1. Technology turns 'cool' into a more diverse industry.
Sometimes, the automated systems and state-of-the-art technologies do more than streamline operations. Sometimes, they just make science—and the rubber industry—cooler.
Honestly, that's OK, said Khaled Boqaileh, co-founder and CEO for LabsCubed. Because right about now, the industry could use a boost of cool.
The thing is, finding talent is tough. Attracting younger talent to the rubber industry can be even more difficult, especially when science and technology is making so many other sectors look more appealing.
"I really harped on this one when I first started (in the industry) seven years ago. There was less younger talent; we weren't attracting a lot of people into the industry into the rubber industry," Boqaileh said during his presentation focusing on the value that automation and AI bring to lab and testing settings. "It's not the sexiest industry. If you have the choice between coming to rubber and going to Tesla, you are going to choose Tesla most likely."
So why not embrace it? Why not embrace the cool stuff?
Doing so means that the latest lab and testing technology allows companies to test more quickly, collect more accurate results or better store and analyze data. Ultimately, that technology becomes one of their best marketing tools—at least, when it comes to recruiting the next generation.
"When you have young people coming through labs, they are coming through facilities, manufacturing facilities," Boqaileh said. "It is very easy to go in and see black on the wall everywhere—very old school manufacturing—when it comes to a lot of the rubber (facilities) we go into. But then you go into the lab and you see futuristic systems and things where they can imagine themselves like scientists with coats doing science-y things."