Factory Automation Solutions | Definition, Role & Components

Explore the role of factory automation in boosting efficiency and quality, key components of an automation solution, and how Getac Solutions enhance the process.


Definition of Factory Automation

Factory automation, also known as industrial automation, refers to the application of control systems, such as computers or robots, and information technologies to manage and control industrial machinery and processes, replacing human involvement.

This shift toward automated systems is an essential driver of efficiency, quality, and safety in diverse industries, from manufacturing companies to consumer products.

Overview of Getac Solutions

Getac devices play a pivotal role in shop floor automation systems that integrate seamlessly with other automation solutions within a factory setting. As a full-service systems integrator, Getac's rugged solutions are built to withstand challenging environments while offering the necessary connectivity to support factory automation systems.

They facilitate improved throughput by enabling real-time control and monitoring of various automated processes in the production line, within the facility.

Importance and Benefits

of Factory Automation

The benefits of factory automation solutions extend beyond mere cost savings. They result in increased factory productivity, higher quality output, enhanced safety, and predictive as well as preventative maintenance capabilities. Additionally, factory automation reduces energy consumption and boosts the safety and efficiency in manufacturing processes.

Key Components of Factory Automation


Industrial Control Systems:

Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), Distributed Control Systems (DCS), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)

PLCs, DCS, and SCADA are pivotal to automation controls in a factory setting. These systems allow for central control of diverse processes in manufacturing and industrial settings, offering real-time information and motion control and enabling predictive maintenance.


Motion Control Systems

Motion control is a subfield of industrial automation, encompassing the systems or subsystems involved in moving parts of machines in a controlled manner. It's a fundamental aspect of factory automation that enhances precision and efficiency in industrial processes.


Industrial Robotics:

Articulated Robots, Cartesian Robots, Collaborative Robots (Cobots)

The application of industrial robotics, such as articulated robots, Cartesian robots, and cobots, is a crucial element in factory automation solutions. These robots can perform complex tasks with precision, improving productivity and quality.


Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

IIoT is a network of physical objects embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies to connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet. It's central to factory automation, facilitating real-time monitoring and data collection for improved decision making.


Machine Vision Systems

Machine vision systems allow for automated inspection and analysis, playing a critical role in quality control and defect detection. The machine vision technology helps improve throughput and accuracy in the production line.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

AI and ML are key components of modern factory automation solutions. They enable smart automation by facilitating predictive maintenance, quality control, and decision-making processes in real-time.

FActory Automation and Getac Solutions

Getac's cutting-edge devices not only empower users with direct control over shop-floor automation systems and other automation solutions within their factories but also provide robust connectivity capabilities. These devices are equipped with advanced networking features, ensuring seamless and reliable communication with various components of the automation ecosystem.

Moreover, Getac's mobile workstations are engineered to run software applications that demand high processing capacity. With their powerful hardware specifications and efficient performance, these devices can effortlessly handle resource-intensive tasks, enabling users to execute complex automation processes smoothly and efficiently.

Benefits of Implementing

Factory Automation

Efficiency: Reduce Labor Costs while Raising Output

Automating processes with the support of Getac solutions can boost productivity while reducing the need for extensive human resources. Specific areas of automation include machine automation and test automation, enhancing processes such as:

  • Auto Screw Fasten Machine: an automated machine for tightening screws.
  • Auto Dispenser: a machine that automatically dispenses components or materials.
  • Auto Printer: a machine that automatically prints, reducing the need for manual intervention.
  • Auto Welding: this refers to automated welding machines that can perform the task without constant human supervision.
  • Shuttle Car: an automated vehicle used for transferring materials between different factory locations.
  • Material Kitting or "ASRS" (Auto Storage Retrieval System): an automated system for organizing and retrieving stored materials.
  • Light-up System: an automated system designed to make the process of material kitting easier
Quality: Increase Yield Rate and Lower Annual Fail Rate (AFR)

Improvements in product quality and consistency, leading to reduced failure rates and customer complaints, can be realized through advanced technology and machine automation solutions for which Getac’s solutions play a supporting role.

For example

  • Inside Device Visual Recognition System: an automated system that visually inspects the inside of devices to avoid operator errors such as mis-assembly or wrong assembly.
  • Device Cosmetic Inspect Machine: a machine that automatically inspects the external appearance of the devices to avoid missing components like labels, screws, keys, lights, etc.

In electronic or digital factories, where many processes are automated and digitized, the solutions include:

  • E-order MRP process: an automated process that handles different tasks from purchase order receiving, material simulation, auto issuing work orders, to estimating device's delivery time.
  • SFCS (Shop Flow Control System): a system that helps to track device locations and material parts to prevent errors in assembly and maintain records.
  • Video MPI (Manufacturing Process Information): a system that allows operators to watch videos of the assembly process, probably for training or quality control purposes.
Logistic Transparency: Improve Operations and Customer Satisfaction

Getac’s rugged solutions help keep track of a shipment journey, providing transparency on whether goods have arrived or departed a location, or if they have been received by the consignee. This real-time tracking can significantly enhance logistic operations, on time deliveries and customer satisfaction.

For Overall Support: Rugged Solutions that Perform

Getac’s rugged devices and software solutions have the capability and connectivity needed to support the systems and applications that manage automation processes. The ruggedness of Getac devices allows them to withstand challenging environments and impacts, saving money by offering longer lifecycles and reducing operational disruptions.

Additionally, the devices offer compatibility with legacy equipment through serial ports and come in various form factors and screen sizes to suit different manufacturing operations. The devices are compatible with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Shop Floor Management System (SFMS), and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), providing the necessary connectivity and support.

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Future Trends and Innovations in

Factory Automation Solutions

Emerging Technologies in Factory Automation Systems

The factory automation landscape is continually evolving, with emerging technologies like digital twins, augmented reality, blockchain in supply chain, and 5G connectivity leading the way. These technologies are set to further streamline and improve factory automation solutions.

Advances in AI, Machine Learning, and Robotics

Advances in AI, machine learning, and robotics are set to revolutionize factory automation. With AI and ML, predictive maintenance becomes more accurate, and processes can be further optimized. Robotics, especially with the development of more sophisticated cobots, is likely to see increased usage in diverse applications, making factory automation more efficient and productive.

Related solutions

Factory Automation as a Key Enabler of Industry 4.0

Getac's integrated vehicle solutions offer secure records management, which is critical given the sensitive nature of ALPR device data. With stringent security measures, Getac's solutions ensure that the data collected by ALPRs is well-protected from unauthorized access and misuse.

The Evolving Role of Factory Automation in the Future of Manufacturing

As manufacturing evolves to meet the demands of an increasingly digital world, factory automation will play an increasingly crucial role. With advancements in AI, ML, robotics, and IIoT, the role of factory automation is shifting from merely enhancing factory productivity, to being a critical component in strategic decision-making, innovation, and competitive advantage.

Factory automation offers multiple benefits, including increased efficiency, improved quality, reduced energy consumption, and enhanced safety. With the advent of advanced technologies, such as AI, ML, IIoT, and robotics, factory automation solutions are set to redefine the manufacturing landscape.

Getac Solutions, with their rugged devices, provide the industry an integral link in the chain of reliable factory automation solutions. These devices offer the needed durability, connectivity, and compatibility to support factory automation systems and applications, thereby significantly reducing errors and enhancing efficiency on the factory floor.

Additional resources

Rugged Computing Solutions for Factory Automation and Plant Monitoring

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