The Role of Automation in Industry
The Engineering Profession
Engineering is one of the most ancient occupations in history. Without the skills included in the broad field of engineering, our present-day civilization never could have evolved. The first toolmakers who chipped arrows and spears from rock were the forerunners of modern mechanical engineers. The craftsmen who discovered metals in the earth and found ways to refine and use them were the ancestors of mining and metallurgical engineers. And the skilled technicians who devised irrigation systems and erected the marvellous buildings of the ancient world were the civil engineers of their time.
Engineering is often defined as making practical application of theoretical sciences such as physics and mathematics. Many of the early branches of engineering were based not on science but on empirical information that depended on observation and experience.
The great engineering works of ancient times were constructed and operated largely by means of slave labor. During the Middle Ages people began to seek devices and methods of work that were more efficient and humane. Wind, water, and animals were used to provide energy for some of these new devices. This led to the Industrial Revolution which began in the eighteenth century. First steam engines and then other kinds of machines took over more and more of the work that had previously been done by human beings or by animals. James Watt, one of the key figures in the early development of steam engines, devised the concept of horsepower to make his customers understand the amount of work his machines could perform.
Since the nineteenth century both scientific research and practical application of its results have escalated. The mechanical engineer now has the mathematical ability to calculate the mechanical advantage that results from the complex interaction of many different mechanisms. He or she also has new and stronger materials to work with and enormous new sources of power. The Industrial Revolution began by putting water and steam to work; since then machines using electricity, gasoline, and other energy sources have become so widespread that they now do a very large proportion of the work of the world.
toolmaker - инструментальщик
evolve - развиваться
chip – стругать, обтесывать
forerunner - предшественник
craftsman - ремесленник
ancestor – предок, прародитель
technician – специалист
devise – придумать, изобретать
erect – сооружать, воздвигать
humane – гуманный, человечный
escalate - расширять
Answer the questions:
1. Who were the forerunners of modern mechanical engineers?
2. Who were the ancestors of mining and metallurgical engineers?
3. What was used to provide energy for some of the new devices?
4. When did the Industrial Revolution begin?
5. What does the mechanical engineer do now?
1. Кто были предшественниками современной механики?
The Role of Automation in Industry
Automation is the third phase in the development of technology that began with the industrialization of the 18th century. First came mechanization which created the factory system and separated labour and management in production. Mechanization was a technology based on forms and applications of power. Mass production came next. It was a technology based on principles of production and organization. Automation is a technology based on communication, computation and control.
The truly automated devices must possess one or more of the following elements: system approach, programmability, feedback.
With a system approach, factories which make things by passing them through successive stages of manufacturing without people intervening to transfer lines are considered automated systems. These carry components past lines of machine-tools which each cuts them automatically. People are not required; the machines clamp the parts out of themselves without a workman being present. Thus transfer lines are different from assembly lines where people are very much in evidence.
With programmability, a system can do more than one kind of job. An industrial robot is an automated machine. It works automatically and an operator can reprogram the computer that controls it to make the machine do different things.
Finally, feedback makes an automatic device vary its routine according to changes that take place around it. An automatic machine-tool with feedback would have sensors that detect, for example, if the metal it is cutting is wrongly shaped. If it is, the sensors instruct the machine to vary its routine accordingly. Other examples of devices with feedback are robots with “vision” or other sensors that can “see” or “feel” what they are doing.
Most examples of automation in factories today are not “programmable”; neither do they work with feedback. They are simply sets of machine-tools linked together according to “systems” approach. These mechanisms are inflexible. They turn out only one kind of part, which is all very well if the manufacturer wants to make thousands of identical components. But if he wants to change his routine, the machinery is not very useful. This is the case while automation is inflexible, flexible automation is on the way. Here, automated machinery has programmability and feedback and can turn out different kinds of components. The equipment will make a tremendous difference to factory floors throughout the world. Flexible automation adds up to a new industrial era.
to separate - отделять, разделять
computation – вычисление, расчет
successive stages - последовательные стадии
approach – системный подход
feedback – обратная связь
to intervene - вмешиваться
machine-tool - станок
clamp – закреплять, зажимать
transfer line – линия передачи
assembly line – линия сборки
in evidence – заметный
routine – определенный режим
sensor - датчик
detect – выявлять, обнаруживать
instruct – отдавать приказ, сообщать
inflexible - негибкий
to count - полагать, считать
to carry - нести
to cut - резать
routine - зд. режим работы
a set of - ряд, комплект
to turn out - точить, обтачивать
Answer the questions:
1. What is automation based on?
2. What is mechanization based on?
3. What elements must the automated devices possess?
4. What is an industrial robot?
5. Are the mechanisms inflexible or flexible today?
1. Что такое автоматизации на базе?
14. Роль автоматизации в промышленности
Автоматизация является третьим этапом в развитии технологии, которая началась с индустриализацией 18-го века. Первой пришла механизация которых создана система завода и отделены труда и управления производством. Механизация была технология, основанная на формах и применения силы. Массовое производство будет дальше. Это была технология, основанная на принципах производства ние и организацию.Автоматизация технологий, основанных на коммуникации, расчет и контроль.