We solve: Demonstration of robotic process automation for a company
The company was looking for a solution that could reduce the time it takes to track the turnaround times of the pieces in production and at the same time determine the turnaround time for different products on the production line. A lot of data related to this entity accumulated and going through it became a time-consuming problem. A robotic process automation¹ demo was commissioned by the company to speed up and facilitate the monitoring of production lead times.
The system used by the company collected data on each step in the production line, with creating a timestamp for each stage. Internally, the company still needed to refine the instructions for the acknowledging of each phase for the data to be valid from the software robot’s perspective. The main need was to analyze the data because as it came into Excel as a long list containing text, numbers, and time codes.
Illustrative example of data:
- piece 1 step 1 at 9:30
- piece 2 step 1 at 9:31
- piece 3 step 1 at 9:32
- piece 1 step 2 at 9:33
- piece 2 step 2 at 9:34
- piece 3 step 2 at 9:35
- piece 1 step 3 at 9:37
- piece 2 step 3 at 9:38
- piece 3 step 3 at 9:39
- product ready at 9:39
During one month, so much similar data was accumulated that analyzing the operation of the production line without a software robot would have been an unreasonable task. The aim was to have the analysis produced automatically in a reliable format and transferred to the company's reporting system.
With the help of data analytics, the aim was to find the answers to questions such as:
- How much does the size of the piece affect the turnaround time?
- How much does the type of the piece affect the turnaround time?
- What are the bottlenecks in the throughput and their effects?
A simple interface was developed for the software robot, in which the user could import a file from the production control system and specify which product information from the data is desired. The software robot printed the desired data in Excel format.
The demo of the software robot was successful, and with the demo, it was possible to show the companies participating in the project that even a large amount of data can be easily screened for bringing out the relevant information. The software robot processed the data in a matter of seconds, whereas it would have taken several hours for a person to process it.
¹ Robotic process automation uses different information systems as a normal user (human) would. It can be used to automate various data workflows (processes). For example, a software robot can enter data into an ERP system, retrieve data from an information system, generate reports, or combine data between different information systems, as a human user would do. The software robot does not require separate programming interfaces (APIs) from the information system, but uses the systems through a standard user interface. (Wikipedia)