What Is Automation?

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The dictionary defines automation as “the technique of making an apparatus, a process, or a system operate automatically.”

We define automation as “the creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services.”

Using our definition, the automation profession includes “everyone involved in the creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services”; and the automation professional is “any individual involved in the creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services.”

Automation encompasses many vital elements, systems, and job functions.

Automation provides benefits to virtually all of industry. Here are some examples:

  •  Manufacturing, including food and pharmaceutical, chemical and petroleum, pulp and paper
  •  Transportation, including automotive, aerospace, and rail
  •  Utilities, including water and wastewater, oil and gas, electric power, and telecommunications
  •  Defense
  •  Facility operations, including security, environmental control, energy management, safety, and other building automation
  • And many others


Automation crosses all functions within industry from installation, integration, and maintenance to design, procurement, and management. Automation even reaches into the marketing and sales functions of these industries.

Automation involves a very broad range of technologies including robotics and expert systems, telemetry and communications, electro-optics, Cybersecurity, process measurement and control, sensors, wireless applications, systems integration, test measurement, and many, many more.

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