What is automation?

What is automation? 

The answer to What is automation?, refers to the application and use of computer and technological elements or systems that operate autonomously in certain activities, that is, that minimizes human intervention.

This way of working has been implemented especially in factories, plants, warehouses or industries, in which work is generally carried out with specialized equipment and systems, for example, in a car assembly plant where robotic arms are used. Nowadays there is talk of intelligent automation with the implementation of technologies such as machine learning, neural networks and artificial intelligence. Industrial automation According to the Ricoh company, there are approximately 70% of business processes with potential for automation, that is, they have the ability to automate repetitive tasks or functions in operational and administrative areas. However, there are several challenges for organizations when it comes to implementing a technology solution that automates business processes and routine tasks, as these types of implementations transform the culture of the organization.
“Sometimes the thought of running a real workflow automation system creates fears about costs, compatibility with existing infrastructure, and actual employee adoption rates. However, the data points to an unavoidable need for automated workflows as the digital universe doubles in size every two years,” says Jair Sarmiento, services account executive leader at Ricoh. In accordance with the current times that imply greater communication channels, specific market demands and increasingly revolutionary technological advances, organizations will find themselves in need of some type of automated workflow. How to automate a production line According to the Ricoh company specialist, to implement an intelligent automation system, the following basic steps must be considered: Start with a single base or source of knowledge represented in the correct management of the documents and processes that are going to be automated. Determine the business rules that will be used in the automation and that will be in charge of regulating the processes. Allow to deploy implementations in projects and manage expectations where problems and productivity barriers are clearly defined. Technological disruption and automation imply the modification of work modalities and schemes, as well as the appearance of new business organization models. The replacement of routine tasks by increasingly analytical machines reinforces the need to develop soft skills in workers and managers, without neglecting their programming skills and discernment in hard sciences. Human beings will bring added value in dealing with processes and interfaces with the market, but most of the repetitive routines that today, specialists highlight.

Industrial automation examples

The most concrete example of this trend is the application of "collaborative robots". This particular class of robots is capable of manipulating all kinds of objects, from a Swiss watch to a tablet PC, and with a level of precision capable of threading a needle. They have the ability to work hand-in-hand with humans in a normal manufacturing environment, helping companies get the most out of their operations. One of the features is its intrinsic security, as it can work alongside people without exposing them to security risks.

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