use of computers instead of human operators to control industrial devices and processes. Automation is a step beyond mechanization. Mechanization means providing human supervisors with tools and devices that help them do their job better. The most prominent and well-knownIndustrial Automation Department They are industrial robots. Today, the application of industrial automation and precision tools in various industries and industrial processes is abundant.
Complex process control and measurement systems used in industries such as oil, gas, petrochemicals, chemicals, food industries, automotive industries, etc. require very precise and sensitive tools. Recent technical advances in process control and measurement of various industrial parameters such as pressure, temperature, flow, etc. have increased the quality of products and reduced production costs.
In general, some of the advantages of industrial automation are as follows:
Reproducibility of activities and processes
Increasing the quality of products
Increase production speed (production quantity)
More accurate and faster quality control
Reduction of production waste (waste)
Better interaction with business systems
Increasing the productivity of industrial units
Increase the safety factor for manpower and reduce mental and physical stress
At present, improving the quality level of products in various industries and at the same time slightly increasing production is the main goal of every industrial unit and industry managers are aware of this important and have focused all their efforts to achieve this goal. The need to increase the quality and quantity of a product is the use of advanced and automatic machines. Machines that have most of their work steps done automatically and rely less on human factors. Such machines require an automated control unit to function properly, usually with a programmable control system (e.g.PLC Programmable logic controller) is used in this section.
The programmable control section is programmed according to the working algorithm of the machine and can command the device operators according to the current conditions and finally control the machine. As mentioned, the control department in any industrial system must command the operators in accordance with the current situation, so in a machine or in an industrial process in general, the first part of a control cycle is the extraction of information from the process.
Gathering information on industrial processes using From sensors or sensors Takes place. These sensors act as the eyes and ears of a control system. Today, the use of sensors is common in many industrial machines, so much so that the automatic operation of a machine can be measured by the number of Existing sensors He graded it.
The presence of different sensors in the automation process is so important that without the sensor no automation process is formed, so sensors are an integral part of industrial automation systems. In the not-so-distant past, many industrial machinery control panels used electromechanical relays or pneumatic systems to control production processes, and often controlled logic was created by combining multiple relays and connecting them together. In most industrial machines, delay systems and counters were also used, and with the addition of a number of timers and counters to the control panels, its volume and assembly time increased.
The above problems, considering their high depreciation and cost, as well as the impossibility of changing the system performance, caused that from the 80’s onwards, most control panels with new programmable control systems, ie PLC Replace .
Currently PLC It is one of the main and important components in automation projects that is produced and supplied by various companies in a wide variety. In short, new systems Automation and instrumentation based on PLC has the following advantages compared to old relay and contactor controllers:
Their installation and commissioning costs are low.
They take less time to install and set up.
They have a small physical size.
They are very easy to maintain and maintain.
They are easily expandable.
They have the ability to perform complex operations.
They have a high degree of reliability in the implementation of control processes.
They have a modular structure that simplifies the replacement of different parts.
They have standard input-output connections and signal levels.
Their programming language is simple and high level.
They are protected against noise and environmental disturbances.
It is easy to change the program while working.
It is possible to create a network between several PLCs easily.
Remote control (for example via telephone line or other communication networks) is possible.
It is possible to connect many standard peripherals such as printer, barcode reader and… to PLCs.
Another important issue related to industrial automation is monitoring. Today, monitoring is one of the basic needs of many industries, especially large industries. Many large industries such as petrochemical, energy, chemical and other industries are not able to continue their work without using a proper monitoring system. Monitoring is the collection of information from different parts of an industrial unit and display them in the desired format to achieve the following goals:
Display the current status of each machine and device
Display and record important and vital parameters of a system
Display and record various alarms in times of system errors
Display the location of the fault and the time of the fault in each of the system components
Demonstrate production processes using appropriate graphical tools
Modification of Set Points during the production process
Possibility to change some control processes through monitoring program
Record information and parameters desired by managers such as operating times, production rate, amount of raw materials consumed, amount of energy consumed and…
Application of industrial automation
Industrial automation systems in both types of production processes that include:
1- Continuous (divergent) processes such as: refining, food, etc.
2- Discrete (convergent) processes such as: automobiles, home appliances and….
Can be used. A production process according to the type of product is divided into three parts: production, packaging and distribution. Production is the most important part of the manufacturing process. From measuring the quality of raw materials, performing initial manufacturing operations on them to final product processing and final product control tests. The moving and cutting robots of this section are fixed legs in most production lines. But because all products at the end of the production process need packaging and factors such as consumption time, health issues, ease of transportation and….
They affect the quality of the product and its sales distribution, so it is necessary to pay attention to this part. From loading the product in trucks to offering the product in stores, it is part of the distribution sector. The use of special loading robots and intelligent transport lines is one of the most important achievements of automation in the distribution sector.
Automation works well even at production management levels. This is possible with the help of human machine interfaces (HMI). Because in addition to controlling the system, it makes it possible to collect, synchronize information and display it at different levels of management. It is easy to control the system with the help of HMI remotely.
Industrial automation tasks
Industrial automation has more of a task than controlling the production process. But the defined tasks of an industrial automation system set up by relevant experts are:
Implement control strategies in the factory
– Exchange of information between production departments
– Create an intermediary between the user and the controlled collection
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