Challenges for introducing RPA into product design and development work ②
In recent years, laws for working style have been reorganizes and as result the work efficiency has been required in high levels, improving work efficiency of routine works at product design and development sites has becoming an issue.
By utilizing RPA (Robotic Process Automation), it is possible to record and reproduce human work procedures, and let robots inside computers perform routine works / repetitive works without programming with automation is possible.
It's tends to hear easy that this will solve the problem, but the reality is that it's not that so.
In this column, we will introduce the issues when implementing general RPA to the product design and development site with concrete examples.
What are the issues to be solved before developing the RPA?
RPA nowadays frequently collects as much attention as work automation tool.
The major feature is said that "anyone can easily automate“, While there’s no need for specialized knowledge such as programming languages, and it can be automated by the person in charge of field operations.
Certainly, in operations such as accounting, paperwork in financial institutions such as banks and local governments, RPA is easy to apply because the operations are repetitive according to certain rules, or the workflow is completely standardized. There are also case studies that have been already successful.
On the other hand, what about the actual situation in product design and development work involving SOLIZE?
Far away from being effective in applying RPA, we receive many inquiries and need consulting for such “what can be achieved by applying RPA” or “What can be utilize after implementing RPA.” For above problems, there are three main factors that can be considered.
- With high intensity workload, the person in charge of the work cannot devote the man-hours for RPA development itself.
- To achieve versatile automation, programming knowledge such as generating flowcharts will be required.
- By the difficulties that the client cannot decide / select the process which can be automated, or simply does not want to change the current work process.
Too much workload on product design and development department
The current situation where the load is too concentrated on the product design and development department In many client side product development sites, a) Not only the technical "designing" task, b) Coordinating work such as meetings and business trips, c) Information retrieval, document creation, data inputting work or so, various kinds of ancillary works also exists in a considerable proportion.
In addition to the three factors mentioned above, there are some tasks that engineers do not have to perform. For example, when creating an instruction manual, the design department only needs to check the details that only the engineer can understand if there is no problem with the contents created by other departments, but there are many cases where the engineer creates it by themselves. As a result, the workload is over concentrated on the product design and development department. In this way, it must be said that “it is impossible” to further develop RPA while running with the current business that is so tight.
However, laws related to work style reform have been put in place, and there are demands to improve labor productivity, and studies on improving work efficiency are becoming more and more active.
For such issues, we have knowledge of business improvement at the product development site, starting from classifying and inventorying all kinds of works, formulating and applying / deployment schedule, establishing operation rules and guidelines, and RPA developing with bonding CAD and PLM that is unique to product development sites.
It is also necessary to consider a solution that comprehensively supports these all things.
Business + IT website: "RPA" to understand in 10 minutes, textbook of RPA human resources required now (2019.11.12)
Nikkei Business Electronic Version: What are the causes and points of solution for "there is RPA" that hinders company-wide expansion (Autumn 2019)
Nikkei XTECH Website: Save the exhausted design department! How to reduce the load on the designer (September 13, 2019)
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare website: Toward the realization of "work style reform"