The term Automation was created to identify everything that is necessary to operate a machine (or process) automatically, i.e. without the intervention of man. Industrial automation, in particular, takes advantage of technologies in mechanical, electronic, and computer control of industrial production processes, in governing the flows of energy, materials and information.
A system of Automation can be described as a Pyramid model (CIM), in which you can find several levels that start from the base of the system, which is the process check, and come to corporate structures general. One of the more widespread versions of the pyramid CIM distinguishes four levels: “field”, that is the place where you will find the processes to be controlled and the sensors; the “control”, where the automation devices such as regulators, controllers, local operator control and monitoring etc; the “supervision” with the PC and the systems and the members of the monitoring; the level of the “enterprise”, where the other activities of the company.
According to the functions performed in production systems, we can identify three basic types of components in a system automation: the sensors, which have as their object the measurement of magnitudes of interest to assess the progress and/or the proper conduct of the work execution; the processors, which, on the basis of the measurements provided by the sensors and of the objectives of the work execution, decide the actions to be undertaken; the actuators, that perform the actions commanded by the organ of processing.
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