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III. You have read some amazing facts about this metal. Can you add any other facts? You are welcome to use any source of information (Internet, books etc.).

Unit V


Part I

I. Read the title of the text and recollect everything you know about automation.

II. Read the questions. Discuss them with a partner?

1. What is automation?

2. Is it possible to imagine our life without automation? Why not? Give your reason.

3. Dwell upon advantages and disadvantages of automation.

4. Give your examples of automation.

III. Read the text and decide if the following questions correspond to the information in the text.

1. What is automation?

2. What are the main components of automation?

3. What is a numerically controlled machine?

4. What contributed to the growth of automation?

5. How can automation be classified?

6. What is an assembly line?

7. What does automated manufacturing include?

8. What are the reasons of automation?

9. What does automated information processing and control include?

10. What is the main function of robots?



Automation is a tTttt process of having a machine or machines accomplish tasks before performed wholly or partly by humans. As used here, a machine refers to any inanimate electromechanical device such as a robot or computer. As a technology, automation can be applied to almost any human endeavor, from manufacturing to clerical and administrative tasks. An example of automation is the heating and air-conditioning system in the modern household. After initial programming these systems keep the house at a constant desired temperature regardless of the conditions outside.

The fundamental constituents of any automated process are (1) a power source, (2) afeedback control mechanism, and (3) a programmable command structure. Programmability does not necessarily imply an electronic computer. For example, the Jacquard loom, developed at the beginning of the nineteenth century, used metal plates with holes to control the weaving process. The advent of World War II and the advances made in electronic computation and feedback have certainly contributed to the growth of automation. While feedback is usually associated with more advanced forms of automation, so-called open-loop automated tasks are possible. Here, the automated process proceeds without any direct and continuous assessment of the effect of the automated activity. For example, an automated car wash typically completes its task with no continuous or final assessment of the cleanliness of the automobile.



Elements of an automated system

Because of the growth of automation, any categorization of automated tasks and processes is incomplete. Such a categorization can be attempted by recognizing two distinct groups, automated manufacturing and automated information processing and control. Automated manufacturing includes automated machine tools, assembly lines, robotic assembly machines, automated storage-retrieval systems, integrated computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM), automatic inspection and testing, and automated agricultural equipment (used, for example, in crop harvesting). Automated information processing and control includes automatic order processing, word processing and text editing, automatic data processing, automatic flight control, automatic automobile cruise control, automatic airline reservation systems, automatic mail sorting machines, automated planet exploration.

A major issue in the design of systems involving both human and automated machines concerns allocating functions between the two. This allocation can be static or dynamic. Static allocation is fixed; that is, the separation of responsibilities between human and machine do not change with time. Dynamic allocation implies that the functions allocated to human and machine are subject to change. Historically, static allocation began with reference to lists of activities which summarized the relative advantages of humans and machines with respect to a variety of activities. For example, at present humans appear to surpass machines in the ability to reason inductively, that is, to proceed from the particular to the general. Machines, however, surpass humans in the ability to handle complex operations and to do many different things at once, that is, to engage in parallel processing. Dynamic function allocation can be seen as operating through a formulation which continuously determines which agent (human or machine) is free to attend to a particular task or function.

There are many different reasons to automate. Increased productivity is normally the major reason for many companies desiring a competitive advantage. Automation also offers low operational variability. Variability is directly related to quality and productivity. Other reasons to automate include the presence of a hazardous working environment and the high cost of human labor. Some businesses automate processes in order to reduce production time, increase manufacturing flexibility, reduce costs, eliminate human error, or make up for a labor shortage. Decisions associated with automation are usually concerned with some or all of these economic and social considerations.


IV. Give Russian equivalents to the following English words and word combinations:

1) automated storage-retrieval system a) запрограммированная команда

2) feedback b) сборочная линия

3) computer-aided manufacturing c) интегрированное автоматизированное

(CAM) производство

4) power source d) автоматизированное проектирование

5) assembly line e) автоматизированное производство

6) data f) обратная связь

7) computer-aided design (CAD) g) источник питания

8) processing h) автоматизированная система хранения и

9) computer integrated manufacturing и поиска

(CIM) i) данные

10) programmable command j) обработка



V. Match a word in A with its synonym in B:


1) to accomplish a) estimate, n

2) endeavor, n b) to go on

3) to complete c) to wish

4) assessment, n d) to decrease

5) to desire e) progress, n

6) to apply f) to finish

7) to proceed g) to use

8) constituent, n h) attempt, n

9) to reduce i) to carry out, to perform

10) advance, n j) component, n


VI. Read the text again and find English equivalents to the following Russian words and word combinations:

1) способствовать росту автоматизации

2) непрерывная оценка результата

3) качествo

4) передовые формы

5) обработка данных

6) редактирование текста

7) нехватка рабочей силы

8) вредное воздействие окружающей среды

9) гибкость производства

VII. Match the words with their definitions:

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