What is Process automation system – Basic of PAS
A process automation or automation system (PAS) is used to automatically control a process such as chemical, oil refineries, paper and pulp factories. The PAS often uses a network to interconnect sensors, controllers, operator terminals and actuators. A PAS is often based on open standards in contrast to a DCS (distributed control system), which is traditionally proprietary. However in recent times the PAS is considered to be more associated with SCADA systems.
PAS is the lowest level of automation, while MES (manufacturing execution system) is considered to be directly positioned above a PAS.
Process automation involves using computer technology and software engineering to help power plants and factories in industries as diverse as paper, mining and cement operate more efficiently and safely.
Process Automation can better described as a strategy, which explains how a digital transformation software and the use of advanced technology methods, can easily help in automation of a set of company activities that usually repetitive. Companies that choose BPA aim to optimize collaboration between resources, reduce costs, provide transparency and assure compliance of the repetitive business processes.
Business Process Automation also helps to simplify the progress of tasks that are otherwise complex when performed manually.
A suitable application of Business Process Automation helps businesses
- Manage information
- Set order to its processes
- Monitor processes in real-time
- Optimize resources
Process automation and energy efficiency
Factory owners want their equipment to deliver the highest output with as little production cost as possible. In many industries including oil, gas and petrochemicals, energy costs can represent 30 to 50 percent of the total production cost.
In process automation, the computer program uses measurements to show not only how the plant is working but to simulate different operating modes and find the optimal strategy for the plant. A unique characteristic of this software is its ability to “learn” and predict trends, helping speed up the response time to changing conditions.
The software and controls regulate equipment to run at the optimum speed that requires the least energy. They also ensure the consistency of quality, meaning less energy is wasted producing products that turn out to be defective, and they forecast when maintenance is needed so less time and energy is spent stopping and restarting equipment for routine inspections.
Major blocks of PAS are: microprocessors, micro controllers and micro computers, multiprocessors, LANs, SCADA, RTUs (remote terminal units) and analog and digital I/O modules
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