Automated manufacturing systems operate in the factory on the physical product. They perform operations such as processing, assembly, inspection, or material handling, in some cases accomplishing more than one of these operations in the same system.

They are called automated because they perform their operations with a reduced level of human participation compared with the corresponding manual process. In some highly automated systems, there is virtually no human participation.

Examples of automated manufacturing systems include:

• automated machine tools that process parts

• transfer lines that perform a series of machining operations

• automated assembly systems

• manufacturing systems that use industrial robots to perform processing or assernblyoperations

• automatic material handling and storage systems to integrate manufacturing operations

• automatic inspection systems for quality control

Automated manufacturing systems can be classified into three basic types:

(1) fixed automation. (2) programmable automation, and (3) flexible automation.

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