The term ‘Automation’ typically refers to an automatic control system(s) used to perform a specific task. The nature of these systems and tasks depends on different processes involved in any plant or industry. It’s a vast area for discussion and I’ll be talking about the applications of control systems in my future posts but before that, let’s discuss some basic knowledge regarding Control Systems.
What is a Control System?
A control system is used for achieving a desired response as directed by a specified input. In simple words, a control system takes the command (as input), processes it in a specified manner, and gives the output as desired.
Why do we need a Control System?
The importance of automation lies in the fact that it makes the system efficient by saving time, energy, and resources. Furthermore, it assures the improved quality, precision and accuracy.
There are many applications of control system in almost every field nowadays. It is through Control Systems that we can actually
- Move large equipment with precision that would otherwise be impossible.
- Point huge antennas toward the farthest reaches of the universe to pick up faint radio signals.
- Have elevators that carry us quickly to our destination, automatically stopping at the right floor.
- Design robots that can compensate for human disabilities.
Control Systems are also useful in remote or dangerous locations. For example a remote controlled robot arm can be used to pick up radioactive materials in a nuclear power plant or to pick up toxic materials in a contaminated environment.
In industries, conveyor belts are used to take objects from one location to the desired destination with the help of a control system. It is done using Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), servo motors, and position sensors (proximity, light etc.). These are all interesting components of a control system and I’ll be discussing them in my upcoming articles.