RPA Application in Manufacturing Industries | RPA Technology
Looking for a game-changing technology to upgrade your services and product delivery? Say hello to RPA Technology – Robotic Process Automation, your Artificial Intelligence partner!
With the evolution of technology, complex software has gradually become the norm. While the first four-wheelers were assembled individually by factory workers, it was the assembly line system that gave a boost to the automobile industry. If the workers succeeded in assembling ‘x’ number of cars in a month, the assembly line succeeded in assembling manifolds in a day. That is the beauty of automation – the increased output with decreased errors!
What is RPA Technology (Robotic Process Automation)?
RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation – the system of making use of technology in the form of robots (artificial intelligence) to minimize human intervention and achieve superior output. In simpler words, RPA is the technological use of human-like bots to facilitate any specific action.
Wondering if there are real robots present to supervise specific actions, just like we have seen in the science channels on the television? You are not alone if you think and visualize as such.
But yes, RPA does not have physical robots moving around ‘doing’ stuff or carrying out actions. Sure, you might find hands-like structures doing some super-heavy lifting, but those are not the actual bots that we are talking of. RPA technology is a complex software at its core, designed by humans for reducing human interventions in physical processes.
Evolution of RPA Technology
While the seeds of RPA as an industry facilitator started taking shape in the early 1920s right after the spike in the technological domain during World War I, RPA technology started being used for mainstream manufacturing industry much later. We chart out a few of the predecessor technologies of RPA which helped shape up this giant to what it is today – one of the most sought after technological upgrades in the manufacturing sector.
Screen Scraping Technology:
Before the internet became the mainstay of technological media, screen scraping technology was used for bridging the gap between the present technology and legacy software. Breaking it down into simpler terms, screen scraping extracts data from one system and converts it into user-friendly bite-sized information that can be captured and used by us.
For example, the weather forecast reports. Screen scraping technology would read the weather information and then translate it for our use. It does the work of a translator and does it exceedingly well.
This is a simple software which reduces manual data entry and instead focuses on increased speed and error-free output. Workflow automation helps collate physical information in bite-size pieces and stores it in microprocessors for future use. No more slogging on the keyboard to enter individual details multiple times – it is much simpler and much faster.
Think about Tony Stark’s Jarvis from the Avengers series and you will know what an AI is. AI is the capability of bots and software to perform actions which otherwise can only be done by human intervention. While the benefits of AI abound with increased efficiency and faster turnaround time with greater accuracy, it can be quite expensive at times.
With all its predecessors having some shortcoming or the other, RPA Technology combines the best of all, and is a path-breaking technological development designed to deal with the advanced world of the 21st century.
RPA Technology draws heavily from the mechanisms of screen mirroring, but instead of being code-dependent like screen mirroring, RPA Technology makes use of automation and simple drag and drop techniques along with OCR (Optical Character Reception) services for website adaptations without human intervention or suggestions.
With RPA technology, magic happens when repetitive actions are realized through automation and complex actions through AI, resulting in path breaking technological developments. In fact, here is a very curious and apt definition of RPA Technology by Deloitte:
Robotic Process Automation (RPA), a synonym to AI, is the application of technology allowing employees in a company to configure computer software or a ‘robot’ to reason, collect and extract knowledge, recognize patterns, learn and adapt to new situations or environments.
Applications of RPA Technology:
So where do we find Robotic Process Automation Technology being put to use in our everyday lives?
You go to an ATM (Automated Teller Machine) to withdraw cash for your day-to-day expenses. Your insert the card, the ATM reads the card and asks you the secret code after which you are able to take home the required amount you have been planning. That Is RPA Technology at work!
You enter your office by swiping your ID card, and you are allowed access inside, while simultaneously your attendance for the day is marked on the portal. That is RPA technology at work!
You are looking for a quick in-between snack and head to the vending machine to get a packet. You enter information, answer questions and pay the amount; after which the packet is pushed down towards the collector box. That is RPA Technology at work!
You pass through a drive-through and order your favourite sandwich. You enter specific instructions, pay the required amount and finally collect your package at the last gate. That is RPA technology at work!
You want to watch a movie and book a movie ticket online, you show the generated QR code at the entrance and they scan it. Voila! You have been granted entry into the movie theatre.
Challenges of RPA Technology:
Even though it is touted to be the technology of the 21st century, RPA Technology comes with its fair share of challenges, like the following:
You need somebody to operate Robotic Process Automation and to overlook things when needed. While RPA Technology is usually a foreign element in the IT landscape, the installation of devices and set up require in-hand IT support.
