On the sofa with… José Luis Casal, expert in digital business models, betanceiro and entrepreneur.

Advanced Manufacturing Madrid – Artificial Intelligence has resonated strongly in recent months, what does its irruption mean for industry?

José Luis Casal – Speaking about what artificial intelligence has to do with how it affects industry, we could say that it is a fundamental ingredient in this time of transformation. In fact, artificial intelligence as such is one of the enabling technologies of Industry 4.0 and allows, above all, certain repetitive tasks to be taken out of the way and people to dedicate themselves to more human tasks that are more focused on creativity.

For example, in industrial issues such as machine vision, the creation of patterns in quality control issues and so it becomes like a fundamental thing that improves productivity, improves, reduces error rates and in the end you get with the performance in whatever industry it is in particular, it improves substantially.

AMM – Transformation is key for companies to continue to shine in the near future, but do you think SMEs will be able to adapt in the same way?

J.L Casal – To see if SMEs can adapt at the same pace as a large company, the answer is that they need other things, because often, precisely because they are SMEs and have a smaller size, their resources are also smaller. Sometimes they do not have a dedicated team for the whole transformation process, but it must go on. In this case, it is always advisable to have a travelling companion or a partner who can accompany you and give you the best guarantees to achieve your objectives.

As I say, it must always be done with humility, being clear about what your company really needs and not falling into fashions that because everyone else has it, I want it too, sanity must prevail. And well, we are at a time, moreover, when for certain transformation processes there is a lot of investment aid that we can use to help us.

AMM – What are the main challenges that companies in the sector will have to face in order to boost growth?

J.L Casal – With regard to the challenges that companies have to face in order to continue to grow and move forward, above all we have to separate a little, to see what is happening on a geostrategic and geopolitical level. We are in a somewhat convulsive moment with the whole issue of Ukraine, with the issue of possible recessions, interest rate rises, which in the end all of this hampers and harms possible investments. But above all, we need to be attentive, to invest in automation, to try to generate a change in the internal processes of organisations.

As I was saying a moment ago, there are people, there are companies that are approached by partners, by a bit of technology, and they see that they still have a long way to go. In order to improve competitiveness, it is necessary to move forward quickly, to grow quickly, to look at others. As I was saying before, in order to play in the same league, because if we change league we are, we are now lost and at a time when there is a change of roles towards a less globalised world, it is important to be a priority player in your markets.

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