Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Factory Automation and the Brains That Power It

Automation really has its roots in the auto industry, beginning with Ford's assembly line which revolutionized industry in the United States and the World. Considered the first true automation, vehicle assembly lines were made up of a line of men all performing only one specific task over and over again, each of them adding their one small task to the overall whole of production.

Today, the assembly lines are still relatively the same, though robotic arms and machines have replaced the men in most stages of the assembly process. These machines are not without brains, however; the brains of the assembly machines are microchips called a PCB assembly. Just as the men of yore were all charged with only one simple task, PCBs are computer chips that are only built to perform one simple pre-programmed task over and over again at a high rate of speed and with nearly 0% error rate.

PCB Manufacturing, which is done by tech companies such as Best Proto, is not like the production of computer chips destined for home computers. Whereas PC and MAC computer chips are built to be able to perform a multitude of tasks and also learn new tasks as their software is upgraded, the life of a prototype PCB is spent only knowing this one single function and repeating it indefinitely.

Though these chips are relatively simple and unintelligent compared to other computer chips, they have been a deciding factor in the quick growth of many modern industries and businesses. The interesting thing is that this all stemmed from the original idea implemented by the auto industry to make every worker take charge of one simple task and keep working on it indefinitely.