Industrial process control and automation came from the manufacturing industry. The manufacturing industry, during the industrial revolution, began to use machines to dramatically increase productivity. Over time the processes were developed to create production lines and eventually modern robotics. Robots are part of a modern production assembly which uses sensors and computer control to form a completely automatic working system.
Humans watch the system to ensure that everything is functioning correctly and they make decisions which are outside of the scope of the computer software. The people have the job of supervision and the actual work is done by the system autonomously. That is self calibrating and self adjusting to ensure maximum productivity with the highest production quality.
The technology of process control and automation has the capacity to make extremely sensitive measurements as well as functioning incredibly fast. This is a major factor that has enabled companies to produce very advanced products at a highly competitive wholesale price.