‘Calbots’ are coming!
Learn how Robotic Process Automation could revolutionize the way you run your calibration business.
What is RPA?
RPA(Robotic process automation) is an automation technology built on the concept of bots which are programs that could perform rules-driven business processes. Bots can imitate activities such as data entry & validation, periodic report preparation, sending email alerts etc. Organisations could improve productivity and save money by automating labour intensive and repetitive jobs by employing RPA.
How Calibration Labs could benefit from RPA?
Problem 1: Data Migration from legacy systems
A typical calibration lab 10 years or older would be using at least one legacy software tool from which they wish to migrate. The most important factor that stands in the way of moving to a new application is the cost for data migration which eats up at least 20 – 30% of the budget.
Robotic process automation( RPA) is the best tool for solving this problem as data migration is a highly rule-based process. For any data migration project, the standard methodology followed is Extract – Transform – Load ( ETL).
There will be a predefined set of rules to extract data from the legacy system ( directly from the database or from the user interface with the help of screen scrapping tools). The next step would be to transform the data into the target format and finally to load it to the target system.
The loaded data will be verified and corrected. Roll back and recovery procedures could also be defined for every stage of migration.
Problem 2: Direct Integration with OEM software viz Metcal, Procal etc.
There are two kinds of calibration software in the market,
(a)Software that is released by equipment manufacturers which allows direct data acquisition and automated calibration procedures(e.g.: Fluke Metcal )
(b)Software which allows extensive data manipulation, calibration report preparation, work tracking, onsite calibrations, dashboards etc (e.g.: Metquay).
The lack of APIs( application program interface) from Metcal & Procal prevents seamless integration with tools like Metquay which could do extensive uncertainty calculations, reporting etc across various disciplines in a calibration lab.
If commercial calibration labs are allowed to leverage the features from both types of software, it would result in a tremendous increase in productivity compared to relying on one of them where the users have to either compromise on direct data acquisition or flexible data manipulation and reporting.
One of the unique features of RPA is the ability to work seamlessly across multiple systems without the need for APIs. RPA tools such as Ui Path could easily interact with Metcal, Procal etc by mimicking human actions and transfer data to Metquay where the data could be manipulated and reported in the most effective way.
The optical character recognition(OCR) in RPA could read data from instrument manuals, barcode labels, pdf documents etc and populate them in Metquay for downstream operations.
The candidate processes are not just limited to data migration and system integrations. Any process which involves a set of repetitive tasks executed based on a rule set could be automated using RPA.
To understand more about harnessing the power of RPA for your calibration lab, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Our extensive domain knowledge in the field of calibration along with our expertise in RPA can help you automate your processes in the most efficient and cost-effective way.