Mechanization and Automation

Mechanization and Automation

1. The word "automation" is heard and seen very frequently nowadays but experts differ as to its precise meaning. Historically the word was first coined in 1947 to describe the automatic handling of materials and parts into and out of the transfer machines which thus manufactured car engines without any intervention by machine operators. At about the same time the word "automation" was invented to describe "an exciting new system of making factory production lines almost completely automatic through the use of electronic control systems". The literal meaning of the word, which is hybrid from the Greek "automatos" (self-moving) and the Latin suffix "ion", is "self-movin gaction ". But the word has become an accepted part of modern language because it is popularly used to describe the ideas and techniques which have material and visible effects on everyday life and which are growing rapidly in importance. These ideas and techniques include everything — hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, electrical, electronic — which makes automatic production more possible.

2. The origin of automation can be traced back1 to the early days of the first industrial revolution with the introduction of mechanization, but one must avoid the common mistake2 of saying that automation is simply extensive mechanization.

3. The relation between automation and mechanization may be illustrated by a simple example. Consider the manufacture of metal washers. These articles could be made from lumps of metal3 using only hand tools. A better way is to use a machine tool which can stamp out dozens of washers at one stroke from sheet metal fed into it. That is mechanization. The machine is under the control4 of a machinist who watches the product, perhaps with the aid of measuring and sensing devices, and adjust the speed of the machine, if the parts do not come out as required.. Now suppose that sensing and measuring devices fitted to the machine examine the washers as they are produced and feed back information to an automatic control unit which compares what is happening with what is ordered by a tape carrying instructions for the machine. That is automation. The manual control of the machinist is replaced by the automatic control which operates through a closed loop5, as the feedback path is called.


1) the origin of automation can be traced back — происхождение (возникновение) автоматики восходит к

2) one must avoid the common mistake — необходимо избежать общей ошибки

3) lumps of metal — груды (кучи) металла

4.) the machine is under the control — машиной управляет

5) a closed loop — замкнутая петля (цикл)

III. Say whether the following statements are true or false:

1. Historically the word "automation" was first coined in 1950. 2. The machine is not under the control of a machinist who watches the product. 3. The word "automation" hasn't become an accepted part of modern language. 4. The manual control of the machinist is not replaced by the automatic control which operates through a closed loop.

IV. Answer the following questions on paragraph 1:

1. What did the word "automation" mean when it was used for the first time? 2. What is the precise meaning of the word "automation"? 3. What concepts does the word "automation" include in modern life?

V. Translate paragraph 2.

VI. In paragraph 3 find English equivalents to the following word combinations:

простой пример, производство, лучший способ, груды металла, дюжины, скорость машины, автоматическое управление, ручное управление, замкнутая петля (цикл), обратная связь.

VII. Find the place in paragraph 3 containing the description of mechanization and automation. Render this information to your partner.

VIII. Find English equivalents to the words given in the boxes of the logical diagram.


гидрав- лика
пневма- тика


IX. Read the text, concentrate on the elements in black type (the key fragments). Rearrange the key fragments so as to make a logical plan of the would-be precis. Write the precis of the text. Try to make the number of sentences in your precis equal to the number of paragraphs in the original.

X. Speak about automation using the key fragments and the words from the logical diagram (see ex. IX).



I. Look through the list of English words and their Russian equivalents facilitating reading text B:

origin — начало, происхождение; despite — несмотря на; area — область, сфера; muscle — мускул; nervous — нервный; to govern – управлять, регулировать; to carry out — выполнять; supervision — наблюдение, надзор; maintenance — обслуживание; trend — общее направление, тенденция; comprehensive — всесторонний, глубокий; merely — просто, только; entire — полный, совершенный; exclude— исключать; involvement — вовлечение.

II. Think over the meaning of the title of text В and try to guess what it is about.

III. Skim through text В and say whether you were right or wrong in your answer.

Text В

Main Trend of Automation

The idea of automation is as old as the hills. Its origin may be traced to the invention of the hunter's trap1, while its written history goes back to the rock paintings of the ice age. But despite its antiquity the idea remains attractive.

It seems that the dream has now come true2: mankind has entered the age of automation, a logical outcome of the modern revolution in science and technology. A machine, a robot, a cybernetic system has partially or fully replaced man in many areas of production. Not only man's hands and muscles have been substituted for, but to a certain extent his brain and nervous system, too. Automatic systems now perform the most labour-intensive operations3, and the control of them, where before the only operator was the worker. Given a definite programme, one machine can govern the operation of another, so that the worker has to carry out only general supervision and the technical maintenance of a system..

Industry has thousands of automatic production lines, units of equipment which are programme-controlled4, a great number of production sections, shops and technological processes covered by integrated mechanization and automation. However, the main trend is towards the development of comprehensively automated factories. Specialists consider this to be the main trend in automation — that is, developing not merely automatic machines which can take over individual production operations5, but entire technological processes and systems whose functioning excludes the direct involvement of man.


l) the hunter's trap — ловушка (капкан, западня) охотника

2) the dream has come true — мечта сбылась

3) labour-intensive operation — трудоемкая операция

4) programme-controlled units — устройства, регулируемые с помощью программы

5) can take over individual production operations — может брать на себя выполнение отдельных производственных операций


IV. Answer the following questions:

1. What dream of mankind has come true? 2. What operations do automatic systems perform? 3. How do you understand the main trend of automation?

