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Outomatisasie: wonderwerk of euwel?

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dc.contributor.author Gouws, Johan
dc.date.accessioned 2008-11-10T10:21:06Z
dc.date.available 2008-11-10T10:21:06Z
dc.date.issued 2008-11-10T10:21:06Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1576
dc.description Inaugural lecture--Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Rand Afrikaans University, 12 August 1998 en
dc.description.abstract For some people, automation is a modern-day miracle, while for others it is evil and a threat. This professorial inauguration lecture is aimed at establishing a balance between the miracle view and the evil view of automation. The presentation is not highly technical, in order to accommodate an audience with diverse backgrounds. The differences between mechanisation (replacement/augmentation of muscle strength) and automation (replacement/augmentation of brain power, sensory abilities, and muscle strength) are highlighted, before the most important drivers for automation are investigated. A distinction is made between need-driven and technology-driven automation. Automation is a process consisting of task definition, measurement, comparison, decision-making and task execution. Depending on which of these are carried out automatically, an automation hierarchy can be defined; and examples of different levels of automation, and of "pseudoautomation", are briefly discussed in order to explain such a hierarchy. Some potential advantages of automation, as well as techniques for the design and implementation of automation aids are also discussed -from a control systems viewpoint. Different people consider automation as miracle or as evil for totally different reasons, and the dividing line between these two views is often very thin. Reasons for a turn-around from one view to the other, or for holding one specific view, include: unfulfilled expectations, conflicts in the labour market (with associated political motives). and personal preferences. Automation-skills are an important part of the mental kit of many modern Engineers, In the light of this, the RAU curriculum for Electrical and Electronic Engineering is briefly considered in terms of its contribution to the training of automation experts. Although there are aspects of the curriculum which will require revision in future (due to technological developments and changes in industry tendencies), the current curriculum provides a very useful, and broad knowledge base. What is of special importance, is that besides technical knowledge, an awareness of the need to use technology responsibly, is also conveyed to the students. This is necessary in order to ensure that automation land other technology) will always be developed and used by RAU Engineers in a way that makes it closer to a miracle than to evil. If automation is used responsibly, it can be a very useful aid. Automation can improve quality of life, and it can contribute to increased overall economic welfare. However, it must never be blindly considered as a miracle or as evil, since both potential disadvantages and potential advantages can then be obscured. Although a Professor in automatic control systems should certainly be in favour of automation, a balanced view is always essential. Only then can the advantages of automation be utilised optimally, and can the disadvantages be prevented optimally. en
dc.language.iso afr en
dc.rights University of Johannesburg en
dc.subject Automation en
dc.subject Automation control systems en
dc.subject Automation skills en
dc.subject Mechanisation en
dc.title Outomatisasie: wonderwerk of euwel? en
dc.type Inaugural en


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