Automation systems consist of equipment that is capable of assembling products using automated machinery that operates fairly independently of human control and operation. These systems are able to perform a wide range of processes and machining tasks including cutting, welding, riveting, screw driving, soldering, turning, drilling, injected metal, seal installation, brazing and more.
Automation systems are used in plants and factories to create parts and assemble them into products, sometimes starting with raw or basic materials. There is no standard setup or arrangement for the production equipment or assembly machinery because of the many uses and applications that automation systems have. Because they are automated, these systems do not require much human control, though operators remain in the area to ensure that the system is running smoothly.
Automated assembly systems can also be designed to mark or package the product directly from the automation equipment. Some manufacturing companies use large automated assembly processes with heavy robotic equipment to put together large products, such as automobiles. Medical research facilities and food and beverage processing plants often use automation systems when human contact with the product would be dangerous or could contaminate the product.
Automation systems are used in many manufacturing facilities and are used by the aerospace, agriculture, automotive, computer, electrical, electronics, fiber optics, food and beverage, furnace and heat treat, general industry, medical, plumbing, microelectronics or semiconductor and telecommunications industries.
Automation systems are composed of many individual pieces of equipment. Some systems start with machining and trim, bend and fasten a piece of metal, for instance, before sending it to receive a coat of paint from a spray booth that is then cured in an oven before being assembled with other pieces into the final product.
Other systems may work with batches of plastic, heating the material until pliable then using a die stamp or injection mold to create a shape that is then trimmed, hardened and smoothed. Still other automation systems use thin sheets of aluminum to form cans that are labeled, filled, sealed and packaged. Certain configurations are frequently used because of their efficiency and ease of use.
Carousel systems, continuous motion conveyors, inline indexing, multi-station, rotary, synchronized and walking beam transfer systems are a few of the many arrangements of equipment. Other items that are used in an automated system include lifts, pick-and-place arms, marking equipment, vision systems, pallet transfer systems, high speed assembly machines, testing equipment, bulk handling equipment, cleanroom applications and more. These systems can be bought at the same time or they can be added to as the need grows.