There was a time when humans alone drove the manufacturing industry, performing repetitive, dirty, dull and dangerous tasks. Robots and automation have taken over many of these tasks: According to the International Federation of Robotics, 3 million industrial robots were deployed in 2021 worldwide, representing a growth of 10% from 2020. The collaborative robot (cobot) market is growing even faster and is expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2030. Many skeptics still believe that robots are eliminating manufacturing jobs. Flex’s Jonathan Crespo Rodriguez thinks this is entirely wrong and plans to share prescriptive steps and pitfalls to avoid when approaching automation in the factory. He will discuss how robots free humans and enable them to focus on higher-value tasks. And he’ll explain how the rise of robots is creating new jobs for workers. He will highlight his company’s automation journey as an example, explaining how Flex uses robots to support non-value-added tasks, including machine tool tending, material removal, palletizing, material handling, welding and assembly. He will also share how automation improves Flex’s competitiveness, making the company more price-competitive while achieving higher throughput and improving the quality and consistency of products. Jonathan believes robots, cobots and humans are better together for the manufacturing industry.