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Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Success Story

Munich, September 28, 2023 - In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, innovation and productivity play a key role in industrial manufacturing. Digital solutions are becoming increasingly relevant for a successful business. HRSflow, one of Oerlikon's technology brands and part of the Polymer Processing division (OPP), sees significant potential in digital transformation. Their employees faced a challenge, which is known by many organizations: repetitive, time-consuming internal processes that leave them less time for creating real value for the company. The HRSflow IT and Operations department took the initiative to tackle this challenge by collaborating with the Digital Hub – Oerlikon's internal unit for accelerating digital transformation.

In the case of HRSflow, an effective solution was needed for releasing production orders through PLM and ERP applications. The HRSflow IT and Operations department recognized that this task had become too challenging for the team, placing an unbalanced workload especially during peak periods. The team reached out to the Process Automation Team of the Digital Hub, to find a suitable solution to digitize the release of production orders (PO) through robotic process automation (RPA).

RPA is an emerging technology which allows software robots or "bots" to imitate human behavior and interact seamlessly with various systems. The bot can perform various tasks like extracting data, moving files and logging into applications. By automating low-level, rule-based processes, RPA can shift the focus of the workforce from repetitive tasks to a more creative and strategic work that requires human judgment. It also allows easy integration and quick development and implementation as no deep coding knowledge is needed.

The team managed to implement a customized RPA solution for the production order release in a short timeframe. In just 20 days the team developed an automated process that combined two different software tools for the HRSflow production order release process. As the release of POs is characterized by low complexity but with big saving potential, the HRSflow case was an ideal case for process automation.

Great teamwork, creative ideas and strong commitment ensured a fast implementation and high accuracy of the robot. The process automation was built on three key foundations: a smart idea that harnessed RPA's potential, seamless collaboration across HRSflow departments and the Digital Hub, and a constant drive for excellence to achieve a powerful automation solution together. With this achievement, HRSflow becomes an inspiration, urging others at Oerlikon to uncover their potential, embrace new technologies, and foster continuous growth through digital transformation. It serves as a great example of the success of RPA and the ability to innovate within the company to become more digital.

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