Plant Automation Paving the Path to Operational Excellence with Industrial Automation
Automation is clearly a key mantra in today’s globally competitive market scenario, and organizations are increasingly investing in automation skills and competency development to enhance their operational performance. This article takes a look at the basic principles of automation, and how it can be imbibed from the educational level itself, to make it all the more effective.
Automation is by itself a very vast field, and depending on individual business needs, different companies classify it via different criteria. But essentially the ‘automation industry‘ focuses on the design, development, production and application of devices and systems that sense, measure, and control industrial processes and manufacturing operations.
This includes domains of basic continuous control, discrete, sequencing and manufacturing control, advanced control, reliability, safety and electrical controls, related software development and integration, deployment and maintenance. This broad definition also covers multiple engineering disciplines like chemical, mechanical, instrumentation, electrical, electronics and software engineering.
If we imagine the scope of industrial systems in manufacturing sectors and public utilities that deal with the design and operational management of water, energy and mass transportation systems, it points to a huge demand of ‘new-tech‘ managers, engineers and technicians who can envision, design and operate automation enabled systems.
Competency–Based Education: Knowledge to the People
India’s education system contributes about 600,000 engineers and 2.5 million university graduates annually to India’s workforce. A survey, a few years ago by McKinsey Global Institute concluded that the industry finds only 25 per cent of Indian engineers ready for deployment.
This startling revelation has since been confirmed by many CEOs and HR heads, implying that we, as a nation, have miles to go, for leadership in the relevant skills. Leading academia and industry stalwarts have also time and again emphasized the fact that understanding principles of automation will enable engineers to demonstrate new competencies that global leadership demands.