Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Glossary Terms
Terms that are used on the Manufacturing Automation website


The establishment of a long term relationship between two parties characterized by teamwork and mutual trust, allowing both parties to focus on the needs of a mutual customer or client/constituent. Partners share risks as well as benefits. Partnering arrangements can be with labor, management, employees, suppliers, government and educational institutions.


a Personal Computer.


Process control system

pH Junctions

The Junction of a reference electrode or combination electrode is a permeable membrane through which the fill solution escapes (called the liquid junction).


Proportional, integral, derivative. A three mode control action where the controller has time proportioning, integral (auto reset) and derivative rate action.


Stands for “Programmable Logic Controller”, a microprocessor-based system used for controlling industrial machinery. These typically accept plug-in Input/Output modules for making connection to sensors and actuators. Most PLCs are programmed using a visual programming technique called “Relay Ladder Logic”, developed in the 1960s.


Plant numbering system


The ability to use and migrate software across different platforms.


1. A variable resistor often used to control a circuit. 2. A balancing bridge used to measure voltage.

Power Supply

A separate unit or part of a circuit that supplies power to the rest of the circuit or to a system.

Primary Axis

The axis along which the transducer is designed to be loaded; normally its geometric centerline.


An opportunity for improvement or undesirable condition, often manifested by symptoms, created by root causes which must be systematically identified and eliminated to control the problem.


Step-by-step tasks which are necessary to meet standards; a method or manner of proceeding. How to meet standards.


A systematic and defined method of doing something. A process generally involves a number of steps or operations.

Process control

Automatic monitoring and control of a process by an instrument or system configured or programmed to respond appropriately to process feedback.

Process Management Systems

The process management system is the system of processes that are designed and delivered to support the quality integrated system.

Process simulation

Use of a mathematical model by a computer program to implement different process design scenarios with real-time feedback.

Production control

Systematic planning, co-ordination and direction of all manufacturing activities to ensure that products are made on-time, of adequate quality, and at reasonable cost.


An agreed set of rules to allow data to be transferred among systems.

Prototype tooling

Molds, dies, and other devices used to produce prototypes; sometimes referred to as soft tooling.

Proximity switch

A device that senses the presence or absence of an object without physical contact and that in response closes or opens circuit contacts.

Pulse-width modulation

A switch-mode control method used in amplifiers and drivers to control motor voltage and current to obtain higher efficiency than linear control. PWM refers to variable on/off times (or width) of the voltage pulses applied to the transistors.

Push button

A master switch having a manually operable plunger or button for actuating the switch.