The Automation Pyramid

La industrial automation It consists of replacing operations and processes carried out by human beings with machinery and technological systems, especially when it comes to activities of a repetitive nature, such as many industrial processes.

La industrial automation well focused reduces costs, increases efficiency and allows better use of labor.

Industrial automation and industry 4.0

This is a concept from the second half of the 4.0th century, which in this new century has been linked to another, that of industry XNUMX.

Industry 4.0 is a concept that began to spread in 2011. It is a conception that encompasses the elements of the automation pyramid, added to others such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, big data, robotics, etc. .

The automation pyramid

The automation pyramid is in turn a diagram that allows visualizing the different levels of technology integration in a company.

It is a graphic representation that can show between 4 or 6 levels, although the most frequent pyramid consists of 5 layers or levels, such as the following:

First level: process or production network

It corresponds to the different sensors, measuring devices and regulators of industrial processes (pumps, valves, etc.). They constitute the communication links with the second level, that of control.

Second level: control network or PLC

This second level has been the brain of the automation process, which is fed with the data it receives from the first level, and maintains or corrects the processes in a matter of milliseconds, when necessary.

At this level are the PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers, for its acronym in English), which are computers designed for the industrial automation. Or also, depending on the processes, a DCS (Distributed Control System).

Third level: supervision network

At this level are the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, which monitor and supervise the PLCs and also receive information from the first level.

Although it fulfills functions very similar to those of the second level, SCADA helps improve PLC operations and also has a large capacity to store data.

Fourth level: operation network

The management execution system, MES (Manufacturing Execution Sistem), corresponds to this level.

This system encompasses information on production operations, maintenance, logistics, safety and quality. Supervises the entire industrial process, from the arrival of the raw material to the departure of the finished product.

Fifth level: Information Network (ERP)

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is software that facilitates the daily management of aspects such as accounting, logistics, risk and project management, etc.

The ERP provides information from all levels of the pyramid to those responsible for the company in decision-making, allowing control and monitoring of all processes.

Our industrial engineering company in Seville can advise you and accompany you in the implementation of the different levels of automation that you require.

We can help you reduce costs and improve operating processes, making your company more competitive and with a more trained staff prepared for new challenges.