Leveraging RPA in Product Lifecycle Management

Leveraging RPA in Product Lifecycle Management

May 9, 2018 1 By engineeringplm

Robotic Process Automation or RPA is a set of software tools that automate other computer softwares or tools. Undeniably, today, there is a huge market potential for RPA across industries. Even the PLM industry is gaining pace to leverage the power of RPA.

Traditionally, an inhouse hosted PLM solution is costly. There are costs associated with the buying licenses, annual maintenance cost, cost of customization and configuration of tool, cost of training and cost of integrating it with other systems. These costs often make PLM program very costly, even for big manufacturing companies. There is a lot of manual work even while using the plm system. For example, while creation of part we need to key in a lot of repetitive data. Also, there are lot of scenarios when data from plm system has to be copied to other systems manually. All these manual work takes away important resource time.

Robotic Process Automation Tools have the unique ability to simulate what humans do with computers. This means that we can simulate a process in RPA and make the bot do what us humans were doing repetitively with the PLM tool. The bot will work exactly like a human but at a much faster rate. Thus, copying data, validating huge datasets and inputting information in PLM systems can be done at a much faster rate. Use of RPA may reduce a PLM cost by several dollars if used efficiently.

However, we must not think that RPA is the answer to automate all manual work. RPA tools have their own limitations and the accuracy of the process needs to be checked on a regular basis.