Manufacturing

Robotics in Manufacturing

T-Impact work with enthusiastic and driven manufacturers seeking to empower their workforce and improve efficiency using digital transformation. Our robotics & AI subscription model enables you to develop a strong business case before embarking on further automation projects, as well as achieving large levels of ROI within the first year of operation. Speak with one of our experts today to learn how other manufacturing organisations are already embracing this technology and what you can do to quickly level the playing field.

 

What are the main disruptions to Manufacturing?

Manufacturing has always embraced physical robotics to assemble, test and package products. Although the assembly line has been revolutionized by this process, back-office services in manufacturing organisations are still understaffed and under-utilised, leading to delays in what should be a fast and easy delivery. Combined with pain-points such as underskilled staffing and shifting regulatory environments, it is no surprise that manufacturing companies have turned to robotic process automation (RPA) tools to streamline, organize and optimize back-end operations. Due to these developments, RPA has become the essential go-to tool to enable manufacturers to maximise their output for minimal costs.

Shifting Regulatory Environments

 

Underskilled Staff

 

Communication Issues

 

Emerging Technologies
Global Competition

Due to the frequent alteration and amending of key aspects of health and safety codes, many manufacturers have found themselves falling foul of bad practise of misconduct. Organisations are unable to train their workers to comply with the latest legislation as they cannot afford to lose this human capacity.

Due to a shortage of highly-skilled workers, manufacturing firms often find themselves above capacity utilisation and so product quality can be impacted. Although firms would like to develop their own employees, they are unable to do so because they do not have the resources.

Manufacturing firms have relied on direct lines of communication to suppliers to ensure that operations can continue. However, problems with communication due to technological, or staffing limitations can mean that vital details are withheld or missed.

Manufacturers have struggled to stay on the leading edge of technology and with innovation happening faster than ever, this is becoming even more prominent. 5G connectivity, sensor technologies and the Industrial Internet of Things have led to a surge in data generation by manufacturing firms.

In order for manufacturing firms to remain competitive worldwide, they are being forced to adapt. Production is shifting towards high-value advanced-technology products or services to avoid price wars and offer unique pricing models.

What can robotics do for manufacturing? 

Already ingrained in the physical manufacturing operation, software robotics is the key for manufacturers to access new revenue streams and improve back-end efficiency within their organisation, resulting in precious resources being saved and costs being reduced. By utilising a highly skilled virtual workforce in back end operations and a technically skilled team of staff utilising physical robots to produce products, manufacturers should quickly be able to increase output, revenue and profit.

RPA is best utilised in processes that have rule-based, have a high volume of organised data and a well-defined process flow. This ensures they can continue working at the optimum rate at all times.

Specifically, robotics can be used in manufacturing for the following:

Managing Stock and Inventory

Robotics can monitor and control inventory levels in real time to ensure that all materials required for manufacturing are present. Furthermore, RPA solutions can be programmed to generate notifications regarding stock levels and automatically re-order products when their stock level drops below defined levels, ensuring that as few shortages as possible occur.

Purchase Orders

By using Robotic Process Automation, what was previously a tedious manual process can be automated with 100% accurate and efficient results. By deploying a rule-based workflow function, data can be extracted from independent systems and rule-based approval can be obtained automatically from department heads before processing the request. This ensures that bottlenecks can be avoided, and capacity can be shared correctly throughout the organisation.

Vendor Communication

Effective communication is paramount in the manufacturing industry, both internally and externally. Due to issues with communication up and down the chain, processes can be delayed and product quality can suffer as a result. By automating this process, manufacturers can achieve peace of mind as their virtual workforce will open, interpret and analyse all email correspondence, downloading any attachments if necessary, logging the details onto your central hub and determining the next best action, before moving onto the next customer email. With your virtual staff managing these queries at lightning speed, your human staff can focus on more complex enquiries instead.

The Robotics involved in Manufacturing 

Mention AI robots and most people think of SciFi Robots such as the Terminator or one arm manufacturing robots. The term AI Robotic Process Automation (RPA), refers to specific forms of software that can be ‘trained’ to perform a variety of manual functions, such as opening emails, saving attachments and entering and extracting data.

Robotic process automation (RPA) mimics human activity on your computer. By executing specific work flows and applying business rules, RPA can perform many of same functions as a human. It accesses and creates data within your existing I.T. systems, spreadsheets, software and documents. When it needs to make complex decisions, it reaches out to AI platforms, such as Watson, Microsoft AI and Google deepmind, passing the data needed for the decision and receiving guidance on what to do with the results.  

Read More

MANUFACTURING TESTIMONIALS

Management and Administration

Financial Operations

Management and Administration

Gavin Goates, CEO of PCML Ltd.

Financial Operations

Nadine Bishop, Finance Director at PCML Ltd.

What are the benefits of Robotic Process Automation in Manufacturing?

RPA has become a key tool for manufacturers due to the high return on investment which can be achieved quickly, but there are a number of other benefits that organisations can gain by employing RPA:

Reduced Operational Costs

With your robotic solution capable of working twenty-four-seven with no need for breaks, holidays or salaries, your organisation will not need to hire additional temporary staff members to support you during busy periods

Quality Improvements and Standardisation

Your virtual workforce can replicate every process exactly to your specification every single time, meaning you have no need to worry about extensive quality assurance checks.

Improved Control and Assurance

Thanks to your robotics recording every single action in end-to-end processes, you can get a greater visibility and understand as to where the robotics are actually adding value

Seamless Integration

Robotics can be easily incorporated into your existing IT architecture, meaning you won’t need to worry about making expensive alterations to your structure to accommodate this new technology.

Empower and Free Key Staff Members

Robotics will unlock important staff members away from tedious repetitive duties, so they can focus on business development opportunities and generating more outward revenue streams for your manufacturing firm.

FAQ's

I am running in a Citrix/Virtual environment, can a robot work with this?

Yes. Our Robotics Subscriptions use UiPath technology, the best software for Citrix and Virtualised client environments. T-Impact have implemented numerous Robotic solutions in both Virtualised and Citrix environments.

I have been told all about AI, but what is Robotics?

Quite often these two terms are mixed up and sometimes intertwined. Artificial Intelligence is a broad definition that encompasses many specialist fields. One of these is Robotics. Robotics Process Automation (RPA) refers specifically to software Robots that perform work normally performed by humansTo add to the confusion, Robots incorporate some elements of machine learning within them, allowing them to learn and adapt. They also have pre-built integration into most advanced AI platforms, which allow them to make complex decisions and to learn from the data they process (machine learning) The most common platforms include Microsoft AI, IBM Watson & Google Deepmind.

What processes are best suited to RPA?

Robotic Process Automation can be best deployed with repetitive tasks that deal with large amounts of digital data that is formatted or stratified by specific rules.

Will my robotics ever slow down?

No, your robotics solution can operate twenty-four-seven and you can scale outputs up and down to minimise any potential backlog issues.

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