I wrote my first process automation for a manufacturing business over 25 years ago. As background, product rejected by quality control were internally impounded and stored in a locked cage. The need for a larger cage triggered a process review. At that time there was no 'world wide web' and it was early days for software supporting what would become known as email. "Reject Notes" were multi-part paper documents that were carried from department to department by hand. Other than seeing the items in these quarantine cages, management had no view on size of what was clearly a growing issue. There was no accurate assessment of the monetary value of the segregated product.
These Reject Notes might be left on the desk of the next person to action, or buried in their in-tray. The person might be on holiday. Due process was being circumvented by somebody writing "Not Required" for what was intended to be a essential check.
Consequently, items were being reworked when it was not economic, or the perceived fault was in truth a desired feature. Thousands of pounds worth of product was impounded, meaning even more thousands of pounds was being spent manufacturing urgently needed replacements to satisfy promised delivery dates. This carried the penalties of paying over-time rates and disrupting planned schedules.
Valuable factory floor space was be taken up by ever larger cages.
The automated process