With margins so thin, manufacturers are constantly looking for new methods for expediting their process. Any successful veteran business understands that the key to longevity is efficiency and the ability to change with the times. Modern factories and warehouses now heavily rely on automation to streamline their process and reduce labor costs, so you could get left behind if you aren’t already employing this technology. As you look to expand your facility’s automated practices, explore the difference between robotic process automation and AI to see why either would be right for your business.
What Is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?
Robotic process automation describes the use of specialized computer software to program a robot to complete a specific function. RPA robots are used to perform simple repetitive tasks because, unlike humans, they never make mistakes and never get tired. The robot isn’t necessarily supposed to replace a worker, but instead, to work as an assistant, so you can have skilled labor focused on less tedious jobs.
An RPA machine also can’t learn or teach itself, and it won’t ever develop better or faster ways for production. Instead, what it brings to the table is reliability. You can always count on a well-programmed RPA robot to complete its task.
What Is Automation With Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
Artificial intelligence is when a machine is programmed to simulate information processing like a human. AI machines can be taught to learn, which means it can process and contextualize information. Then, it can reason what it’s learned, meaning the AI can draw conclusions from what it has experienced. And, it also can self-correct by making changes based on failures and successes.
Unlike RPA, which is seen as an assistant to human workers, engineers view AI as a replacement for traditional labor. Since these robots can monitor themselves, they give the opportunity for end-to-end unattended automation.
Modern Applications of AI
AI is the evolutionary next step in automation. Its ability to learn and dissect information is why AI gets used for image recognition and machine vision. For example, with 3D bin-picking systems, the AI robot’s camera can create a multilayered image of what it sees to identify different items from one another. Then, the technology can search for a particular item and grab it out of a bin full of other objects. A standard process in industrial and logistics warehouses now, this technology would have been unimaginable only a few decades ago.
After checking out what’s the difference between robotic process automation and AI, it becomes clear how this technology could be immensely helpful in creating more efficient practices for your business regardless of the size of your operation. Reach out to our team at Control Systems Design to learn how we could help your company with seamless industrial automation system integration.