MMK Recognised for Large-Scale Robotisation Initiative
Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) was named the winner in the special category “RPA Import Substitution” at the prestigious CNews Awards 2022. MMK’s Chief IT Specialist Vadim Feoktistov represented the Company at the awards ceremony, which took place during the CNews Forum 2022, a major annual IT-industry event.
MMK began to develop robotic process automation (RPA, specialised computer programmes that work with other software to perform the functions of a human being) in 2018, when the Company launched a large-scale project to identify processes suitable for robotisation. The robotisation drive engaged nearly all of the Company’s functional and structural units, and in 2019 MMK received an award for the largest RPA project among Russian manufacturing companies. In 2022, following the exit of foreign RPA platform manufacturers from the Russian market, MMK faced the complicated task of transferring all its robotic business processes and infrastructure to domestic software without interrupting its ongoing activities.
“MMK’s main divisions have long been making extensive use of RPA technology to make their business processes more efficient,” said Vadim Feoktistov. “This year, we successfully migrated our RPA systems to a domestic platform while staying within the scope of our original budget. We will continue to develop software robots, as we are already seeing positive results in terms of improving our business processes.”
A study by Deloitte attests to the scale of RPA development at MMK: in early 2021, the Company was named among the 4% of Russian companies with the highest level of robotisation. RPA is part of MMK’s extensive digitalisation strategy and its Industry 4.0 initiative, which are focused on developing digital solutions for practical use and span areas such as data analytics, digital twins, the IoT and much more.
MMK has carried out a large number of successful RPA projects as part of its digitalisation strategy. In 2021, a separate company, LLC Next Centre for Robotic Technologies, was established to work on MMK’s RPA-related activities. The same year, MMK and Next won the GlobalCIO Project of the Year competition in the category “Best RPA Solution in Metallurgy,” as well as receiving an award for their contribution to the development of the RPA market in Russia and the CIS. In turn, Next was named RPA Company of the Year by Tadvizer.
“Such extensive and complex RPA projects not only improve the efficiency of our business but also advance the development of RPA technology in our country,” said Mikhail Verisov, Director of Next.
RPA at MMK now covers both individual business tasks and comprehensive solutions for ongoing processes. For example, MMK has a Digital Office consisting entirely of digital employees – RPA software robots – that ensure the continuous tracking and payment for scrap metal to meet the Company’s production needs, which is a key strategic business process. In order to increase the robots’ reliability, sustainability and compliance with security requirements, MMK specialists created a comprehensive RPA security system. At the same time, the robots are integrated into MMK’s overall IT security structure, which ensures that the system is sufficiently secure.