When Did Automation Become an Important Concept to Businesses?

When did automation become a division or a department in a business?  When did the term automation start to be used regularly?

A competitive market will push companies to be competitive.  With the conclusion of World War 2, America transitioned to a peace time economy.  Detroit stopped producing large numbers of tanks and started producing large numbers of cars.  1947 was the year Ford created its automation department (www.assemblymag.com).  The first recorded use of the word automation was in the last half-decade of the 1940s (Dictionary.com). 

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