V. Render the information of text В to your partner.


I. Look through the list of words facilitating reading text C:

to lend — придавать; to relieve — облегчать, освобождать; to be engaged in — быть занятым; employed in industry — занятый в промышленности; at a faster rate — с большей скоростью; hardly — едва; to regard — рассматривать; conventional labour — обычный труд; mental work — умственная работа; a unique opportunity-единственная возможность; to do away with — покончить ( с чём-л.); a heap of metal — гора металла; scope — масштаб, возможность; volume of output —• объем продукции.

II. Read the following text carefully. While reading look for the answers to the given questions:

1. How does automation help a worker in his hard physical labour? 2. What does automation offer the society? 3. Is unemployment an inevitable consequence of automation?

Text С

Humanization of Labour

1. And what happens to a worker whose place is taken by an automatic machine? Specialists believe that automation alters the character of labour, lending it a new social status, rather than ousts the worker from the production process1.

2. First of all, thanks to automation, the worker is relieved of traditionally hard physical labour. To keep machinery working properly, a worker needs knowledge and an engineering qualification rather than strong hands. The number of such workers in industry is increasing. Actually, the number of those engaged in operations that are fully mechanized or automated is growing at a faster rate than the number of workers employed in industry. What many of them do can hardly be regarded as the conventional labour of an industrial worker. For instance, the adjusters and operators2 of automatic metal-machining equipment, workers at chemical plants, steel smelters and rolling-operators3 spend more than half their time doing mental work. The proportion of such work in some branches of industry has reached 80 per cent. In terms of social progress, automation offers society a unique opportunity to humanize labour. Both hard physical work and monotonous work that is bad for one's mental health can be done away with to a large extent or altogether, while in other cases their dangerous intensification can be reduced, occupational risks brought down to zero.

3. Having relieved the worker of heavy or monotonous operations the automatic machine can add to his productivity and greatly increase man's power over nature. But even a fully automatic factory is nothing but a heap of metal. Only the worker's hands and brain can set it in motion.

4. It goes without saying4 that automation in a particular factory or industry reduces the amount of labour needed. However, does that mean that unemployment is an inevitable consequence of automation? Practice indicates that this is not so. Planned management of the economy makes it possible to obtain and maintain an optimal balance between the scope of automation, volume of output and labour resources.


1) ousts the worker from the production process — вытесняет рабочего из производственного процесса

2) the adjusters and operators — монтеры (сборщики) и операторы

3) steel smelters and rolling-mill operators — сталелитейщики и операторы прокатного стана

4) it goes without saying — само собой разумеется


III. Say whether the following statements are true or false:

1. Specialists believe that automation alters the character of labour. 2. Thanks to automation the worker is relieved of hard physical labour. 3. Automation doesn't offer a unique opportunity to humanize labour. 4. Automation in a particular factory or industry reduces the amount of labour needed.


IV. Find the answers to the following questions:

1. What does automation alter? 2. How can the worker be relieved of traditionally physical labour? 3. Why does a worker need an engineering qualification? 4. What can set in motion a fully automatic factory?


V. Find the main information of paragraph 2 and render it to your group-mate.


VI. Say what planned management of economy obtains and maintains.

VII. You are asked to make a report. The subject of your report is

"Automation". While preparing it you may use the information of texts А, В and С. The following plan will help you:

1. Automation.

2. Mechanization.

3. The difference between automation and mechanization.

4. Automation and the character of labour.


Grammar:Complex Subject (§ 13). Emphatic Construction. It is (was)... that (who)(§18). Form-words both... and, neither... nor, either ... or.

• Word Formation:v + – en/-ant=adj

adj + -ify/-fy =v

• Individual Work:Lab Work "Complex Subject".


Pre-text Exercises

I. Practise the reading of the following words:

cartoon [kQ: 'tu:n] , to exhibit [Ig'zɪbIt] , image ['ImIG], process ['prqVses], to equip [I'kwIp], intelligence [In'telIGqns], substitute ['sAbstItju:t], outskirts ['aVtskE:ts], appear [q'pIq], satire ['sxtaIq], determine [ dɪ'tE:mIn], subordinate [sq'bO:dInqt], damage ['dxmIdZ], individually [ʽIndI'vIduqli], mechanical [ mq'kxnIkl], infantile ['InfqntaIl].

II. Make sure if you can read these words correctly and say what Russian words help you to guess their meaning:

robot, figure, hero, computer, character, function, technology, economic, automatic, universal, principle, problem, manufacture, productivity.

III. Give the initial forms of the following words:

driven, processes, manufacturing, operated, incorporating, faculties, equipped, principles, considered, substitutes, functions, riding, deprived, greater, increasing, ranging, became.

