Machine and Process Management

Industrial management and efficiency with the most widely used tools

It is evident that the manufacturing sector is the driving contributor to any country’s economy. The industry has seen accelerated growth in the last few years and that is set to continue, which has led to the country prioritising its investment in this vertical.

For the efficient functioning of any manufacturing unit, one needs to have a complete idea about the major tools that are required to help its functioning:

Programmable Logic Controller: These controllers are essentially used for automation of particular processes, machine functions, or a whole production line. It collects information from connected sensors and facilitates outputs based on pre-programmed standards. A PLC is advantageous in ascertaining and registering runtime data, such as machine productivity, ringing alarms if a machine defaults, and temperature regulation.

Servo motors: They are implemented in several applications and have been around for a sustained period of time in the manufacturing industry. Although diminutive in size, they are quite energy-efficient and are used to operate remote or automated products. Their usage is prevalent in robotics, in-line manufacturing, pharmaceutics, industrial applications, and the food industry.

Contactors: A contactor is an electrically-powered switch that helps balance the flow of power and can be used by electrical, pneumatic, or electro-pneumatic means. They are considered to be the fundamental building blocks in industrial automation and are designed specifically to regulate and stifle the arc produced while interrupting heavy motor currents.

Limit switches: Controlling machinery is an indispensable aspect of any manufacturing unit, which is why the role of limit switches is critical. It is typically an electromechanical device with an ‘n’ actuator, which is associated with a set of contacts. They are used in a plethora of functions and applications precisely because of their ease of instalment, security of operation, and ruggedness. It is clearly among the most popular forms of technology in a manufacturing system.

Push buttons: These are simplistic, accessible switches that are intended to be user-friendly and can be used for small and large-scale functions. It is generally favoured over a normal switch in manufacturing applications since standard switches cannot function under high-voltage or current like push buttons can. Additionally, they can be connected to other mechanical functions via mechanical linkages, which offers employees an enhanced degree of control.

Motor starters: A motor starter is a uniquely-designed electromechanical switch that is essentially used to start and stop the motor which is connected to it. For secure operations, every motor is furnished with a starter. It differs from a relay in the sense that a starter also sports overload protection of the motor.

Variable speed drives (VSDs): Commonly referred to as speed drives, VSDs are massive electric motors whose speed can be regulated via an external controller. They are popularly used in process control and help in conserving energy in power plants that use powerful electric motors. It saves time and money by altering the speed of industrial electrical motors whenever needed.


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