In the world of manufacturing, automation is a common way to get things done in a safe, efficient way. To stay competitive, companies from many different industries have added automated machines to their product creation process.
But what did industry look like before modern technology? In order to understand where we’re going, our custom automation manufacturers think it’s important to know where we started. Please contact our Holland office today if you would like more information regarding industrial automation and custom machines.
The term “automation” gained popularity beginning in 1947, when Ford created an automation department to help assemble automobiles. It was derived from the word “ ,” which is a term that refers to a self-operating machine. While this might be where the term originated, machines have been used throughout human history.
Examples of primitive machines can be found in cultures from all around the world. A notable example is the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient Greek creation dating back to 100-150 BC that is said to be the first analog computer. This machine used clockwork and gears to predict astrological events.
Some of the earliest machines, such as turbines, were powered by water. There is recorded evidence of water-powered machinery dating back as early as 2,000 years ago, when the ancient Greeks used this technology to grind wheat into flour. This would soon give way to steam engine technology during the Industrial Revolution.
Automation and Industry
The Industrial Revolution saw the rise of automation in industry. As factories became more prominent, business owners realized that they could have perform many of the same tasks as workers without many of the safety risks that the workers sometimes faced. This cut costs for business owners, as they didn’t have to worry about labor costs.
Steam engines allowed the beginnings of industrial automation to take effect. Machines such as mills, cranes, and locomotives could all be powered with steam engines, giving manufacturers access to new methods of production that allowed certain aspects of their business to run themselves.
Steam power began to give way to electronic machines in the early 1900s. World War I later prompted advancements in technology that could later be translated to automation, and industrial machinery has developed exponentially ever since.
Industrial Automation Today
Today, technology has come a long way from the machines of old. Industrial automation is present in a wide variety of industries, from food service to textiles and everything in between. The development of computer technology has revolutionized the way that machines can be used for automation.
As we move further into the 21st century, machines are getting a lot smarter (just like humans!) Since the 1980s, we’ve seen great advancements in the industrial sector. Many companies have been able to automate entire branches of their manufacturing process, a phenomenon that is often seen in the automotive industry.
Are you ready to invest in industrial automation for your business? We’re here to help! Paramount Tool Company is a custom machine builder in Holland, MI. We have years of experience in helping businesses like yours achieve greatness through industrial automation. To request an estimate for industrial robots, , or any of our other manufacturing solutions, call (616) 582-5300.