Automation, also known as control engineering, is the use of elements (such as numerical control (NC), programmable logic controllers (PLC) and other industrial control systems) related to applications of information technology (as are computer-assistive technologies [CAD, CAM, CAx]), to control industrial machinery and processes, reducing the need for human intervention.

In the field of industrialization, automation is a step ahead of mechanization. Whereas mechanization provided human operators with machinery to help muscular demands of work, automation greatly reduces the need for human sensory and mental requirements. The processes and systems can also be automated.

Control Engineering was concerned from the beginning of automation and automatic control of complex systems without direct human intervention. Areas such as Process Control, Control of electromechanical systems, monitoring and adjustment of controllers and others where applying theories and techniques among which are: Optimal Control, Predictive Control, Robust Control, Nonlinear Control and Control Systems among others .

Disputes related to failures in production processes and robots are common.

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