Automation is often seen as something of a universal panacea. People tend to put it forward as a solution to almost any problem involving mass production. And to be sure, there’s a lot of reasons why one might feel that way. Automation has changed the world in ways nobody could have ever dreamed of.
Part of the reason why people are able to enjoy a modern lifestyle is because of automation. Ease and speed of production has changed to a point where costs can be dramatically lowered. However, there are aspects of this process which people are often unprepared for. One of the most important considerations is the climate in which the machines operate in.
There’s some irony to that fact. After all, one of the big reasons people automate systems is to get away from the standard concerns of humans. Humans need carefully controlled environments, lunch breaks, restrooms and so on. People assume that a machine won’t need any of those things. However, machines often have more analogous needs than people would suspect.
For example, consider the case of a milling machine. These are fairly common elements within many manufacturing systems. They have a fairly long history behind them at this point. But despite their long history people still need to understand that they’re not perfect systems. Anything with moving parts will suffer some general wear and tear. We tend to associate this process with biological life. But the fact that movement takes energy and wears systems down is part of the natural process. It’s as much due to physics as it is biology.
The exact needs of a milling machine will vary by particular model. But there’s one constant which people can bet on. A milling machine operating a peak efficiency will generate heat. As a result, something will need to be done to mitigate that excessive heat generation. This is analogous to a worker who’s trying to labor in an enclosed, hot, room. You’d need to keep him cool, so he doesn’t overheat. And the same goes for a milling machine. One needs to find a way to keep the machine cool despite the heat it generates.
This is typically done using any milling machine coolant. There are other ways to go about the cooling process. But this also highlights an advantage that machines have over humans. The other method of cooling works on the environment rather than the machine itself. This is closer to how one would handle a room full of human workers. The workers, human or machine, generate heat. The heat increases the temperature of the workspace. Air conditioning would then cool the room down. The problem is that one is also contending with all other forms of heat which might enter the workspace.
Using coolant will instead simply work on a very small space. It keeps the machine itself cool and within operating standards. But one isn’t wasting resources cooling the rest of the room. This also allows for some extra heat dissipation from the machines to the environment itself. Again, this shows how some automated processes have direct analogues with human efforts. But the methods we use with machines are ultimately more cost effective.