Should You Invest in Automation or Robotics?

Business owners who aren’t aware of the difference between robotics and automation can invest in the wrong one. This can lead to wasted costs and resources for the company. Automation is a very board topic that can refer to many different things, including robotics.

This article is here to guide you on what automation really is.

Difference between Automation and Robotics

Automation usually uses machines, technology or computer software to complete the task which is usually done by workers. They come in different types like virtual or fully mechanical. They can be quite complex technologies, but some are quite simple.
On the other hand, robotics is an engineering branch that uses different disciples to build, program, use and design robotics machines. Robots can be used to automate some physical work in the manufacturing process, but a lot of robotic branches don’t have much to do with automation.

What Do You Need?

Depending on what your business is, you will either need automation or robotics. There are four main areas where automation or robotics can help you out at work:

    • Repetitive or boring tasks can be done by automation as people generally don’t like to do such work since it can be very mentally exhausting.
    • Tasks that reduce productivity or bottleneck it can be done by automation.
    • Physical tasks can be performed by robotics or automation.
    • Virtual tasks can be completed by software automation.

Virtual Tasks

Software automation is one of the most popular technologies that businesses invest in. They help carry out tasks that humans usually perform using computer programs. For example, computer programs can be tested using GUI test automation. It can record human behavior using a graphical user interface. This data is then replayed to test a program when changes are made in the program.

Some types of software automation that businesses can use are:

    • Business Process Automation (BPA): The Business process can be streamlined using the BPA. Automation software can be integrated with all the processes that occur inside the company. It can restructure the business to become more efficient and effective.
    • Intelligent Process Automation (IPA): This automation uses artificial intelligence to learn how humans complete a certain task while they are using a computer program. This data allows software robots to use computer programs with the static rules in Robotic Process Automation.
    • Robotic Process Automation (RPA): No physical robots are used in this automation. It actually uses software robots that can be programmed to use different computer programs. They use it similar to human operators. They aren’t as efficient as IPA, but they are really easy to integrate into the business structure. They collaborate with the human production line, rather than completely remove it like the BPA does.

Physical Tasks

Physical tasks can be completed by industrial automation that involves physical machines and control systems. Robots can be incorporated into this venture, but usually, in the manufacturing process machines like CNC are used.

Investing in automation can be great for the company and lead to increased efficiency. It also decreases costs for the company and streamlines the business.