Factory automation, or industrial automation, is the connecting up of factory equipment to improve the efficiency and reliability of process control systems. This in turn leads to lower costs, improved quality, increased flexibility and less environmental impact.
Semiconductors are a key enabler for Smart Industry applications. With over 30 years of experience in the design and manufacture of products for factory automation and industrial applications, ST can help build the factories of tomorrow with solutions that aid developers in addressing design challenges.
Industrial sensors, connectivity and PLCs
Smart industry is centred around industrial sensors added to equipment with both wired and wireless connectivity technologies, as well as more efficient power conversion technologies. Adding new power control systems can dramatically reduce the energy consumption of manufacturing systems, reducing costs and carbon emissions.
Updating programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to become part of the real-time systems is providing more visibility of the performance of the manufacturing systems. While PLCs have been a constant part of an industrial process control system, they have reduced in size and added connectivity to improve the real-time performance of industrial automation systems.
This is leading to the development of the smart factory that can be monitored in real-time and quickly reconfigured to meet the changing production requirements.