A basic description of RPA is about automating some of the most humdrum and monotonous computerized jobs and procedures in the workplace.

RPA systems are a relatively new concept to certain parts of the manufacturing world,however the technology has existed for many years. Through combining traditional production methods with higher forms of technology, factory managers and business owners can exponentially increase their production rates and output, and thereby boost their bottom line.

In a factory setup, RPA allows operators the ability to transfer instructions to a robot or a ‘bot’ to execute certain tasks assigned. RPA robots have the capabilities to take over nearly any human-computer synergies to perform large amounts of error-free assignments, at high volumes and speeds.

RPA automates the mundane actions that once prescribed human response. These are now often hugely improved through being less time-wasting and highly accurate. This is how Factory RPA improves efficiency in organizations.

In this fast-paced world that we live in, consumers require goods manufactured to their specific needs and demand them to be delivered quick and seamlessly.

Smart factories with robots generally have huge performance boosts with increased automation efficiency which is a major solution for manufacturers that need to expedite their modernizations faster, to not only stay ahead of the game and keep ahead of competitors, but also to keep up with customer requirements.

Thanks to digitalisation, the turn-around time for manufacturing of new goods can be reduced by a quarter to half the time and general engineering costs can be decreased significantly.

Another major benefit that motivates the cause for smart factories, is the reduced dependency on human labour. Employers are not cutting workforces, but rather evolving the job specs to take on new roles to assist companies in working alongside automated machines in harmony.

The help of robots and automated machinery allows for less downtime associated with injuries, fatigue, accidents, and illnesses on the workshop floor.

“Connected” factories can pinpoint outdated or cumbersome practices and therefore streamline a process to make it much more efficient. “Smart technologies present clarity over each section of the supply chain, from customer orders, providing optimal production schedules and inventory management, to generating delivery messages for the customer.

The advantage for factory owners is the constant connectivity and clarity that smart technology allows. Real-time visibility creates the flexibility to make changes to the supply chain to meet high demand, or unplanned events. The most important here is a predictive workflow, so that factory owners can be in control of making their physical goods.

Factory owners are gaining end-to-end visibility of the order lifecycle, and this constant information is used to connect production systems and operations. This once again is allowing for cost saving and huge improvements in customer experience.

What are the key components of RPA systems?

The typical architecture for a RPA system platform consists of a process library, controller dashboard, and several bots. The process library contains all routines and scripts that have been defined by users for the production process.

The RPA software technology automates digital tasks, where software users create the bots that can learn, mimic, and execute rules-based business processes. RPA enables users to create the bots through observing human digital actions.

Most RPA solutions are a combination of computer desktops and virtual machines (VM’s).

Factory Smart solutions can manage any required combination of VM’s and desktops.

The setup falls into 2 main setup architectures:

Virtual Controller

A ‘master’ robot (controller) that controls the automation of multiple desktops (slaves) as part of a business process or operation. The major advantage of this setup is that one process can control the automation of production information across different production environments.  This scenario allows each controller to be managed by the RAP (Robot Automation Portal).

Local Desktop

Each desktop computer is controlled by an individual robot, acting as an automation agent embedded on that specific machine or VM. The advantage of this setup is that each individual machine runs autonomously and is managed directly from the RAP (Robot Automation Portal).

We understand the shift to automation may seem like a pipe dream (cutting humour), but in reality it is far less complicated than you may believe. We are happy to discuss your factory needs and how we may be of assistance. So contact us today for a free consultation.