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A robot came to work
Specialists from Taborny and Gross mines felt the advantages of automating routine processes
Waste of time, frequent mistakes of the human factor, irrational use of staff, plus a protracted process of analytics and reporting - all this is designed to eliminate robots at the Taborny and Gross mines.
When it comes to robots, then an iron-plastic semblance of a human image is immediately presented. I remember Terminator, Robocop, Artu-Dita from Star Wars, the cartoon WALL-E, a robot named Chappy and numerous transformers. But in essence robots are, first of all, programs, electronic algorithms. They automate all sorts of processes from a variety of systems, files, web interfaces. They can launch other robots and automate complex processes. It is this ability to automate different environments at the same time that robots differ from other programs.
NIGHT CHANGE ROBOT
How can a robot replace a person and make routine work easier? Let's figure it out with Natalia Zhebrakova, Senior Analyst at Nordgold Innovation, who is managing the robotics project. A robot is a program that is customized by a developer to repeat / imitate human actions. Our current robotic automation platform (RPA) is called Kofax Kapow. For example, a robot for drawing up production and technical reporting “works” like this. As soon as the production data on the extraction and processing of ore is ready, the employees of the PTO (production and technical department) inform the robot about it. This usually happens in the evening at the very beginning of the month, employees go home, and the robot remains on the "night shift".
“A smart program takes input files, selects the necessary values from there, opens a special SAP MII platform, fills in the parameters there, and begins to transfer data from the file to the platform tables one by one. First, monthly indicators, then monthly. After filling in the tables, the robot sends data from SAP MII to SAP ERP - this is another intelligent system that allows you to control the production process online and assess the dynamics of enterprise development, says Natalya.
VET specialists of Taborny and Gross have already felt the advantages of robotization of routine processes. Now at the enterprise in five hours one robot collects data from files for calculating and reconciling production indicators, and entering them into accounting systems. Thus, the robot performs the same work overnight that four employees used to do in three days.
The second program is “employee” - a robot for entering planned and actual production data for calculating the monthly bonus in the HR block. Natalia Zhebrakova explained how the process looked like before him.
“The VET prepared a file, transferred it to the personnel service, where they copied the data from this file into their two files - one for control, the second for entering into the system according to the established template. Then they made controls and transferred the second file to the CES (center of a single service). The CES opened the file and copied the data into the SAP system (often with errors), plus launched a number of audit transactions in SAP. "
Now everything looks different. The VET prepares the file, uploads it to the network at a certain time, the robot automatically starts at this time, takes this file and, bypassing several human hands, directly transfers the indicators to SAP, also launches a number of control transactions in SAP, which were also simplified and combined in one step ... Voila! The process is shortened, closing is accelerated, the likelihood of errors when copying and transferring information from one employee to another is reduced.
In 15-20 minutes, the robot collects data from files for calculating premiums and enters them into the accounting system - before robotization, several specialists spent up to two hours a day on this in total.
HOW TO MANAGE?
Development of algorithms for the robot and its support is the task of external developers - the project company "Miotech", but Natalia Zhebrakova is engaged in building the process and managing the project. Mine employees also do not stand aside - they describe the process algorithm at the development stage, provide the necessary files for configuration, give feedback on errors during the process stabilization period, the IT service maintains the server infrastructure for stable operation.
Was it necessary to train employees who directly deal with robots?
“Of course, we did not have a single meeting with colleagues to talk about what a robot is, how it works and what it will do with data. We issued reminders for a new scheme of work, taking into account the inclusion of a robot in the process. All actions are spelled out. There are no difficulties to understand this, ”explained Natalya Zhebrakova.
In a month, the robot saves three working days for each employee involved in the production closure and half a working day for the personnel service, and the specialists' time is now spent on more intelligent tasks. Work did not replace a person, but made his work easier, allowed him to forget about routine and concentrate on higher priority tasks. Meanwhile, the robots correctly and according to a given schedule perform template functions: processing, reconciliation and entering data into accounting systems for calculating premiums, monthly and monthly production indicators, compiling tables for bonuses, daily and monthly reports, and much more.
The process robotics project at Nordgold is interesting and ambitious. The company is open to innovation and strives to improve. Seeing the effectiveness of the implementation of robots, Nordgold planned roboticization of several more processes. Cooperation with Miotech in this direction will continue. The company's designers are already developing two new robots and are consulting with Nordgold employees on how to work with innovation. Another contribution to the technological development of the company took place. Robots are changing the world.