In the era of digitization, where Industry 4.0 is transforming traditional production methods, it's worth reflecting on how modern technologies emulate nature. Sensors and controllers, which are at the heart of many industrial devices, are much like the senses and nerves of the human body. In this article, we'll explore how industrial automation draws inspiration from human senses and why this is pivotal for the future of the industry.
Sensors in industrial automation play a key role, similar to human senses. Whether we're talking about optoelectronic sensors that respond to light or capacitive sensors that respond to capacity changes, all of them "see" and "feel" their surrounding environment, enabling machines to react appropriately.
Just as the human brain processes information received by our senses, the PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) serves as the "brain" for industrial machines, processing data from sensors and determining how the machine should operate. This is where the magic happens – interpreting signals and making decisions based on the received data.
Sensors are undeniably important, but equally crucial is the electronics powering them. From types of outputs, such as PNP or NPN, to various kinds of contacts – all of this influences how a sensor relays information to the PLC. Choosing the right electronics is key to ensuring effective and precise communication.
In the world of industrial automation, precision is paramount. Measuring sensors must operate with incredible accuracy, and their features, such as resolution, linearity deviation, and precision, are essential to guarantee the quality and reliability of the manufacturing process.
Every sensor requires a power source. Just as the human body needs energy in the form of food, sensors need the right voltage to function. Choosing the right power supply and understanding how sensors process voltage is vital for optimizing industrial automation systems.
Industry 4.0 is not just about modern machines but also modern thinking. By analyzing how industrial automation mimics human senses, we can understand just how deeply technology is rooted in nature. Thanks to designers and engineers drawing inspiration from the human body, systems are being created that are more intuitive, efficient, and integrated with their surroundings. In the future, we can expect even more advanced technologies that align even closer with our natural way of functioning.