IV.State to what parts of speech the words in black type belong:

1. This is an electric field.2. In what field of science do you work? 3. Last Sunday I was at home. 4. The lectures usually last about four hours on Saturdays. 5. The results of this research are of great importance for our university. 6. Profound research work sometimes results in a discovery. 7. The solar energy must light and heat our houses. 8. The new building housesa technical library.

V. Form adjectives adding the suffixes a) -ent/-ant and b) -ify/-fy to the given words, translate them:

Example: a) to differ – различать b) electric – электрический

different – различный electrify – электрифицировать

a) to depend, to attend, to cool, to correspond, to exist, to resist, to result, to consist, to provide, to dissolve, to absorb;

b) specific, identic, humid, acid, pure, solid, intensive, simple, classic, ample, magnetic, diverse.

VI. Make sure if you remember the meaning of the following verbs. Consult a dictionary:

to range, to incorporate, to develop, to check, to refer to, to substitute, to appear, to mean, to deprive, to call, to damage, to ride, to assume, to prevent, to resolve, to restrain, to grow.

VII. Translate the following sentences into Russian paying attention to Complex Subject:

1. These elements are known to have been found two decades ago. 2. Semiconductors are shown to be good detectors of radio waves. 3. Metal is known to conduct electricity. 4. Electrical charges are known to be positive and negative. 5. This engineer appears to have presented some interesting data. 6. The problem of new generators is likely to be one of the most essential. 7. This method of switching is sure to be cheaper. 8. All the details of the plan are supposed to have been explained to you. 9. The chemist is expected to obtain a new substance. 10. They are considered to carry out their research in time. 11. The origin of the word 'robot' is said to have appeared first in a play of a Czech playwright, Karel Capec. 12. Four atomic power stations are assumed to be built for experimental purposes. 13. The improvement of the technological processes is supposed to ensure lower cost of power. 14. Long transmission lines are known to be necessary for the transfer of electric energy over long distances. 15. Some types of reactors are known to produce more nuclear fuel during their operation than they consume.

VIII.Choose the sentences with Complex Subject, translate them into Russian:

1. The engineers were glad to have obtained such good results. 2. Our task is to study well. 3. This system is expected to have wide application. 4. For him to have done these experiments is a great success. 5. Heat causes the liquid to evaporate. 6. They are certain to achieve good results, if they employ new techniques. 7. The engineer made his assistants check the results many times. 8. The apparatus to be assembled is very complicated. 9. The idea to use this new substance is not new. 10. The application of this device in our experiment is certain to give better results.

IX. Translate the following sentences into Russian paying attention to the emphatic construction it is (was)... that (who):

1 .It is electronics thatproduced radar. 2. It wasEinstein whoprovided a new conception of time, space and gravitation. 3. It was A.S.Popov whoinvented the radio. 4. It wasfrom radio thatthe subject of electronics was born. 5. It was radioelectronics thatproduced cybernetics, cosmonautics and nuclear physics. 6. It was in the laboratory that I found him. 7. It wasD.I.Mendeleyev whoformulated the Periodic Law. 8. It wasthanks to M.V. Lomonosovthat Moscow University was founded in 1755. 9. It was in 1868 thatD.I.Mendeleyev formulated the Periodic Law of Elements. 10. It isautomation that improves working conditions. 11. It was in 1944 thatthe first relay machine was completed. 12. It is the programme thatensures the execution of all operations assigned to the computers. 13. It was in the 20th century thatelectronic computers appeared.

X.Translate the following sentences into Russian. Mind the translation of the correlative conjunctions both ... and, neither ... nor, either ...or:

1. Franklin is respected in our country bothas a scientist anda progressive political leader. 2. M.V.Lomonosov was an outstanding inventor bothin the humanities andin exact sciences. 3. This famous scientist is engaged bothin scientific research andin social activities. 7. As we know there is neitherair norwater in any part of the Moon. 5. He could cope neitherwith this task northat one. 6. You may take eitherthis book orthat one. 7. Reaching the Earth the energy sent from the Sun is eitherabsorbed (поглощена) orreflected. 8. Neithermy friend norI took part in this scientific conference.

XI.Match up the words which have similar meanings:

a) different, hence, to watch, to receive, high, to keep, to allow, to start, to suggest, to shut, to wait, to try, to learn, to remain, to finish, to come, broad, to vary;

b) wide, to change, to arrive, to conclude, to stay, to study, to attempt, to expect, to observe, to obtain, tall, to hold, various, thus, to permit, to begin, to offer, to close.

XII. Try to memorize all the words and word-groups:

■ children's cartoons – детские мультипликационные фильмы ■economic and social advantages – экономические и социальные преимущества ■ superhuman quality – сверхчеловеческое качество a high degree of freedom – высокая степень свободы ■ an improvement of productivity – улучшение производительности ■ an improvement of product quality – улучшение качества изделия ■ production system – система производства ■ to deprive of – лишать (чего-л.) ■ infantile intelligence – ограниченный интеллект ■ to damage – портить

наносить ущерб ■ flexible automation – гибкая автоматизация ■ to enhance – увеличивать, повышать ■ to prevent from – предотвращать, мешать (чему-л.) ■ to set forth – излагать, выдвигать.


I. Study text A. Try to understand all details. Use a dictionary if necessary :

Text A

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