Automation - Reference Traing Material

SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) is application program for processing control and the gathering of data in real time from remote locations in order to control the process equipments . SCADA is used in power plants, steel as well as in oil and gas refining, telecommunications, transportation, and water treatment control. SCADA systems comprise of hardware and software components. The hardware collects and feeds data into a computer that has SCADA software installed. The computer then processes this information and presents it in a proper time-based manner. SCADA also records all events into a file stored on a hard disk or sends them to a network printer. SCADA applications warn thru alarms when conditions become hazardous by sounding alarms.

Manufacturing execution systems (MES) are analytical systems used in manufacturing, to track and record the transformation of raw materials to finished goods. MES provides information that helps production decision makers understand how current conditions on the plant floor can be optimized to improve and enhance the production output. MES applications help to eliminate manual data collection from process or production line  with real-time, automatic data directly from machines, production lines  and operators entries.

Manufacturing operations management (MOM) is a methodology for viewing a complete manufacturing process with a view to optimizing and enhancing efficiency. There are various types of MOM software, including for production management, performance analysis, quality and compliance, and human machine interface (HMI). Also Workflow applications that guide the operators on the sequence of tasks they need to perform.

OPC (OLE for Process Control) is a software interface standard that allows communication with industrial hardware devices and interface between different vendor products. OPC is implemented in server/client architecture.The value of OPC systems is that it is an open standard, which means lower costs for manufacturers and more options for customers.

Historian refers to a database software application that records or histories time-based process data. Historian software is used to record trends, raw data, calculated logs and historical information about industrial processes for future records and further analysis by reporting applications.

A Programmable Logic Controller – PLC is the name given to a type of computer commonly used in commercial & production control applications. PLCs differ from office computers in the types of tasks that they perform mainly in industrial environments and the hardware/software they require to perform these control tasks. All PLCs monitor inputs (digital or analog) and other variable values, process this data based on a stored program, and control outputs to take action on a process or machine.

Traditional Sectors 

The Global Production value of Pharma industry is more than US$ 500 billion and expected to grow significantly with each passing decade. The industry works on a demand and service model with new products being launched or existing production ramped up based on the demand. The Pharma industry 
has enable automation to comply with stringent FDA norms as well as to achieve and maintain global production and quality standards. Some of the major regulatory standards can be listed as  Electronic Signatures (21 CFR Part 11), Process Analytical Technology (PAT) framework and ISA 88 standard (automation structure).

The Chemical Industry is critical to any country's industrial growth. The Industry produces many chemicals as main products and several others as by products. The adoption of automation is important in this industry as it many of its plants operate on continuous basis with several automated loop controls. The Chemical industry is one of the most automated industrial sectors as most of the important parameters are maintained within control limits by the numerous auto PID loops which are configured in the automation systems.

The Water Industry is critical to any country's industrial growth. The Industry involves many technologies for the purification or desalination of water. The different systems involved consist of Clarification techniques, Demineralization and Reverse Osmosis. The Industry also caters to waste water treatment through crystallisation processes. There is also great demand for portable water purification systems specially in developing countries. The industry techniques of Ultra Violet (UV) and Reverse Osmosis are also applied to the commercially available portable purification water systems.

The Semiconductor industry involves companies that are engaged in the fabrication of semiconductor devices. The semiconductor companies are key drivers of the Hi-tech industry. The decrease in size & cost of semiconductor devices has enabled rapid development of mobile devices. Innovation is key to growth in this industry segment. The industry size is already over $300 billion. The semiconductor products are widely used as chips in Servers, PCs and communication mobile devices, TVs & Washers and other household appliances, and other industrial applications ranging from automotive, Aerospace and Energy. The industrial applications often employ automation controllers & sensors such as PLC, DCS, Scanners and Transmitters.

Energy industry comprises of all companies involved in the exploration discovery, production and selling of energy. The main segments are the Petroleum, Oil & Gas, Power – Coal, Hydro and Nuclear, and alternative energy sources such as Solar, Wind and Biofuels. Energy is now being used to make the human life more comfortable with the use of machines and new technologies. The cost of energy is critical to making it more acceptable on a large scale. There is increasing focus to the use of green fuels like Solar and Wind, as these are virtually endless resources that are available in abundance. Automation is widely used in this industry to extract maximum production at efficient and affordable costs. Automation is widely used in this sector, with even remote energy stations that are monitored through telemetry. Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) will further enable automation 
in this sector.

Aerospace industry deals with production and R&D on efforts to fly within earth atmosphere and space. In most countries, these are public companies under government control or public-private partnerships. This segment is involved in the production of aircrafts, missiles, spacecrafts and satellites. The satellite applications could be for public benefits like weather forecast, terrain mapping or for defence purposes. The demand is great for 
continuous improvement as the technologies often get obsolete within a decade. There is a focus in this sector to improve manufacturing process using automation and make it more efficient and less costly. The best practices from the automotive industry are often adapted by this sector to improve the overall manufacturing processes. The movement of massive parts is often done using robotic technologies.

The Automotive Industry comprises companies involved in the Design, Production and Sale of automobiles – Cars, Trucks etc. One of the most important sectors for a country’s growth and also one of the most revenue earning segment. Automation is already well established in this industry segment. The earliest programmable controllers were also used in this industry to save the costs of expensive rewiring on relay panels for changes in the 
product segment. Emerging markets like China, India, Mexico and Latin Americas are driving the growth of new automotive plants. The automation market in this industry can be widely divided in 3 broad regions of Americas, EMEA and APAC with almost half of the share being that of APAC region.

