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Automation is defined as the establishment of a control system which allows a process to function by itself without human aid. An example of automation is the pressure system which supplies water. Before thought is given to automation a knowledge of controls circuits is needed. Controls divide into three sections. These are: 1) the pilot device, the section which instigates the control sequence 2) the decision device, the section which decides if the operation can proceed 3) the action device, the section which starts the operation. Examples of the various parts are: 1) pilot devices - thermostat, pressure switch 2) decision devices - microswitches sensing the presence of grain 3) action devices, contactors which connect motors, solenoids to the line. A completed control situation looks and is very complex. But then so is anything else taken in its entirety. A control system broken down to its parts and these taken one at a time becomes much simpler.
logical design of automated materials handling systems
Clark, J. H. 1969. LOGICAL DESIGN OF AUTOMATED MATERIALS HANDLING SYSTEMS. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 11(2):88-91.
88 - 91