Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Glossary Terms
Terms that are used on the Manufacturing Automation website

Touch screen

A CRT screen with which an operator can interact by touching icons displayed on the screen, rather than through a keyboard or mouse


A device that converts signals from one physical form to another.


A momentary deviation in an electrical or mechanical system.

Turn-around time

The time it takes a communication module to receive, interpret, act upon, and reply to an incoming message.

Turnkey system

An application satisfied completely by delivering and installing a system that is ready to operate.

Twinaxial cable

A transmission line made up of a twisted pair of insulated conductors centered inside and insolated from a conductive shield.


Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter. An interface device for serial/parallel conversion, buffering, and adding check bits.


Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. An independent laboratory that establishes standards for commercial and industrial products.

Unattended system (bar code)

A bar-code scanner/decoder combination that is triggered, or activated by an external source such as a computer, a programmable controller, or a switch operated automatically by some machine motion.


That condition which exists in a rotor when vibratory force or motion is imparted to its bearings as a result of centrifugal forces.

Unbalance Tolerance

The unbalance tolerance with respect to a radial plane (measuring plane or correction plane) is that amount of unbalance which is specified as the maximum below which the state of unbalance is considered acceptable.

Underflow bit

A bit that is set to indicate that the result of an operation is less than the minimum value that can be contained in a register.

Ungrounded Junction

A form of construction of a thermocouple probe where the hot or measuring junction is fully enclosed by and insulated from the sheath material.

Uni-directional I/O module

An I/O module whose communication with the scanner or processor is uni-directional and therefore uses only an input image area or an output image area.


(bar code) Universal Product Code. A standard bar code type for retail packaging in the United States.

Update time

1) For analog inputs, the time between updates to the memory in the analog module of the digital value representing the analog input signal. 2) For analog outputs, the time from the digital value being received at the analog module to when the analog output signal corresponds to that digital value.


In a manufacturing system, the passing of plant-floor information, such as production results, upward through the CIM hierarchy.

Upper nibble

The four most-significant bits of a byte.


An Uninterruptible Power Supply is used to ameliorate the effects of poor electrical power quality, including voltage anomalies, high-frequency noise, or ground loops. A UPS is especially applicable where power outages of over a half-second duration are possible.


Universal synchronous/asynchronous receiver/transmitter. A UART with the added capability for synchronous data communication.

Utility software

A program or routine, such as an editor or debugger, designed to perform a particular function of general usefulness.

Valid Requirements

Procedures, specifications, plans or policies which meet the needs of the customer(s) and are current, realistic, understandable, measurable, achievable and compatible with other requirements. When conformed to, valid requirements yield quality.

Value Added

Activities or work essential to ensure a product or service meets the needs of the customer.

Value engineering

a total approach to design that achieves improved performance and quality by stressing simplicity and integration of design and manufacturing techniques.


Principles or qualities which are worthwhile and govern the operation of total quality management.


a Value-Added Reseller.


A factor that can be altered, measured, or controlled.

Variable data

Numerical information that can be changed during application operation. It includes timer and counter accumulated values, thumbwheel settings, and arithmetic results.


Periodic or sporadic changes or deviations within a process.


A two-electrode semiconductor device with a voltage-dependant non-linear resistance that drops markedly as the applied voltage is increased. It is used to suppress transient voltage surges.


Visual basic for applications


Video Display Terminal.