Advancements in the field of automation have brought about many advantages that span across a vast array of industries. Through the use of control systems and information technologies, automation has reduced the need for human work, whether it is in the production of goods or providing a service. Automation takes the concept of mechanization, in which a person operates a machine to help them with a task, and goes a step beyond. With automation, the need for human sensory and mental capacities is greatly decreased. The role automation plays in daily life, as well as its importance in the world economy, continues to increase exponentially. The term automation was first coined in 1947 when General Motors established its own automation process. From 1957 until 1964, General Motors output nearly doubled in factories while the need for blue collar workers declined steadily. Though automation began in the manufacturing sector, advancements in technology have allowed the process to be expanded to a range of industries. Everyday examples include the replacement of telephone operators by automated telephone switchboards, or the use of ATMs instead of the need to interact with a bank teller.
One of the main advancements in automation is that it replaces the need for human operators in difficult physical, or monotonous tasks, and can increase productivity. It also provides added safety as work done in dangerous environments can be done by machine, without risking the safety of employees.Tasks that are beyond human capabilities due to factors such as size, weight, endurance and speed can easily be performed by automated systems. While it seems that these automated systems are taking away jobs, they have actually had positive economic impacts and have improved the economy of enterprises and societies. The positive economic impact of automation in the 20th century can be clearly seen in the industrial boom of countries like Japan and Germany. The use of automated systems allows workers to take on other roles. The operation time of manufacturing is also decreased significantly. Freeing workers from menial operative tasks provides higher-level positions for employees in the development, maintenance, deployment and running of automated processes. The use of automated systems provides a substantial improvement in both the quality of work for the employees, and also the quality of the finished product.
Advanced electrical and electronic systems, from standard designs to those that are tailored specifically to applications, provide safety and convenience to an array of industries.