What’s the difference between automation and robotics?

When it comes to automation and robotics, there are numerous subtle differences between the two. Despite the fact that many presume they are one and the same, automation and robotics offer different advantages to an organisation and its processes.
This blog is going to look at both automation and robotics, and how they can benefit you. We’ll also look at robotics in manufacturing and how it has benefitted the industry. Take a look!

How do we define automation?

First, we’ll look at defining automation. What does automation mean? How and why are countless organisations across the world using automation?

Automation (here we can use the specific term ‘industrial automation’), refers to a whole field of computers, systems and information technologies which handle processes automatically. In manufacturing and other production processes, automation allows tasks to be performed quickly, accurately, and without error.

Automation truly revolutionised car manufacturing and other manufacturing and production processes across the world and in all sorts of industries. In fact, automation was introduced in embryonic form with the classic automobile company Ford back in 1962. This new form of automation enabled Ford to achieve higher productivity levels while also being able to focus on other (perhaps more valuable) areas of the business.

How about robotics?

Robotics can be seen as more of a branch of engineering which allows programmable machines (otherwise known as robots) to carry out repetitive tasks more or less autonomously. Robotics utilises several different disciplines to operate robotic machines. It helps build, program, and actively use robotic machinery to complete tasks. For example, car companies that use car manufacturing robots will use them to speed up processes and increase productivity on production lines that years ago may have been carried out manually by humans.

The accelerated use of robots in manufacturing has meant that manufacturing processes have sped forward like never before. The same can be said for robotics in industrial automation – this, of course, is an area where confusion between the two is more easily understood.

In the next section, we’ll look at exactly how automation and robotics are different.

How are automation and robotics different?

Both have a similar and unifying goal in mind: to improve productivity by speeding up the completion of repetitive tasks while, at the same time, making such tasks safer and of a consistently higher quality.

Robotics deal more with physical machines, and the mechanical technologies that come with that be it sensors or motors. Once they are programmed correctly, they can be left to perform tasks autonomously.

By contrast, automation deals with the big picture and oversees the whole process. In that sense, you could say that robotics is simply a facet of automation. There are generally two types of automation: industrial automation and software automation.

Industrial automation refers to the physical tasks that would have formerly been carried out by humans. Industrial automation could include anything from box filling, sorting through spare parts, product labelling or safety improvements. Software automation refers to computer-based tasks that would have formerly been carried out by humans, like software programs to complete payroll processes, HR tasks, data management and other day-to-day tasks that were previously time-consuming.

Both automation and robotics could help your business

Whether you’re looking to ramp up productivity or simply reduce the time spent on laborious tasks, automation and robotics services could help your business save time and money.

Browse our range of Robotic & Automated Spray Systems for more information on how our products could benefit your business. There are plenty of integration options available, from a full robotics installation to small-scale and gradual implementation.

You could reduce labour costs, reduce waste, and achieve real energy-efficiency. In fact, automated equipment have helped many of our customers achieve these goals and more (take a look at our case studies for more details).

In the meantime, we’re available to discuss your options on 01706 363555 or by emailing sales@junair.co.uk. You can also find our enquiry form here.

Written by

Junair launch their electrically powered, carbon neutral spray booth

Monday 13th September 2021, Heywood, Lancashire Junair has always been the leading spray booth company when it comes to energy reduction, ultimately saving carbon emissions since 2002. It has won awards for both Junair EcoActive and the Junair 4 Series for energy reduction performance. As part of Junair’s long term commitment to the removal of […]

Read More

How robotics can save a business time and money

Despite a shrinking workforce, industrial manufacturers and aircraft producers have a significant need for faster lead times in order to stay competitive and satisfy operational challenges. They are sometimes pushed to do more with less. Introducing painting robots into your finishing process will save floor space, boost production, and enhance finish quality, all while allowing […]

Read More

The materials and processes used in plane construction

Have you ever wondered what goes into the manufacturing of the Boeing 787 you’re about to jump on for your next holiday across the big pond? Well, allow us to elaborate with our guide to the materials and processes used in plane construction.  At Junair, we provide paint finishing equipment solutions to an array of industries, […]

Read More

Junair announces the launch of their new logo

Jason Douglas and Angus Trenholme continue to lead the growth and direction of Junair Spraybooths Ltd following the recent retirement of two long standing Directors.  Angus and Jason wanted to mark this milestone, within both long established and new markets, so the decision has been taken to refresh Junair’s visual identity with a new logo. […]

Read More

Who needs a spray booth?

A spray booth is a regulated environment where spray paint can be applied to vehicles with control. The purpose of the spray booth is to boost productivity and improve paint quality while keeping employees safe from the hazardous materials used.  Without the use of a spray booth, spray painting alone can result in overspray; a […]

Read More

The health benefits of automated spray booths and how they can help your business reduce occupational health risks

Engineering and manufacturing companies have reaped the benefits of the advances in modern technology, particularly in regards to spray booths. It is not only the ingredients and chemical safety of the paints that have evolved, but the application from the spray booths themselves as well.  Not only are they required for your employees’ safety, but […]

Read More

The types of spray booth filter you should consider

Spray booth filters don’t come in one size fits all. There are many options which fall under two subtypes which include air extraction and air input. Air extraction filtration means filtering the air, removing the paint, varnish, glue, dust or other airborne particles before it leaves your booth. Air input filtration is the process of […]

Read More

Dismantling the fear-mongering around robotics overruling jobs

“Unexpected item in bagging area” – A pretty well-known phrase in today’s supermarkets, but prior to the last decade, this was a fairly new technology. As we moved into a more automated society, self-checkout was probably the first directly noticeable replacement of humans by robots. As the popularity grew, by 2013, there were 191,000 self-checkout […]

Read More

Common causes of contamination in spray booths

When it comes to automotive refinishing, contamination is a common issue that can significantly impact the quality of your work. However, contamination is easy to resolve if you know what to look out for. From dust and debris to poor spray booth preparation, we can help you achieve a quality finish on your next spray […]

Read More
Blog

Read our latest news and insights from around the spray booth industry.

Find out more
Case Studies

Read about some of our latest client projects.

Find out more
Downloads

Take a look at some of our downloadable resources.

Find out more

If you have a new project that you would like some help with, call us on +44 1706 363 555 to speak to a member of our team about your requirements. We will take you through our project process step-by-step, whether you are redeveloping an existing site or building a new facility, Junair can help.