Automation: The Use Of Control Systems And Information Technologies

Topics: Minimum wage, Automation, Unemployment Pages: 21 (7341 words) Published: February 13, 2011
Automation is the use of control systems and information technologies to reduce the need for human work in the production of goods and services. In the scope of industrialization, automation is a step beyond mechanization. Whereas mechanization provided human operators with machinery to assist them with the muscular requirements of work, automation greatly decreases the need for human sensory and mental requirements as well. Automation plays an increasingly important role in the world economy and in daily experience. Automation has had a notable impact in a wide range of industries beyond manufacturing (where it began). Once-ubiquitous telephone operators have been replaced largely by automated telephone switchboards and answering machines. Medical processes such as primary screening in electrocardiography or radiography and laboratory analysis of human genes, sera, cells, and tissues are carried out at much greater speed and accuracy by automated systems. Automated teller machines have reduced the need for bank visits to obtain cash and carry out transactions. In general, automation has been responsible for the shift in the world economy from industrial jobs to service jobs in the 20th and 21st centuries.[1] Contents

1 Advantages and disadvantages
2 Relationship to unemployment
o2.1 Multivariate effect
o2.2 Timeline of concerns about automation's relationship to unemployment 2.2.1 Early in the Industrial Revolution
2.2.2 Later in the Industrial Revolution
2.2.3 During the Machine Age
2.2.4 During the 1950s through 1990s Post-market musings
2.2.5 During the 2000s and 2010s New-market engineering Wage-recapture market variant Mirror-image market variant Implementations
3 Other goals of automation (beyond productivity gains and cost reduction) o3.1 Reliability and precision
o3.2 Health and environment
o3.3 Convertibility and turnaround time
4 Automation tools
o4.1 Current limits
5 Applications of Automation
6 See also
7 References
8 Bibliography
9 Further reading
10 External links

[edit] Advantages and disadvantages
The main advantages of automation are:
Replacing human operators in tasks that involve hard physical or monotonous work.[2] •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. The main disadvantages of automation are:

Technology limits. Current technology is unable to automate all the desired tasks. •Unpredictable 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 requires a huge initial investment in comparison with the unit cost of the product, although the cost of automation is spread in many product batches. [edit] Relationship to unemployment

It has been suggested that this section be split into a new article. (Discuss)

[edit] Multivariate effect
This section does not cite any references or sources.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2011)

Most people consider it common sense that automation has the potential to foster unemployment, because it obviates human work by transferring tasks to machines. However, the translation of that potential into observed effect has largely not happened in the two centuries during which it has been continually predicted. After...
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