Introduction to Industrial Automation Systems


quick guide

Our Introduction to Industrial Automation Systems Guide is intended to take a deep dive into industrial automation and help you determine if automation is right for you. Specifically the full guide covers, types of automation, real-world applications, benefits, custom vs. out-of-the box systems, and how to get the best price and quality. You can download the complete guide at the links below, or browse the quick guide further down the page.

Introduction to Industrial Automation Systems

Your complete guide to Automation


Industrial automation systems are at the forefront of modern manufacturing and production processes. These systems encompass a wide range of technologies and techniques designed to streamline, optimize, and control industrial processes. By automating tasks that were traditionally performed by humans, industrial automation systems significantly improve efficiency, accuracy, and productivity in various industries.


Types of Automation Systems

Industrial automation systems can be categorized into several types based on their applications and complexity:

Fixed Automation

This type is used for high-volume, repetitive tasks and is inflexible to changes in product design or production requirements. Automated assembly lines for consumer electronics are a great example.

Flexible Automation

These systems can adapt to changes in the manufacturing process. Robots and CNC machines equipped with adaptive control fall into this category.

Programmable Automation

This type employs Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and computers to reprogram machinery for different tasks. It’s suitable for mid-volume production with some variation in products.

Integrated Automation

This involves the seamless integration of various automation components, such as robots, PLCs, and SCADA systems, to optimize the entire production processes.


Real-World Applications

These real-world examples showcase the diverse applications of industrial automation systems across various industries. Whether it’s improving production efficiency, maintaining quality standards, ensuring safety, or handling complex and repetitive tasks, industrial automation plays a pivotal role in modern manufacturing and production processes. To explore even more real-world applications download our full guide. 

Robotic Assembly Lines

Manufacturers in a variety of industries use robots to weld, paint, assemble parts, etc. These systems enhance the precision and speed at which certain processes can be completed. Having robotic elements can also be used as a method to protect workers in dangerous work environments.

PLC-Based Control Systems

Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are used in factories to control machinery, such as conveyor belts, packaging systems, and quality control. A PLC can easily be programed to find and remove defective parts from an assembly line. Removing the element of human error and increasing overall quality.


Automation System Benefits

When it comes to industrial automation there are a vast number of benefits. Below are 4 key benefits to implementing Industrial Automation Systems. Want to know all the benefits industrial automation systems have to offer? There are 5 more we cover in our complete Introduction to Industrial Automation guide.

01. Increased Efficiency

Industrial automation eliminates manual labor, reducing the risk of errors and improving your overall production speeds. This leads to higher throughput and cost savings.

02. Enhanced Accuracy & cONSISTENCY

Machines perform tasks with exceptional precision and consistency, resulting in products of higher quality. This is crucial in many industries including pharmaceuticals and electronics.

03. Improved Safety

Dangerous tasks can be automated, reducing the risk of workplace accidents and ensuring the safety of your employees.

04. Scalability

Automation systems can be scaled up or down to accommodate changes in production volume or product variations, making them adaptable to evolving business needs. Giving your workforce flexibility allowing you to grow or shrink at a moment’s notice.


Custom Vs Out-of-the-box

Deciding whether to create or purchase an industrial automation system is an important decision. There are a wide variety of factors to consider when making this decision. Ultimately, we’ve boiled it down to the following.

Determine Complexity

Consider the complexity of your production process and whether off-the-shelf automation solutions can meet your needs. If your requirements are relatively straightforward and align closely with existing automation products, purchasing may be a cost-effective and time-efficient option. However, for highly specialized processes or unique challenges, creating a customized automation system may be necessary to achieve the level of precision and efficiency you require.

Budget & Timeline

Assess your budget and timeline; developing a unique solution will certainly involve a larger upfront investment and take more time compared to purchasing ready-made industrial automation systems.

Think About The Future

Lastly, evaluate your long-term goals and scalability needs. A custom-built system will offer greater adaptability and room for growth. Whereas an off-the-shelf solution will likely have its limits and may inhibit future growth.

Ultimately, the final decision should align with your specific requirements, resources, and strategic objectives. Keep in mind your long-term goals and try to be forward thinking about your needs over the next 3-5 years. This will help you make the best decision on which path to take.


Getting the Best Price

Investing in an industrial automation system is a significant decision, and getting the best price without compromising on quality is crucial. Here are a few things you should consider to make the overall process a success.

Assess Your Needs Thoroughly

Before embarking on your automation journey, it’s essential to have a comprehensive understanding of your specific needs. Identify the key processes that require automation, the level of precision required, expected production volumes, and any unique challenges your industry or business faces. Knowing your requirements in detail will help you communicate effectively with potential automation providers and prevent over-specification or under-specification.

Choose the Right Automation Company

Selecting the right automation company or integrator is a pivotal step. Look for companies with a strong track record in your industry or with similar automation projects. Consider their experience, expertise, and references. A reputable company will guide you through the entire automation process, from initial consultation to installation and support. They will also help you choose the most cost-effective solutions without compromising on performance.

Request Multiple Quotes

Don’t settle for the first quote you receive. Reach out to multiple automation companies to gather quotes for your project. Ensure that each quote includes a detailed breakdown of costs, including equipment, software, installation, and ongoing maintenance. This will allow you to make an informed comparison between providers and identify any potential cost disparities.

Consider Total Cost of Ownership

When evaluating quotes, don’t focus solely on the upfront cost. Consider the long-term Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), which includes maintenance, training, and potential future upgrades. A slightly higher upfront cost may be justified if it leads to lower TCO over the life of the automation system.

Wait, there’s more you should consider to help you get the best price on your automation system. We have 5 more tips ready for you in our complete Introduction to Industrial Automation Systems. By following these steps and taking a thoughtful and strategic approach to your automation project, you can increase the likelihood of obtaining the best price for your industrial automation system while still achieving your desired level of performance and efficiency.


Industrial automation systems are transformative tools for businesses across various industries. Whether it’s robotics, PLCs, or another solution, each type of automation system brings its unique advantages. Embracing automation not only enhances efficiency and quality but also positions companies to thrive in a rapidly changing industrial landscape. As technology continues to evolve, staying informed and adapting to the latest automation trends is essential for long-term success in manufacturing and production.

Introduction to Industrial Automation Systems

Your complete guide to Automation