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130 I-CONNECT007 I REAL TIME WITH... IPC APEX EXPO 2022 SHOW & TELL MAGAZINE Voices of the Show: Jerry Reitz, Chemcut Interview by Barry Matties While touring the show floor at IPC APEX EXPO, Barry Matties visited with Jerry Reitz at Chemcut, who demonstrates a new robotic arm that's easily program- mable and frees up engineers to do other important work. Barry Matties: We're back here at APEX EXPO after two years. What are your feel- ings about what's going on? Jerry Reitz: I think it's great to be back, especially the break that we've had from it and everything that's going on. Busi- ness is good. I think people are looking to move on and get back into it. Matties: It's really exciting. What do you expect to get out of this show? Reitz: To just get back into it, see more customers, see new things, and introduce new products that we're offering. Matties: Now, we're here at your booth and I'm looking at a robotic arm. Is this a new addition this year? Reitz: At the beginning of the year, we part- nered with a company out of the United Kingdom, and we're going to start offering it as a part of our material handling package. Matties: So, the simplicity of this thing is quite good? Reitz: Absolutely. You don't have to have any previ- ous experience to program it. It can be done man- ually, or it can be done through the software that comes with the robot. Matties: Now, one of the things I often hear about, particularly in our industry, is people say, "Well, auto- mation isn't for me. We're small. We're prototypes. We're this. We're that." But this level of automation is something that everybody should be considering. Would you agree? Reitz: Absolutely, especially in the job market today. It's not meant to replace people. That's the first mis- conception. What we're doing is freeing up people. Instead of having a good technical operator that may have more experience and can do other tech- nical jobs, he's now able just to load it, walk away, and let it do its thing. It takes out errors. A lot of times operators are placing it wrong, not intention- ally, obviously, but it takes a lot of those errors away. That's the main goal here.

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