At Pioneer Industrial Systems, we pride ourselves on our ability to live on the cutting edge when it comes to automation. Our solutions have helped clients in many industries including fabrication and machining, robotics integration, assembly, material handling, and more.
Yet at the same time, we also feel that it’s important to appreciate not just where we’re all going, but how far we’ve come to that end. Automation itself has a fascinating history and it’s one that should certainly be appreciated.
Automation: The Story So Far
Believe it or not, the story of automation actually begins all the way back during the Industrial Revolution. It was during this time that a concept called mechanization was established, which involves completing a job that would typically require a human with a machine. These early systems were still under the control of human workers, but they do have a lot in common with the automation tools that we leverage to this day.
It was in 1801 when an inventor in France named Joseph-Marie Jacquard developed the idea of a “programmable machine” – one that expanded on the concept of mechanization in a way that largely removed the human element. Here, machines could be “taught” to repeat patterns to complete certain tasks multiple times. These machines used cards with holes punched in them to operate, but it’s easy to see the shades of things to come.
Flash forward to today and modern automation systems involve not only software, but hardware like collaborative robots as well. Equipped with advanced sensors that can allow them to “learn” more about a specific area, as well as high concepts like artificial intelligence, these automation systems can perform tasks like never before. Computer learning and machine vision, for just one example, allows these robots to truly interact with a specific area. They can safely operate alongside human employees, generating a much higher return on investment for a business.
When you think about how far automation has come since its inception, it’s definitely exciting to think about what the next generation of these robotics tools will bring to us all.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of automation and why it will always be an essential part of businesses everywhere, or if you just have any additional questions you’d like to go over with an expert in more detail, please feel free to contact the team at Pioneer Industrial Systems today.