technologies as Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), Human Machine Interface (HMI). Supervisory control and data acquisition is a controlled system architecture which uses computers, graphical user interfaces and network data communications for high-level processes. Human Machine Interface includes the electronics required to signal and control the state of industrial automation equipment. The major benefits of industrial automation can be considered as replacing human involvement from risky areas of work, greater quality of production and economy improvement. The industry players are emphasized on increasing the efficiency of manufacturing process which is the major driver in industrial automation market.
Apart from it, developments in computer aided systems, internet of things (IoT), engineering technologies are the factors driving industrial automation. Usage of robots in industrial controller mechanisms has been a market trend. The decreasing human labor has led to a threat in industrial automation. Lack of awareness and scarcity of investment for many companies could be the major restraints for industrial automation according to Market Research Future. One trend in the automation market is emergence of smart manufacturing. The adoption of smart manufacturing enables industrial advances with the help of advanced computing, analytics, low-cost sensing, and new levels of connectivity enabled by the Internet. The major objectives of smart manufacturing are flow optimization and customization, asset tracking, predictive maintenance, and real-time inventory optimization. Industrial automation software is widely used in the oil and gas, power, automotive, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, chemical, aerospace and defense, and electrical and electronics industries.
One driver in the market is rising technological advances in PLC leading to growth of PAC market. PLC is one of the key solutions offered by any automation solutions vendor. It has been widely adopted across all the industries worldwide for 40 years. Although the PAC market is on the verge of maturity, recent advances such as PACs are supporting the market in terms of operability. PACs are advanced versions of PLCs and provide greater interoperability, flexibility in programming, and large memory capacity. A PAC is basically a PC merged with PLC to automate control of the equipment. PAC's hardware architecture and software are designed to be more user- friendly to the IT/computer programmer according to Research and Markets.