Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Glossary Terms
Terms that are used on the Manufacturing Automation website


Stands for "Input/Output," in automation, a term encompassing all
physical connection points between a control system and the sensors and
actuators of the "real world."


Initial Graphics Exchange Specification. IGES is an industry standard format for exchanging CAD data between systems.

Image processing

Techniques for filtering, storing, and retrieving images, as well as for processing pictorial information by computer.


An object implemented by some relational database software that controls the order in which a table is accessed or stored.


An electronic unit that converts high-level commands from a host
computer, PLC, or operator panel into step and direction pulses needed
by a stepping motor driver.


An identified measure of a process.

Information System

The information system manages the scope, validity, reliability,
selection and maintenance of quality and performance data and
information. The system also provides comparative information and
benchmarks. The data and information is then used to monitor and
improve the integrated systems.

Input signal

A signal applied to a device, element, or system.


the term for any item of electrical or electronic equipment designed to
carry out a specific function or set of functions. A device for
measuring the value of an observable attribute. The instrument may also
control the value.


systems of instruments used to observe and control a physical object or process.

Integrated circuit

A small, complete circuit of interconnected semiconductor devices such
as transistors, capacitors, and resistors printed in a single silicon


a shared boundary between two pieces of equipment. Hardware and
associated software needed to enable one device to communicate with


A device that prevents a machine from initiating an operation until a condition or set of conditions is fulfilled.


The ability of computers on a network to share application software.

Intrinsically Safe

An instrument which will not produce any spark or thermal effects under
normal or abnormal conditions that will ignite a specified gas mixture.

Inventory management

the systematic determination of items and quantities to be ordered; the
co-ordination of order release and order due dates; changes in the
required quantities; and the rescheduling of planned orders.

IOBASE-T Ethernet

A version of Ethernet that operates over twisted-pair wire at a speed
of 10 Mb/s. IOBASE-T networks with more than two terminals must use an
Ethernet hub and a star topology.


Industry Standard Architecture (PC-AT Bus) or Instrument Society of America.

ISO International Standards Organization.

Island of automation

A stand-alone pocket of automation, such as a robot, CAD/CAM system or
CNC machine, that is not connected into a cohesive system.


The reduction of the capacity of a system to respond to an external force by use of resilient isolating materials.