Factory Mechanization vs Factory Automation

With the advent of sophisticated technologies like automation, businesses and manufacturing plants in different verticals of the industry are undergoing a revolution. The concept of industrial automation largely dominates this sector, where smart technologies have been integrated into machines. In factors, both mechanization and automation are necessary to carry out the necessary processes.

Now, you might be wondering what’s the difference between factory mechanization and factory automation. In this post, we have discussed how these two concepts differ from one another. The contemporary industry needs both mechanization and automation to leverage productivity.

What is factory mechanization?
Mechanization in factories indicates the process through which mechanical power replaces human labor. Therefore, factory mechanization means that the processes are no longer carried out by hand, but by machines. By incorporating electrical or mechanical means, the actual operations do not involve human labor. This can include the loading and unloading of things, actual operations, etc.

What is factory automation?
Although the concept of automation is considered to be the same as mechanization, it is different. As we discussed, human labor and muscles are saved by mechanization. Factory automation, on the other hand, saves human judgment. Just like mechanization replaces physical labor, automation replaces mental labor. With automation, human intelligence gets replaced by machines or computers.

When a factory incorporates automation, skilled workers get more jobs while unskilled or semi-skilled workers lose their jobs to machines. Besides, automation can be carried out in several industries simultaneously.

Difference between mechanization and automation in factories
The concept of automation in factories is much more comprehensive compared to mechanization. Automation refers to the entire process that includes the procurement of materials and mechanical equipment. Besides, several operations need to be integrated, so that the pieces of equipment can communicate with each other. In this way, the process assures a seamless operation.

Let’s take the key differences between mechanization and automation in detail.

While mechanization relieves the physical labor of humans, automation replaces mental labor significantly.

Various mechanical, hydraulic, electrical, and pneumatic devices are involved in mechanization. Automation involves the processing and handling of parts using AI in production machines.

While mechanization relieves humans of their energy use, automation relieves them of using their judgment. Automated machines can carry out repetitive tasks accurately without human involvement.

Why should factories go for automation along with mechanization?
In the first place, it should be noted that industries can deploy automation perfectly only when they are properly mechanized. Therefore, it is necessary to have a proper mechanical infrastructure in place to automate processes.

Automation involves a system where the processes of mechanical movements, production, and inspection of components are carried out by smart devices. These self-operated components are known as controllers. Evidently, the key elements of automation include sensing, mechanization, feedback, and control devices.

Here’s why businesses should embrace automation rather than just mechanization.

  • Greater productivity
  • Reduced dependence on human labor
  • Reduced cost for human labor
  • Lower reliance on operator skills
  • Enhanced quality of production
  • Fewer number of human errors
  • Lower in-process inventory
  • Enhanced workplace safety
  • Lower manufacturing time

This explains why successful businesses and manufacturing units are deploying automation and AI along with mechanization. A calculated mix of both these technologies can propel them to success.

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