We all experience the benefits of automation, although most of the time we take the development of the technology behind it for granted. The computer is what we think of when we see automation in action, but earlier examples should not be discounted. The textile industry embraced automation early on, using punch cards to control textile looms.
Automation can be traced back to a man named Herman Hollerith. The Hollerith Tabulating Machine was designed to tabulate the 1890 census results. This invention used cards with punched holes. Utilizing electromechanical relays and pools of mercury, Hollerith’s machine was able to calculate the census much more quickly and for less money than anticipated. Expected to take 10 years, the 1890 census was completed in a period of three months. Although simple technology, the potential was not overlooked. �In 1924, Hollerith�s Tabulating Machine Co., and two other firms were consolidated into International Business Machines, or IBM as we know it. IBM continued to use the punch cards to store and enter data and perform processing tasks on industrial computers well into the 1950s.
Fast forward to today. The modern computer is an example of this advanced automation in action. Computers are able to perform complex tasks without the presence of an operator. This has significantly impacted industry. Because of the role of automation, we are able to save time, money, labor, and resources. We are also able to complete industrial tasks to a greater degree of accuracy.
Consider the role of automation in water and wastewater industries. These sectors are always looking to reduce operational costs and meet regulatory requirements, while serving the needs of the community.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, known as SCADA, is one technology that can provide peace of mind through automation.� The collection and analysis of large amounts of data can be invaluable in an industry with such a demand for transparency and precision.
The complexity of technical and management processes that need managed in plants is continuously increasing. Yet, the availability of adequate water supplies and effective waste processing remains critical in an age of population growth, increased government regulation, and decaying infrastructure.
The integration of collection, treatment, distribution, and water quality analysis systems into an operational dashboard is one way to improve efficiency without a lot of work upfront. With real-time HMI/SCADA solutions, users are instantly notified in the event of overflow or adverse situations. �In turn, they can respond to accurate information as conditions and alarms occur. Such a solution provides advanced reporting to document operations, maintenance, and analysis efforts. Users can access all aspects of operations from anywhere, anytime, and on any device. This feature presents the data needed to make important operational decisions. For more information, check out our post on ways automation programming makes your life easier.