Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Glossary Terms
Terms that are used on the Manufacturing Automation website

A/D Converter (Also A/D or ADC)

Short for analog-to-digital converter. Converts real-world analog signals into a digital format that can be processed by a computer.

Abnormal Failure

Abnormal Failure: An artificially induced failure of a component, usually as a result of “abnormals” testing for regulatory agency safety compliance.

Absolute Move

1) A move to a specified absolute position relative to a fixed zero position as a reference point.

2) Contrasted with incremental move

Absolute Position

1) Position referenced to a fixed zero position.
2) Contrasted with incremental position

Absolute Pressure

Gage pressure plus atmospheric pressure.

Absolute Pressure Transducer

A transducer that has an internal reference chamber sealed at or close to 0 psia (full vacuum) and normally provides increasing output voltage for increases in pressure.

Absolute Zero

Temperature at which thermal energy is at a minimum. Defined as 0 Kelvin, calculated to be -273.15 ?C or -459.67?F.

AC Linearity

A dynamic measurement of how well an A/D performs. In an ideal A/D converter, a pure sine wave on the analog input appears at the digital output as a pure (sampled) sine wave. In the real world, however, spurious signals due to nonlinear distortion witin the A/D appear in the digital output. These anomalies are usually combinations of harmonics of the fundamental and intermodulation products, produced when the fundamental and its harmonics beat with the sampled frequency.


The first derivative of velocity with respect to time. Units expressed in “g”.


A transducer which converts mechanical motion into an electrical signal that is proportional to the acceleration value of the motion.

Access Protocol

A defined set of procedures that function as an interface between a user and a network and enable the user to employ the services of that network.


The combined error of nonlinearity, repeatability, and hysteresis expressed as a percent of full scale output.

Acquisition Time

This term relates to sampling A/Ds which utilize a track/hold amplifier on the input to acquire and hold the analog input signal. Acquisitoin time is the time required by the T/H amplifier to settle to its final value after it is placed in the track module.


in a closed-loop control system, that part of the final control element that translates the control signal into action by the control device.


An identification (number, name, or label) that uniquely identifies a computer register, memory location, or storage device.

Adjustable Speed

The concept of varying the speed of a motor, either manually or
automatically. The desired operating speed (set speed) is relatively
constant regardless of load.


Automated Instrument Manager


a set of rules specifying a sequence of actions taken to solve a problem.

Ampere (amp) A unit used to define the rate of flow of electricity (current) in a circuit.


Automated mapping/facilities maintenance; see also FM/AM


A device which draws power from a source other than the input signal
and which produces as an output an enlarged reproduction of the
essential features of its input.

Analog Circuit

1) A circuit in which the signal can vary continuously between
specified limits.
2) A circuit that provides a continuous function.

Analog Input Module

An I/O module that contains circuits that convert analog dc input
signals to digital values that can be manipulated by the processor. By
implication, these analog inputs are usually direct (i.e., a data table
value directly reflects the analog signal value).

Analog Output Module

An I/O module that contains circuits that output an analog dc signal
proportional to a digital value transferred to the module from the
processor. By implication, these analog outputs are usually direct
(i.e., a data table value directly controls the analog signal value).

Analog signal

any form of data transmission where the pneumatic, mechanical, or
electrical energy signal is varied in direct proportion to the
intensity of the physical quantity, property, or condition represented.


Unit of measure for the wavelength of light (10A = 1nm).


American National Standards Institute: The institute that co-ordinates the development of standards and guidelines used in the United States. ANSI is the only United States representative to the international Standards Organization.


Application Platform is the part of the Systems Management Services (SMS) infrastructure that provides an environment for management application development, debugging, and execution.


Application Program Interface: The interface between the applications software and the application platform.

Application software

a program that performs a service specific or solves a particular problem to an end user??s needs.


a structured set of protocols implementing the functions of the system.
Artificial intelligence The concept that computers can be programmed to
assume capabilities such as learning, reasoning, adaptation and


Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems.


the American Standard Code for Information Interchange is a binary character code used to represent a character in a computer. It consists of 128 seven-bit codes for upper and lower case letters, numbers, punctuation, and special communication control characters.