CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2014 Edition
| Editors: The International Academy for Production Engineering, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart

Assembly Automation

Reference work entry


Automation is the conversion of a procedure, a process, or equipment to an automatic operation without intervention by a human operator (CIRP 2004). In the field of assembly, assembly automation describes the conversion of a manual assembly process to an assembly without a human operator. In general, the term describes the process of increasing the number of assembly steps carried out by automatic assembly machines in a plant.

Theory and Application


In the early days, the manufacture and assembly of products was carried out by craftsmen. This led to each part fitting its mating part only. Further, the training of new craftsmen was a long and expensive task as they had to be experts in all areas of manufacture and assembly. In 1793, Oliver Evans developed the concept of conveying materials for an automatic flour mill. In 1801, Eli Whitney completed a factory for muskets for the USA, manufacturing all parts on machines. This led to a higher quality of the product and...

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Copyright information

© CIRP 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Industrial Engineering and Assembly Technology, Department of Mechanical EngineeringTechnical University MünchenGarchingGermany