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Advantages and Disadvantages of Technology and Automation

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In the past 20 years, technology has changed the environment of manufacturing. In the past days, manufacturing and production were all done by human-beings. But. now computers and technology have dominated the industry. ‘Automation’ is a key word that has become the competitive benefit in today’s manufacturing era. Automation can be defined as the technology by which a process is performed with minimum human assistance. Automation is the use of various control systems for functioning equipment such as machinery, processes in factories, boilers and heat treating ovens, switching on telephone networks, steering and stabilization of ships, aircraft and other applications and vehicles with less human interference. Some productions have been made completely automated which requires no assistance of human-beings. As every coin has two sides, as advantages and disadvantages of technology and automation.

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The advantages of automation are reduction in production time, increase in accuracy and repeatability, less human error, less employee costs, increased safety factor and has increased the volume production. Foremost, it reduces the production time as by having a machine that is automated can speeds up the production time since there is no thinking that is required by the machine and which gives better results in form of excellent repeatability with less human error. Secondly, it increases accuracy and repeatability of tasks as when an automated machine is programmed to perform a specific task over and over again, the accuracy and repeatability compared to human-beings is much better. It gives results with less human error as no one is perfect and we are all prone to making mistakes. That’s why a machine that performs repeated tasks is less obvious to make mistakes than human-beings.

Benefits of Automation includes that it requires less employees which saves their costs and they can invest that cost on automated machines, therefore less manpower is needed to get the specific tasks done. It also ensures less safety hazards, which leads to financial savings.  With having less employees, there are several costs that are reduced such as payroll, benefits and sick days. Next, human-beings are not supposed to work, or environments which is harmful for their health, however with automation solves this issue as automated machines can work in any environment. Therefore, there is a decrease in workplace hazards and also in number of workers which died in heavy duty industries. Automated Machines never get tired easily which in result can perform repetitive task with excellent accuracy and precision. Last, it also increases the production volume which means investing in automated equipment results in valuable resource for large production volumes and more profitability.

However, on the other side of the coin, the story is completely different as it as negative impacts too which are less versatility, some machines create more pollution which is an environmental issue, initially large investment is required, massive increase in unemployment, unpredictable costs, require maintenance and training and cannot perform complicated tasks. Firstly, automated machines are less versatile as a machine that can perform a certain task in their work-range only which makes them less flexible whereas an employee could do that with more flexibility. Secondly, some automated machines create pollution which is threat to environment as different types of machines are operated using motor which may need harmful gases or chemicals in order to function which can result in pollution in the workplace ass well as in environment. Initially, large investment is required as automated machines are very costly. For instance, if one manufacturing company wants to buy an Industrial Six- Axis Robot, its minimum price starts from $25,000 which can go to maximum $400,00. Automation requires large amount of investment depend on the equipment that a company required. With a rapid increase in Automation and Technology, it has increased the unemployment rates.

Moreover, there are some unpredictable costs which includes research and development costs to automate a process, preventative maintenance costs, and the cost of training employees to operate automated machines. Automated machines cannot perform complicated or non-repetitive tasks as an automated machine is programmed and they can only perform those tasks repetitively that are programmed in them. Automated machines cannot think as they do not have brain and cannot do tasks on their own unless human-beings gives them instruction in the form of programming or by other means. Last, automated machines require maintenance and training as for their proper functioning workers need training in which they can learn how to operate these machines.

In nutshell, with increase in world’s population, demands of people are increasing day by day which directly puts pressure on manufacturing industries to manufacture more products. In order to survive, Automation plays a very important role in automotive, health, electronics and military industries. As automation has its pros and cons, so it is entirely dependant on company or manufacturer how they utilize the automated machines.

 

 

REFERENCES

  1. · Blue, B. (2013). Advantages and Disadvantages of Automation in Manufacturing. Retrieved From
  2. http://www.vista-industrial.com/blog/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-automation-in-manufacturing/
  3. · Tamboli, N. (2016). Advantages and Disadvantages of Automation Technology. Retrieved From
  4. http://www.tamboliengg.com/cnc-machine-components-2/advantages-disadvantages-of-automation-technology/
  5. · Blicq, R., & Moretto, M. (2016). Technically Write. Toronto: Pearson Education Canada.
  6. Book ISBN: 978-1-323-36510-6

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