Automation is the conversion of a procedure, a process, or equipment to an automatic operation without intervention by a human operator (CIRP 2011). In the field of assembly, automation describes the conversion of a manual assembly process to an assembly without manual labor. In general, the term describes the process of increasing the number of assembly steps carried out by automatic assembly machines in a plant.
Theory and Application
Initially, the manufacturing and assembly of products was carried out by craftsmen. This led to highly individual products, consisting of parts fitting only their one mating part. Further, the training of new craftsmen was a long and expensive effort, as expertise in all areas of manufacturing and assembly was necessary. In the early 1800s, Eli Whitney developed the concept of interchangeable parts, manufacturing 10,000 muskets for the USA on machines. Still, assembly was an expensive process due to being fully manual and therefore...
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