The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.
—Bill Gates (1955–)
There are three kinds of automation: manufacturing, office, and service. Office automation computes numbers and prints reports such as bank statements and progress reports. Service automation handles transactions, answers phones, and operates automated teller machines and airline check-in kiosks. There are other kinds of automation, but this book is about manufacturing.
Manufacturing automation is primarily used to overcome the limitations of human workers, increasing ...