Both our CEO Narcís Puigdemont and the General Manager of an important partner of ours, Hoffmann Group Iberia, were recently interviewed an article picked up by a number of news outlets in Spain, including our local city newspaper, Diari de Girona. The article was rather long, so we’ve decided to break it into three bite-sized chunks for our company blog/news page.

The first instalment covered some ways in which we work with partners like Hoffmann Group to ensure that our workforce always have the resources they need in order work efficiently in response to our worldwide customers’ fast-changing requirements. Isn’t this quite an obscure topic for a general audience largely made up of people who do not work in manufacturing? We didn’t think so. Despite our own successful efforts to tap into the manufacturing talent the region around our production facility near Girona, we are mindful of the wider skills shortage making life challenging in developed economies around and beyond Europe. We therefore take any opportunity to communicate the reality of today’s manufacturing jobs – dynamic work environments constantly improved by the adoption of exciting new technologies rather than the dirty and possibly hazardous jobs that seem to exist in the popular imagination.

In this second instalment of our adaptation of the original article, we turn our attention to one particular area of technology that might capture that popular imagination more effectively than any other – artificial intelligence.

Both Narcís and Hoffmann Group Iberia’s Alejandro Mengual were asked about the topic of AI.

“Some of the most common uses of AI in industry are process automation, data analysis, security improvement, personalisation, and process optimisation,” Mengual remarked. “In Spain, according to a study by Strand Partners, 36% of companies have adopted AI technologies. If the current adoption rate is maintained, AI could contribute an extra 55 billion Euros to Spain’s GDP by 2030.”

Narcís went into a little more detail:

“Digitalisation and AI are crucial in our daily production because they increase our efficiency and precision. These technologies allow us to monitor and analyse production data in real time, facilitating predictive maintenance that minimises downtime. In addition, they optimise our inventory management, ensuring that the necessary tools and resources are available just when they are needed, thereby avoiding cost overruns due to excess stock. In essence, digitalisation and AI have allowed us to streamline our production processes, improve decision-making and increase competitiveness in the market.”

Tecma customers and prospective customers reading these words may well take heart. Tecma is clearly a supplier whose competitive offering will continue to be enhanced by the smart deployment of technologies which enable to bake efficiency

into our pricing, lead times and distribution. But could an emphasis on AI and automation more widely by manufacturing companies worsen rather than improve their attractiveness as employers for young people?

We don’t think so. Tecma has continued to grow in terms of headcount as well as in terms of revenue at the same time as constantly refining our use of new technologies.

In addition to simple headcount growth, the jobs we’ve been creating are increasingly far from resembling the physically demanding, repetitive, low-skill jobs that many people seem to associate with manufacturing.

An ongoing challenge for businesses and policymakers seeking to address manufacturing skill shortages will be to keep maximising efficiencies by adopting the most promising technologies at the same time as communicating how this is a positive thing for young people choosing between careers in our sector vs. supposedly more stimulating roles in other fields. Our experience is that good progress can be made in this area. We hope that this sort of progress can be scaled and made widely across and beyond Europe.

AI – What does it mean for jobs in manufacturing?

Helping customers meet their sustainability goals

Our CEO Narcís Puigdemont and the General Manager of an important partner of ours, Hoffmann Group Iberia, were recently featured in an article that gained attention from various news outlets