Introduction to Manufacturing and Automation

PROFINET University provides lessons about PROFINET. And PROFINET is a communications technology that helps manufacturers make things. Those things may be discrete things like cars or phones, continuously produced things like gasoline or safe drinking water, or batch things like a batch of pills or potato chips. Manufacturers use automation to ensure consistent, high-quality products.

PROFINET plays a role in the automation of the making of things. Experts in this field are called Automation Engineers or Control Engineers. They design and implement the systems that automatically control the machines that make things.

automation of oven temperatureExamples of automation and control abound in the home. You set the oven temperature to 425 degrees and the oven automatically controls the temperature at that level. You set the time on the microwave to one minute and the microwave automatically controls the time.

In manufacturing things there are similar situations. An operator sets the temperature for a kettle of oil with potato chips in it and the control system maintains that temperature. The control system may be more complex.  An operator sets the desired level of a water tank and the control system automatically pumps water in as needed to maintain that level. The water is maintained as the control system determines: IF the switch on the pump guard is in the safe location AND the tank needs water THEN the pump is turned on.

Before we get to the details of PROFINET, we’ll take you through an introduction to the more general topics of controllers, networks, Ethernet, and trends.

For further study:

Wikipedia article “Automation.”