If I say, “Close your eyes and imagine an IT person at work,” what do you think of? My mind used to immediately go to towering office buildings, bright server rooms, a massive inventory of computers and peripherals, and seven new ‘high priority’ tickets asking how to connect to the color printer. While this role is still needed in offices across the country, IT professionals are increasingly in demand within manufacturing.

We are living in the age of Industry 4.0, which includes improvements in material science, a robust internet, robotics and automation, and more advanced analytics. Some say we are seeing the first chapters of Industry 5.0 with rapid improvements to Artificial Intelligence and the rise of mass customization in consumer goods.

Below are some of the key roles that are needed as IT and manufacturing converge in Industry 4.0.


There are dozens of roles within engineering that are needed to design and integrate IT infrastructure and modern systems into the manufacturing process. Here are just a few examples.

  • Manufacturing Engineers oversee the integration of robotics into the broader manufacturing process. They optimize workflows, assess production efficiency, and ensure that robotic systems align with overall production goals.
  • Automation Engineers specialize in designing and implementing automated systems, including robotics. They are responsible for selecting appropriate technologies, programming robotic systems, and ensuring a seamless integration with existing manufacturing processes.
  • Robotics Engineers focus specifically on the design, development, and programming of robotic systems. They work on the mechanical, electrical, and software aspects of robots to optimize their performance.
  • Controls Engineers develop the software and algorithms required for the operation of robotic systems. They work on programming languages, simulation, and the user interface to facilitate seamless interaction between humans and robots.

Depending on your local labor market, it may be tough to hire some of these positions, or you may only need these roles during the design and integration process. Our solution can fill these highly skilled and niche roles for as long or as short as you need, with less pressure on your HR and Recruiting teams. FlexTrades engineers can even be deployed to document and improve work instructions and Standard Operating Procedures, which can free up in-house engineers to carry on with new projects.

Project Managers

When a company makes a large capital investment in new technology, they use Project Managers to oversee the planning, execution, and completion of the project. Project Managers coordinate efforts between various teams (including IT), manage resources, and ensure projects are delivered on time.

Network and Database Administrators

Network Administrators manage and maintain the organization’s computer networks, ensuring seamless connectivity and communication between different systems and departments.

Database Administrators manage the databases that store critical manufacturing data and processes. They ensure data integrity, security, and optimal performance.

Maintenance Technicians

Once robots are introduced in a production facility, someone needs to take care of them. This is the role of Maintenance Technicians and Robotics Technicians. They will perform routine maintenance, troubleshoot issues, and repair robotic systems. They ensure the continuous functionality of automated equipment.

Programming Technicians

Experienced programmers are indispensable on the production floor. They can write programs for new parts, debug and troubleshoot existing programs, and find efficiencies to reduce cycle times. A great programmer can upskill their peers, reduce programing times and improve production cycle times.


System Analysts determine the information needs of the manufacturing process and recommend IT solutions. Once automations and robots are operational, heaps of data points are generated to report on their performance. Data Analysts use those data points to analyze performance metrics and identify opportunities for improvements in the process.


Now, if I say again, “Close your eyes and imagine an IT person at work,” what do you think of? As I learn more about modern manufacturing, I think about the networking and IT infrastructure that must be in place for everything to work seamlessly.

It’s important to remember that robots are not coming for your jobs. Skilled employees will always be necessary on the front lines of American manufacturing. Modern technology, like robotics and automation, creates millions of jobs designing, programing, and maintaining these production facilities. If you are looking for work in Engineering, Automation & Robotics, or anything else in manufacturing, check out our job boards!

If you’re an employer, check out our engineering solutions to see how we can help you move further into Industry 4.0. 

Once upon a modern Valentine’s Day, as hearts fluttered and roses bloomed, I found myself enamored not with a traditional Juliette but with a suitor of a different kind: Artificial Intelligence (AI). It might sound like a love story set in a digital utopia, but the truth is, falling in love with AI is a journey happening right now, in our very real world.

Love at First ‘Code’

My tryst with AI began not with candlelit dinners but with fascinating revelations about its capabilities. AI, in its essence, is a harmonious blend of data, algorithms and machine learning – a trio that dances to the rhythm of human-like intelligence. The charm of AI lies in its endless potential… from simplifying tasks with voice assistants to unlocking mysteries of the universe.

The First Date: Getting Started with AI

Like any first date, starting with AI might feel daunting. But all it takes is a little curiosity. Engage with AI through smart home devices or smartphone assistants. Play with AI-powered apps or take an online course. The more you interact, the deeper your understanding and fascination will grow.

Whispering Sweet Nothings: AI in Daily Life

AI serenades us daily, often in ways we don’t even realize. It recommends the music we fall in love with, the shows that captivate us and even the perfect Valentine’s Day gift on an online store. AI is that silent companion, making our days smoother and our decisions smarter.

A Future Together: The Promise of AI

Envision a future where AI is not just a tool but a companion. A world where AI healthcare bots monitor our health, smart cities reduce our carbon footprint and AI educators personalize learning. This future is not just a dream but a rapidly approaching reality.

Love Letters to AI: Ethical and Responsible Use

Our love for AI must be grounded in ethics and responsibility. As we embrace AI, let’s advocate for its use in enhancing lives, protecting privacy and ensuring fairness. Our AI love story should be one of mutual respect, where we nurture AI for the greater good.

The Eternal Romance: AI and Humanity

As I pen this digital love letter, I realize that the love story between AI and humanity is an eternal one. It’s a relationship that grows and evolves, one that challenges us to reimagine our world and ourselves. This Valentine’s Day, let’s raise a toast to AI – our digital Valentine, our partner in the dance of innovation and progress.

