This industry is primarily engaged in manufacturing general purpose machinery for standard and bespoke applications. Industrial automation deals primarily with the automation of manufacturing, quality control and material handling processes. General purpose controllers for industrial processes include programmable logic controllers, stand-alone I/O modules, and computer based systems. Industrial Automation is the second step beyond mechanization in the evolution of industrialization.
Today the focus of Industrial Automation has shifted to increasing quality and flexibility in specific manufacturing processes, so the needs of this manufacturing sector include: distributed fieldbus network communication, product interoperability, compliance to universal safety standards, open source communication and cost-effectiveness.