Healthcare industry comprises sectors that offer services to treatment of patients. It is also one of the fastest growing industries. Medical Tourism is also part of this industry, with many people travelling to countries with low cost healthcare facilities. Biomedical Instrumentation has come a long way with latest technologies emerging to monitor the health parameters. Automation in this sector helps in gaining data driven insights to medical conditions thereby enabling better informed decisions.


The Electronics industry has grown rapidly in the last century and is now multi-billion dollar industry. The industry covers industrial electronics, consumer electronics and digital electronics that is now common in all modern day gadgets. Electronic Manufacturing Automation with focus on intelligent manufacturing is transforming the industrial manufacturing sector. Consumer electronics mainly drives the growth in this sector with old gadgets like cameras often getting replaced by new mobile devices. The automation news in electronics industry is encouraging and gives benefits in the form of improved efficiency, quality and increased production.

The Glass Industry has mainly two production methods of Float glass (sheets) and Glass blowing to produce the containers. It is a heavy energy consuming sector and continuous efforts are made to save the energy by design and automation of new systems. Furnace is a critical unit in the production of glass and much of the energy is also consumed in this section. Much of the Glass production is sold to other sectors like the building 
construction, food & beverage and car industry. Safety is also an important consideration in this Industry. The automation news from this industry is to put more focus on the energy efficiency and safety by adopting new designs and systems.

The Metals sector comprises of many industries – Iron, Steel, Zinc, Copper, Aluminium etc. The Global market value of steel industry alone is more than trillion $. The automation starts right at the mining stage and upto the production & shipment of finished materials. The metal industry follows the ASTM standards that cover both ferrous and nonferrous metals, including steel, copper, aluminum etc.

Modern Technologies 

The IoT (Internet of things) is interconnection of physical devices, vehicles, buildings, and other smart items enabling these objects to collect and exchange data. These are also known as connected devices. The IoT is becoming increasingly popular with potential to affect our daily 
lives. The availability of Internet and Wi-Fi devices on mobile devices is also aiding the growth of IoT. The exchange of data by connected devices through Internet Gateways could become new revenue stream for communication providers. The smart connected devices could include from simple household devices like washing machines, refrigerators, coffee makers to wearable smart devices and also industrial applications like Jet engine of an airplane or emission parameters of automobiles. IoT is crucial to concept of Smart City & Smart Energy Management Systems and as per an estimate 
by 2020 there could be up to 26 billion connected devices.

Industry 4.0 (4th Industrial Revolution) with origins in Germany is new technology that is transforming manufacturing sector. The main aim is to create a smart factory where cyber physical systems play a critical part by monitoring physical systems (modelling) and making decisions. 
These systems also interact using IoT with other cyber physical systems (models) and with humans to run the plant operations. Some of the key features of Industry 4.0 are: Interoperability, Decentralization, Virtualization, and Flexibility. The systems should be interoperable and not 
dependent on the various country/code standards. The decisions should be decentralized with the cyber-physical systems making their decisions by utilizing the plant models (virtualization). There should be flexibility in use of services for rapid ramp-up/scale down.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence shown by machines. AI comes into picture when a machine acts the way humans would, for performing functions such as "learning" and "problem solving" (known as Machine Learning). Capabilities currently classified as AI include successfully understanding human speech, self-driving cars etc. Cleverbot is a chatterbot that's modeled after human behavior and able to hold a conversation by remembering words from conversations. There are also examples of voice-powered personal assistants like Siri and Alexa.

A Cloud Service is on demand service through net from remotely located servers of service providers as against from in-house servers. Cloud provides scalable access to applications, platforms and infrastructure that are managed and maintained by the cloud services provider. The most common 
examples can be online data storage and backup solutions, Web-based e-mail services, database processing and more. There are 3 distinct types for cloud services: Software as a Service (SaaS) – application based and delivery over internet to users, Platform as a Service 
(PaaS) – set of tools to make programming and deployment efficient & fast, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – providing user’s server and storage hardware along with operating systems. Providing shared computer processing to other computers on demand over the web is an example of Cloud Computing. These solutions provide companies with capabilities to store and process their data in third-party data centers located far away in different part of the world.

DevOps is about software development and operations, merging in order to enhance communication, collaboration & operational cooperation between these technical teams. It aims to speed up and increase reliability of the build, test and release phase of the development cycle. DevOps tools 
can be put in following different categories: Coding, Build /Test, Package/Release and Monitoring. DevOps can be called an outgrowth of Agile & Lean approaches that have been traditionally followed in the software development cycle. The DevOps methodology puts focus on the inter-relation of the 
development/operation groups and helps in integrating them as a team. The overall benefits can be seen by organization in the form of speed & reliability for deployment of product and newer versions.

Robotic process automation (or RPA) is a form of clerical process automation where a Computer (Robot) would manipulate the application software data e.g. data entry into SAP or help desk applications. The artificial Intelligence robot replicates actions of a human being in a way that they would be 
interacting with the user interface of a computer system. The Robotic process Automation can save a lot of time and money for companies that perform high volumes of repetitive knowledge processing using large workforce. Similar to industrial sector, accuracy and volumes can be increased for transactional work by employing RPA.

The advancements in Robotics could be the dawn of a second machine age. There are continuous evolving techniques in Coworking robots (cobots), Surgical robots (surgibot)Machine Learning Softwares, artificial Intelligence, IOT enabled devices across all industry segments. IT robotic automation works with data driven rule based processes. This market segment could grow to more than billion $ in the next decade.

Please write to us at to connect.