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Applications of RPA in manufacturing

Peter Pfeiffer; Peter Fettke
In: Christian Czarnecki; Peter Fettke. Robotic Process Automation. Chapter 16, Pages 315-346, ISBN 9783110676693, De Gruyter Oldenbourg, Berlin/Munich/Boston, 5/2021.


Robotic process automation (RPA) tools are nowadays frequently used in sectors with primarily office work like services, telecommunications, administration, finance, and insurance. However, industrial domains like manufacturing also have huge potential for RPA to automate a large variety of tasks. As in office work, there are a lot of more or less complex activities and workflows that are repetitive and errorprone. In this chapter, we will introduce potential use cases for RPA in manufacturing along the Y-CIM model and show one practical application of cognitive RPA in this domain for retrieving a computer-aided design (CAD) model from a query image. The digitalization of the industrial sector offers a lot of possibilities for automation. Many processes are supported by computer-aided machines and information is stored and shared using a unified database. During product development and production, CAD is frequently used nowadays to design and modify a workpiece realistically on a computer before going into production. During manufacturing, CAD data are available and can be used in computer-aided machines to automate certain parts of the manufacturing process. A new artificial intelligence application will be introduced which is able to propose a list of CAD models from a database given a photo of a workpiece. An operator can check this list and select the correct CAD model. This is not only a new method to retrieve CAD models from images but also one of the first approaches to enable the use of RPA in the industrial domain.


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