Digging Deep into Industrial Automation

January 22, 2020 4:01 pm

Automation has been one of the most discussed topics in the metalworking industry over the past few years. As industrial robots and artificial intelligence become more sophisticated and capable of executing tasks that seemed unthinkable only a few years ago, more and more companies are starting to rely on these new technologies, pushed by the never-ceasing urge to optimize processes, cut production times and costs, and ultimately increase profits.

Yet, most manufacturers are still skeptical about the benefits that the new technology can bring or are afraid of the impact that this industrial transformation will have on the workforce. As a result, the adoption rate of industrial robotics and automation systems in the metalworking industry is still low.

According to a recent survey conducted by Practical Machinist and SME, only 25% of metalworking facilities are currently in the process of adopting automation technology and the number gets even lower when considering companies with less than 50 employees. This is likely due to the high price tags that these newer technologies carry.

As technology evolves and becomes more affordable, an increasing amount of shops will inevitably be pushed to jump on the automation wagon. Not only to keep up with the competition, but to meet the increasing demands of more sophisticated customers.

To help you better understand what industrial automation is, how the technology will affect the future and how to get the most out of it, we put together a list of recommended books. This selection covers many aspects of the topic, from the technical ones –  focused on the technology – to the economical ones.


Industrial Automation: Hands On


A single source of essential information for those involved in the design and use of automated machinery. This book emphasizes control systems and offers full coverage of other relevant topics, including machine building, mechanical engineering and devices, manufacturing business systems, and job functions in an industrial environment.


Industrial Automation and Robotics: An Introduction


This book provides an introduction to the multidisciplinary field of automation and robotics for industrial applications. The companion files include numerous video tutorials and a chapter on the history and modern applications of robotics.


Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control


This introduction to robotics offers a distinct and unified perspective of the mechanics, planning and control of robots. The go-to textbook for learning more about this fascinating subject.


The CNC Handbook: Digital Manufacturing and Automation from CNC to Industry 4.0


These highly regarded authors combine more than 150 years of industrial and academic experience and expertise to provide readers with the fundamentals of the subject, from digital manufacturing with CNC machine tools and FMS to Industry 4.0, emphasizing the increased importance of automated manufacturing based on computerized systems


Industrial Automation and Process Control


This book offers a wide array of topics that readers can use as a reference for many different issues in industrial automation.


Manufacturing Automation: Metal Cutting Mechanics, Machine Tool Vibrations, and CNC Design


Written by a manufacturing engineering professor, this book includes knowledge from various fields, such as metal cutting mechanics, vibration and experimental modal analysis, chatter vibrations, programming, design, and automation of CNC machine tools.


A World Without Work: Technology, Automation, and How We Should Respond


Written by an Oxford economist, this book gives a complex, accurate and yet optimistic overview of how the evolution of technology is challenging the human workforce and how we should approach these challenges.


The Fourth Industrial Revolution


World-renowned economist Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, explains that we have an opportunity to shape the fourth industrial revolution, which will fundamentally alter how we live and work.


The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies


This book provides a good overview of the current state of the automation technology along with thought-provoking predictions and suggestions for the future.


Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future


An essential read to understand what the inevitable evolution of technology means for our ethe future of our economy and our society.


Didn’t find the book you were looking for or have another good read to recommend on the topic? Share your comments below!

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