Plus, you need someone to know the nooks and crevices of your system, so that they know where to hammer in and plaster up when needed.
Anything that has a mind of its own is dangerous. Sounds familiar? Well, that is what Hollywood would have us believe and given the plethora of Artificial Intelligence-based disaster movies they have managed to come up with, no wonder security is definitely a concern.
Accessibility, clearance and final command approval are of extreme criticality when you are using code-heavy software that is inherently complex. Well, we cannot have a Skynet and live through a Terminator apocalypse, right?
- UI Stability
How? That is the first question that your IT guy will ask you, the moment you talk of RPA Technology integration. Simply because they are really at a loss.
RPA Technology integration allows unprecedented final output, but needs good ground work, including but not limited to UI stability. Just like you cannot run legacy software on present UI, you need upgraded User Interface to access the many advantages of RPA Technology in all its glory.
- Cost of Maintenance
A very valid concern, especially when you are looking at code-heavy software. While RPA Technology is more often than not marketed as a low-cost tool, the maintenance costs do not simply vanish into thin air. So, be prepared to shell out those cents when you need to, to enjoy the myriad benefits of the RPA Technology.
Advantages of RPA Technology:
- Improved Customer Experience
With better results and faster turnaround time, your customers are happy like never before. Simplified processes become easy to follow, they know where they are being redirected to and why, and a simple series of questions and answers can solve their problems in a jiffy. In fact, at times, no human to human interaction is required and the simple process flow of RPA Technology manages to solve the customer query. A very simple and in-use example would be of chatbots – at times, you do not even need to pick up the phone before the problem is solved and you can move on with your business as usual.
- Reduced Wage Costs to the Company
Well, that is just one of the happy news for the organization as a whole. You do not need to hire labour for every step of the process. While most of the process will flow in accordance with the commands given, hiring an officer for overlooking everything is more than enough, when it comes to RPA Technology implementation. Reduced labour costs imply that you can then put to good use that money and work on developing your brand reputation by investing in Corporate Social Welfare activities, for example.
- Goodbye human errors
Whatever work you do, you have to carry in the probability of human errors. That is nothing surprising, as the old adage goes – to be human is to make errors.
While human errors get reduced with proper process flow in place and right talent hiring, it is never zero in any case, But, with RPA Technology in place, it is reduced drastically and in many cases, it is almost nil.
For example, if you were manufacturing 20 pieces with at least 1 error-bit, now, you can aim for 20 error-free products in every batch – and that is how you make your own production story a case study!
- Data Collection and Data Analysis are Easier than ever!
Do you know what is the key to success for any business in today’s competitive world? It is the play of numbers! The better your numbers are; the better the yield you can look for. And for this, the very first step that you need to be adept at is data collection.
While manual data collection is a pain-point, more often than not, collecting data through the Artificial Intelligence system is easier than ever. The best part, it is error-free. You can be sure of getting the right name, the right address, the right numbers and in most cases, end with the right result.
And why do we collect numbers? To help us analyze new buyer trends, to help us better our outputs, to help us solve customer centric problems and to finally become the number one company in our field.
Data analysis is a crucial step for the success of any company in the world, and to carry out the process with the help of RPA Technology is a sure-shot way to success.
- RPA Technology in HR Industry
From hiring the right talent to carrying out a hassle-free employee on-boarding experience, the HR benefits of RPA Technology are many. Right from carrying out the initial screening to getting the final digital signatures, RPA Technology promises to be a perfect partner for your company’s HR team.
They can be sure of not missing in document collection, they can be sure of storing the employee data at the right places, sometimes repetitive data delivery becomes a cause for human error, which can be avoided with the RPA Technology, and further on, the off-boarding process also becomes smoother with the right documents and data at your disposal, on time!
- Finance Benefits
RPA Technology is a blessing for the Finance Team. Previously, while every work and numeric input and calculation had to be done by individuals, it is also process-oriented today. Simply managing your automation and RPA Technology would be more than enough to reduce the workload and increase efficiency in leaps and bounds.
- Marketing Benefits
They say, your brand speaks. But what makes your brand speak? Admirable sales numbers make your brand speak. The right customer experience makes your brand speak. Making use of the present trends correctly and fashioning out custom campaigns make your brand speak.
And all these can only be achieved with the deployment of the RPA technology, it will help you understand your environment better in order to make the right use of arising marketing opportunities.
With a comprehensive RPA Technology guide here, one thing is for sure; while RPA Technology is here to stay, nevertheless, human intervention cannot be absolutely removed, it can only be reduced. You have to carry the best of both worlds for the optimum final result.