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Bühler Leybold Optics

Exploring Digital Workforce Solutions to Achieve Factory Transformation

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Bühler Leybold Optics, is a German manufacturer specializing in high-end vacuum coating equipment and a global leader in the precision optics field. The company is dedicated to providing the best products and most comprehensive services to users around the world, possessing the world's most advanced vacuum coating technology, which represents the highest level of development in the coating industry.

To implement the goal of building a digital factory, Bühler Leybold Optics has introduced an MES system (Manufacturing Execution System) that needs to be effectively integrated with the existing ERP (SAP) system to carry out the company's digital transformation. There is a substantial amount of various types of business data that need to be connected between ERP and MES to complete business processes, urgently requiring a low-cost, short-cycle, and flexible method to provide efficient and reliable technical support for the data and business flow between systems.

To further support the strategic development of the group, Bühler Leybold Optics initiated the Laiye RPA (Robotic Process Automation) deployment project at the beginning of 2021. Currently, Bühler Leybold Optics has deployed RPA software robots in multiple departments, including the warehouse, production, planning, and procurement, across 14 scenarios. These involve key business processes such as production planning, purchase orders, warehouse receipt and shelving, and production operations.

Bill of Materials (BOM) Synchronization Scenario: 100% Accuracy, Automated Handling of Massive Data

The Bill of Materials (BOM) is an essential data document in the manufacturing industry, containing a detailed list of raw materials, components, subcomponents, and other materials required to build a product. It serves as the funda mental basis for computerized material recognition. Manual processing is prone to even the smallest oversight or omission, which could lead to errors in material planning, logistics demands, and cost accounting.

With the increase in business volume, the planning department staff at Lebao Optics are tasked with developing production plans and business communications, while also needing to enter multiple project orders, with thousands of BOMs daily. They handle 100 to 200 reports, each containing 1 to 2000 pieces of data. After deploying RPA software robots, data file processing and SAP system data uploads can be automated. Once the upload is complete, the person in charge is notified via email to review, ensuring a 100% accuracy rate while significantly relieving the planning department personnel from the pressure of repetitive work.

Purchase Order Drawing Download Scenario: Automated Nighttime Operations Keep Business Going While Employees Rest

The procurement staff at Bühler Leybold Optics need to download project drawings based on purchase orders every day. After retrieving the day's purchase order numbers from the SAP system, they must download and move the drawings to a designated target folder. Downloading a single drawing can take about 2 hours, with an average daily volume of around 30 drawings. This not only involves monotonous and repetitive tasks, but also the downloading process consumes a significant amount of network resources, affecting the smooth operation of other business activities.

To reduce network strain and to free up human resources, Bühler Leybold Optics automated this task using RPA software robots. They utilize the off-hours at night for downloading. The software robot can automatically log into the SAP system, retrieve and download drawings, and once the download is complete, it automatically moves the files to the specified folder. This is ready for the procurement department staff to use the next day, thereby reducing the workload of 4 procurement personnel and achieving a "Keep Business Going While Employees Rest" digital factory office model.

Greater Stability and Safety:  Detail about Our Unique Technical Advantages

Since RPA is an automation technology implemented by simulating manual operations, conventional deployment may encounter issues with selecting and positioning due to changes in interface elements' location or properties. Furthermore, during the process of simulating mouse and keyboard operations, errors can also arise from external disturbances, such as the inability to input into text fields.

Bühler Leybold Optics has chosen to deploy RPA using an "encapsulated SAP GUI (Graphical User Interface)" approach, which ensures compatibility with SAP, giving the software robots improved adaptability. This allows for more precise element manipulation, achieving a zero-error rate, and is unaffected by keyboard and mouse, making the process run more reliably and stably, doubling the usual speed. At the same time, Laiye’s RPA can also support minimized execution. Employees can use the RPA software robots while carrying out other office operations normally, without worrying about obstructions and with enhanced security, truly realizing human-machine collaboration!

Digital transformation is an inevitable trend, and in the work of digital business transformation, the need for data interoperability between systems and upgrades to automation and intelligence are emerging one after another. Enterprises can use various technologies such as RPA and AI to reduce the repetitive workload of employees and allow employees to focus on higher-value tasks. While ensuring high-quality completion of business tasks, they can also achieve personal value growth and rapid company development.

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