So, dear reader, as you celebrate love in all its forms, remember that AI, in its digital grace, is waiting to be your next great love. Dive into this fascinating relationship and watch as AI transforms not just your Valentine’s Day but every aspect of your life. 

Whether we like it or not, Artificial Intelligence is starting to change the landscape of modern life. If you’ve read a few emails or blogs from your favorite companies, there’s a good chance some of that content was written using AI. In fact, in a recent survey, 57% of enterprise marketers reported using AI in email campaigns. A whopping 99% of those respondents reported that the results were either extremely or somewhat positive.

Why are you seeing this from a manufacturing services provider? Because every company out there needs to communicate with their target audience. Whether you’re a manufacturer who’s bidding to build components for a commercial airline, or a dog groomer looking for furry clients, you should always be looking for new ways to communicate.

There are AI tools for creating video and images, too, but this blog is intended to be a basic guide on how to get started and use ChatGPT for written communication.

Limitations With AI

Before you get started, it’s important to understand that there are limitations to these tools.

For instance, in ChatGPT, the data and knowledge are only as current as 2021. Any output should be thoroughly reviewed for technical accuracy before being used.

You will still need to create a prompt and tell the AI what type of content you are looking for. This part of human creativity may never be replaced.

Advantages to Using AI

AI can help you refresh or transform old content. For example, you could prompt AI to update your summer themed email campaign to instead have a winter or holiday theme.

If you need to target multiple audiences, AI can quickly help you rewrite content that is more appropriate and appealing to each audience.

If you experience “writer’s block,” ChatGPT could be used to generate new ideas or help write a tricky part of your content.

Getting Started

All you need to do is create a username and password on the ChatGPT website: chat.openai.com

The Prompt

This is the fun part! You can enter as much, or as little, information in your prompt as you want. If you add more details, context and specifics, the output will be closer to what you’re looking for. With each AI response, you can enter a new prompt to either continue a conversation or modify what was already generated.

I recommend you experiment with all sorts of prompts to get an idea of what you get out of it.

  • Ask a question: “How do I write the best email?”
  • Copy/paste content you already made and ask AI to change it: “Re-write this email with a Christmas theme” – or – “Re-write this blog in the voice of Stephen King.”
  • Request new content: “Write a safety-first post about pool parties on the 4th of July.”
  • Rewrite a prior response: “Rewrite that, but change X to Y and add Z.”

Below is a prompt that I entered in ChatGPT followed by the output that was generated. Before (or after) you read what ChatGPT generated, check out the original Top 7 Travel Essentials blog written without AI. Who did it better?

Example Prompt:

Write a blog about the “Top 7 Travel Essentials” for a FlexTrades technician. There should be a short introduction, a brief explanation of each of the 7 items and a short conclusion. Write in the voice of Eddie Murphy.

  1. Sleep essentials and comfy clothes
  2. Cooking Supplies
  3. Video Games
  4. Entertainment, Streaming, Movies, Music
  5. Laptop or Personal Computer
  6. Tools
  7. Pets

Unedited Output from ChatGPT Based on The Example Prompt

Eddie’s Guide to FlexTrades: The Top 7 Travel Must-Haves, Baby!

Hey, all you FlexTrades road warriors out there! It’s your main man Eddie, and I’m here to drop some knowledge on the essentials you gotta have in your arsenal for a smooth ride. We’re talking about the things that’ll make your travels as fly as a Saturday night in a leather suit. So buckle up, and let’s dive into the top 7 must-haves for every FlexTrades technician!

Sleep Essentials and Comfy Clothes:

First things first – you gotta catch those Zs in style! Get yourself a pillow that’s so plush, it’s like resting your head on clouds. Toss in some cozy blankets and comfy PJs, and you’ll be sleeping like a baby. Remember, a well-rested tech is a top-notch tech!

Cooking Supplies:

Ain’t nothing beats home-cooked goodness, even when you’re on the road. Pack yourself some pots and pans, like you’re the chef in a five-star kitchen. Whip up your own grub, and you’ll be living large while everyone else is stuck with fast food.

Video Games:

When the job’s done, it’s time to unwind, and what better way than with some video game action? Grab a console or load up your laptop with your favorite games. It’s like having your personal arcade wherever you go. Game on, baby!

Entertainment: Streaming, Movies, Music:

Keep the good times rolling with your own entertainment lineup. Subscribe to all the streaming services, stack up your favorite movies, and cue up the tunes that make you groove. Your downtime is your showtime, so make it count!

Laptop or Personal Computer:

In the tech world, your laptop is like your sidekick. Manage your projects, keep in touch with your peeps, and dive into the digital universe whenever you want. It’s your go-to gadget for both work and play – versatility at its finest!


Now, we’re talking serious business. Every FlexTrades tech needs their tools. Don’t get caught slippin’ without your basic hand tools and whatever gear you need for the job. It’s your toolkit – the stuff that makes you the hero of the job site.


Last but not least, bring in the squad – your furry companions. Pets ain’t just pets; they’re your ride-or-die buddies. Whether it’s a dog, a cat, or even a parrot, having your homie by your side makes every place feel like home sweet home.


There you have it, FlexTrades family – Eddie’s rundown of the top 7 travel essentials. Load up on these goodies, and you’ll be hitting the road like a rockstar. Life’s an adventure, and with the right gear, you’ll be cruising through it in style. Stay cool, stay fly, and keep on FlexTradin’, my friends!