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Difference Between Industrial Automation and Process Control

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Industry 4.0 demands efficient small range and extensive range controls to optimize production efficiency, output and bolster manufacturing excellence. Additionally, they aim to achieve the highest accuracy levels in processes that have every unit and element aligned with organizational objectives, and of course, not to forget compliance. 

Accordingly, industrial automation and process control form two significant aspects of the manufacturing world. Although intertwined, they are unique and have their set of responsibilities to handle. Many consider industrial automation and process control to be the same. Now, apparently, they both seem similar. However, as we said, they have their responsibilities to manage, and which is where they are fundamentally different from each other.

So, what is the difference between industrial automation and process control? Mekonix, one of the top industrial automation companies in India, distinguishes between industrial automation and process control.

What is the difference between factory automation and process control?

Factory automation, or industrial automation, focuses on complete modular discrete control comprising sequential, speed control, packaging, and batch control. In other words, industrial automation refers to the larger picture that involves automating the entire manufacturing process. It demands a comparatively quick response. Industrial automation uses typical actuators, limit/ proximity switches, micro-controllers, magnetic valves, etc.

On the other hand, process control is associated with the ability to monitor and adjust a process to give the expected output. It is closely associated with engineering systems and machine algorithms. Like industrial automation, process control also aims to enhance process quality and performance. It involves,

  • Computational and calculative controls, coupled with intricate control algorithms
  • Continuous equipment monitoring and control
  • Handling of hazardous and non-hazardous areas and choice of instruments/ equipment
  • Classified into control for slower response time, and high-class faster response
  • Process control involves the use of open and closed control loops that includes PID/ Feedforward/ Cascade, etc., with essential hardware including control valves, sensors, process controllers such as PLCs, DCS, etc.

So, in a way, process control also forms a part of industrial automation. Each of the elements mentioned above and controls, directly and indirectly, are related to the precision, efficiency, and safety aspect of manufacturing. But the most significant difference between industrial automation and process control is the scope of automation that both can handle. Process control enables automation in a small range, while industrial automation handles a larger array.

Partner with Mekonix, One of the Top Industrial Automation Companies in India, for Factory Automation and Precision Process Control Solutions

As one of the leading industrial automation companies in India, we work with a range of clientele across the manufacturing world and empower the industry with a range of industrial automation solutions. It includes assembly line machines, pick and place systems, welding fixtures, and material handling systems. We employs a state-of-the-art manufacturing setup and leverage our design ingenuity to manufacture customized automation solutions. For more information or to connect with us, call +91-9673207838, or write an email to info@mekonix.com.

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