Nowadays, you can apply automation anywhere. At home, work, or even study places, automated devices are present. But, actualizing the setups isn’t always easy.
Nevertheless, with the right information, implementing automation shouldn’t be difficult. That’s what we’ll discuss here. So, if you plan to do something specially automated, below are what you should know.
1. First Identify the Task
Another way to put it is to understand what you plan to do. If you plan to handle a task with automation, you should know the input and output requirements. That is, how do you initiate the automation, and the result to expect.
By identifying the task, the rest of the procedure becomes easier. That’s because you’ll know the steps and core components involved. For instance, suppose you aim to build a motorized lift. You’ll know that linear actuators are instrumental. Consequently, you can learn how to replace an actuator and other important steps.
Once you understand the task, you can break it into smaller parts. That way, you can approach the automation with clarity. At each stage, you know the objective.
2. Research Existing Solutions
What you plan to do has likely been done by someone else before. So, you can make the task easier by doing research. The insights can serve as a guide all through the process.
How do you research existing solutions? Well, there are many options. You can use online resources like blogs and forums. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit can also prove helpful. However, these are mostly for DIY projects.
Suppose you want to do something that’s majorly proprietary. In that case, you’ll want to use details directly from manufacturers. You can read in-depth manuals and other publications to know what to do.
Notably, you leverage two main advantages with research. First, you learn more about how to perform the specially automated task. Secondly, from feedback, you’ll know if the task is truly worth the investment.
3. Pick the Right Tools
At this stage, you should have identified what you want to do and how you plan to do it. To kickstart with the latter, you’ll need to get the right tools. It’s important because different automation tasks require varying components.
For regular automation tasks, the motorized mechanism is primary. In that aspect, actuators are usually the go-to. Then, you may require components like cables, mounts, and brackets.
However, if your objective is to achieve high autonomy, you can’t skip sensors. Sensors are particularly necessary for tasks that invoke data monitoring and acquisition. Also the question of what type of sensor is also important.
Furthermore, consider how you’ll control the setup. For most automation tasks, microcontrollers and PLCs are ideal. You can connect these to a remote or switch to make operating easier.
4. Develop a Plan
Here, you’re focusing on possibilities and challenges. You must consider both for your automation task to yield the best results. So, pick up your pen and paper and draw your plan.
First, you’ll define the workflow. That involves identifying the key stages and decisions for the automation projects. Also, pen down the different components you’re using and their specific roles.
You can ask questions like which interactions and stages are more important. From the answers you get, you’ll know where adjustments can boost efficiency.
Now, regarding challenges, there are a few factors to note. First, check that the tools are compatible with each other. If you have other existing automated systems, you may want to make sure they can integrate.
Furthermore, consider the operational challenges. It’s one thing to do something specially automated, and it’s another to be able to continue using it. If necessary, you can consider training to familiarize yourself with the automated solution.
5. Carry Out the Automation
After completing the first four steps, you’re ready to launch your automation. This stage should be easy since you’ve already done the background work. Also, there’s a defined plan for you to follow.
Generally, here’s what to expect:
- You’ll physically install hardware components
- If there’s software for control, programming will be necessary
- The automated parts will require wiring
- Calibration is notably important if you’re working with actuators and sensors
However, note that the installation could take some time. It may not be something you’ll find at a go, especially if it involves complex automation. Hence, ensure carefulness while at it.
6. Monitor and Optimize Where Necessary
If your automated system is perfect after initial installation, that’s applaudable. However, that may not be the case. You may still need to perform some optimization for accurate performance.
So, after your setup, you should test-run the system. Monitor the movements and other activities to see if everything is seamless. If some components appear out of place, straighten them as necessary. Finally, once you’re certain nothing is amiss, you’re ready to start enjoying the benefits of automation.
Are Automated Systems Worth It?
Yes, without debate, automated systems have many advantages. If you do something specially automated, the investment will be worthwhile. Here are some upsides to leverage:
- Better Efficiency: Automated systems work consistently to perform tasks without fatigue. Hence, you get increased productivity and faster results.
- Less Error: With automation, you minimize human errors. The systems can handle tasks with far more accuracy and quality. It doesn’t matter how complex it is.
- Minimal Expenses: As time goes on, automated systems can help save costs. You record efficiency gains, reduced labor costs, and less maintenance.
- Consistent Performance: You can record steady performance with automation. As explained, they can maintain constant efficiency by executing tasks with precision.
Sometimes, the initial investment in setting up automation can be significant. That’s one of the main downsides people highlight. However, with the long-term advantages, the automated systems prove valuable. You can set them up to assist in various activities.
Planning to do something with automation is an advantageous decision. But you can only enjoy the benefits when you do it right. That’s why we advise following the tips in this article as a guide.