| This article contains a pro and con list. Please help improve it by integrating both sides into a more neutral presentation. (November 2012) | The main advantages of automation are:
* Increased throughput or productivity.
* Improved quality or increased predictability of quality. * Improved robustness (consistency), of processes or product. The following methods are often employed to improve productivity, quality, or robustness. * Install automation in operations to reduce cycle time.
* Install automation where a high degree of accuracy is required. * Replacing human operators in tasks that involve hard physical or monotonous work. * Replacing humans in tasks done in dangerous environments (i.e. fire, space, volcanoes, nuclear facilities, underwater, etc.) * Performing tasks that are beyond human capabilities of size, weight, speed, endurance, etc. * Economy improvement: Automation may improve in economy of enterprises, society or most of humanity. For example, when an enterprise invests in automation, technology recovers its investment; or when a state or country increases its income due to automation like Germany or Japan in the 20th Century. * Reduces operation time and work handling time significantly. * Frees up workers to take on other roles.
* Provides higher level jobs in the development, deployment, maintenance and running of the automated processes. The main disadvantages of automation are:
* Security Threats/Vulnerability: An automated system may have a limited level of intelligence, and is therefore more susceptible to committing errors outside of its immediate scope of knowledge (e.g., it is typically unable to apply the rules of simple logic to general propositions). * Unpredictable/excessive development costs: The research and development cost of automating a process may exceed the cost saved by the automation itself. * High initial cost: The automation of a new product or plant typically requires a very large initial investment in comparison with the unit cost...