Category Archives: Technology

INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION’S DILEMMA IN THE MODERN TECHNOLOGY AGE

First Published: Monday, February 23, 2009

In the manufacturing industry, factory needs a good performance in the line of production. Good performance means good pace, high rate of productivity, high percentage of efficiency, small number of defect product, minimize number of rework, uniform measurement, standard process, and etc. Therefore, people develop machinery to meet those all requirements.

In the beginning of Technology Age, people developed simple machine to help and improve the process manufacturing line to reach productivity and quality. Industrial Revolution in England was able to open mindset of people in the world that people need some tools to make this life easier. People raced to invent a new product to provide better and easier living.

In the modern technology age, machinery grows very fast. Production processes are control by technologically elements like button, switch, driver, valve, motor, and etc. All control elements will be organized in one brain called PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) and programmable computer. In addition, automation industries are growing fast in developing pneumatic machine, electric machine, electro pneumatic machine, hydraulic machine, mechatronics machine, robotics, and computerize elements. These tools are very simple and fast to use in the production line. For example, if factory want to produce certain colour and quantity, the operator only need push some button and input number in the controller.

Industrial Automation brings a lot of alteration in the manufacturing world. With some machine, factory only need some operator to operate the machine. In the old manufacturing, factory requires a lot of people to do the cycle of production. For example cutting material from metal, factory only needs one CNC machine operator, one draftsman, and some helpers. If this job works manually, factory needs more people to do the same job with the same time of production. The quality of machine usually is better than manual work because machine can work more precise and constant than manually work. This factor perhaps becomes consideration of company to invest machines than workers.

This trend does not only happen in the manufacturing, but also in the public services field like transportation. For example, if in the old time bus company use two workers (one as a driver and one as assistant to a driver); now company use only one workers (driver) because bus company use RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology and one chip inside a smart card that brings by each passenger. In the future, industrial automation will be growth. All fields will manage like robot. The people’s jobs will change with automation elements and machines. For example, bus and train conductor change into RFID, bus and train driver change into automatic bus and train, traffic police change into CCTV (Close-Circuit Television) camera, parker change into automatic security parking, bank teller and officer change into ATM (Automated Teller Machine), cashier change into self-service machine, tollgate officer change into ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) gate and etc.

In conclusion, the benefit of Industrial Automation will become dilemma in the modern technology age. Unemployment will be higher in the future because all jobs of people will be change by technology. On the other hand, company needs all the best to provide high quality of products and services; although they need to invest money for technology. In one side, automation technology gives benefit to all people. On the other side, it needs alertness of human.