When we think of automation, we might think of robot vacuum cleaners, driverless cars or even parcel delivery drones – but it’s by no means a new phenomenon. Automation, in some form, has been around since the Industrial Revolution and become such a part of our everyday lives that we don’t necessarily even notice it. When we flick a light switch and power is available or we turn on a tap and safe water comes out, it’s because of automation.
Here we reveal some of the ways you might not have realised VINCI Energies automation businesses in the UK & RoI are already making a difference to society.
1. Automation cleans up our rivers and coastlines
Years ago sewage received very little screening before being dumped into our rivers and off our coastlines, causing fish to die and deterring people from enjoying our beaches. Since the late 1980s, however, there has been a lot of investment in waste water treatment, which is now a very sophisticated process. To ensure the discharge is clean and safe, the concentrations of the chemicals and bacteria involved have to be dosed exactly and carefully controlled, which would not be possible without a high-degree of automation. Today, Cougar Automation is working to lessen the environmental impact of waste water even further, by modifying the automated processes to achieve the same output or better but using far fewer chemicals and less energy.
2. Automation keeps our supermarket shelves stocked
Every time we open a chocolate bar, we expect it to be the same size, to look the same and taste the same – and there can’t be any surprise ingredients. Automation is, therefore, vital for quality, consistency and safety but the latest efficiency techniques are also helping manufacturers to produce more and respond more flexibly to demand. With no limits to how quickly manufacturers are able to ramp up or change production, automation helps to ensure they are never short of supply. Among the VINCI Energies UK & RoI automation businesses Actemium Automation Nottingham has developed a strong reputation in automating manufacturing processes for the food industry, particularly of bread, cereals and confectionary.
3. Automation ensures our flights leave on time
Running an airport is an extremely complex job. Flights must stick to their take-off and landing slots as far as possible and refuelling aeroplanes safely and efficiently is a critical part of keeping the whole system flowing. At the UK’s largest airports, control systems designed and programmed by Cougar Automation pump fuel to each aircraft stand, where it is monitored and metered with sophisticated leak detection. This ensures fuel is always available where and when it is needed, helping flights to take off on time.
While these are three specific applications offered by the VINCI Energies UK & RoI automation businesses – Cougar Automation, Actemium Automation Nottingham and Actemium Automation Teesside – the company’s expertise in designing, sourcing and programming control systems could be applied to almost any industrial process. With a little bit of help, the processes we rely on can be made safer, more reliable and more efficient to the benefit of us all.