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How robotization of processes (RPA) gives a boost to the manufacturing industry

The manufacturing industry is pre-eminently an industry that is always busy with innovation. Internationally, the Dutch manufacturing industry is doing well. Especially when it comes to knowledge-intensive solutions. One of the most important questions in the current growth market for the industry is finding enough employees.

A solution to this challenge is intelligent process automation. Intelligent automation through RPA (Robotic Process Automation) means that you mimic human tasks by software robots. These software robots work accurately, more efficiently and 24/7!

Most manufacturing industry companies use a broad application landscape. CAD applications are used for product development, and PLM systems are used for product lifecycle management. Sales uses a CRM system, and production and purchasing are controlled from an ERP application.

Save time and costs with RPA

However, every manufacturing industry company also knows that implementing changes, configurations and revisions takes a lot of time and often leads to errors and (unnecessary) costs in production.
A change has to be implemented in multiple systems, and often also in different positions. For example in the bill of materials in CAD, PLM and ERP. Sales need to know that a certain product is going to be replaced by another product, and service needs to know which parts are compatible with a previous version.

Keeping this information up-to-date takes a lot of time. Time that can often be better spent by having engineers and purchasers develop and purchase.

“RPA takes the robot out of the human”

RPA offers an excellent solution for this! It is often a challenge to link CAD, PLM and production systems in the desired way with an ERP application, for example. If there is already a good integration or link, it must be tested and adapted with every update. That is not the case with RPA! Because a software robot can imitate the actions of a user, it does not matter which PDM, ERP or CAD system a company works with.

For example, the robot can respond to a change in the status of a part. When an engineer releases a part, the robot can take various properties (such as weight, dimensions, material, purchase and article number, etc.) from the CAD or PLM application, and enter them into the ERP or CRM application. Based on predefined rules and process steps, the robot can also adjust bills of materials or create and process purchase orders based on the requirement rules defined in ERP.

Another advantage of automating these processes with RPA is that it can be done in phases. Few companies will want to take the risk and time to change everything in one go. By automating in steps, it is easier to solve any issues, and employees also see immediate results. This increases the adoption rate of an automation solution.

The ROI of an RPA bot is on average 6-9 months! In addition to significant savings that are quickly recouped, there are even more advantages:

  • All data only needs to be entered once somewhere. No more boring and repetitive work, but no mistakes either!

  • All data in all systems is always up to date. A robot just does what it has to do. forgets nothing, takes no breaks, and is never distracted.

  • 30% time savings for engineers, work planners and buyers. Time that can be spent on new developments, more production, and better purchasing.

  • Automate your change management, revision management and configurations and prevent (expensive) errors in purchasing, production and service through always up-to-date data.

  • Complete and up-to-date Insight into material consumption, hours and outsourced work. A robot can do more than just transfer data. He can also calculate forecasts with machine learning, and ensure a complete and complete pre-calculation.
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