Automation is the use of various control systems for operating equipment such as machinery, processes in factories, and other applications with minimal or reduced human intervention. Some processes have been completely automated.
Across the HVM Catapult, the next generation of manufacturing automation systems are being developed to automate complex manufacturing processes and develop new systems that can cope with the demands of tomorrow’s manufacturing. To do this, the HVM Catapult looks at new and innovative automation technologies that allow companies to manufacture high value goods using the skills of their existing workforce. This includes the development of advanced robotic manipulators for use in assembly, as well as logistics and materials processing. The HVM Catapult Automation Forum, which spans the seven centres, researches the interactions between humans and machines and provides automated systems with the cognitive ability to react to changes in consumer demand and product variability. The Automation Forum is actively working with manufacturers to provide simpler methods to implement automated systems, and in doing so, provide a greater uptake of technology to increase competitiveness.