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The world is diverse. So, we can only serve the world, if we are diverse too,” says Verónica Pascual, CEO of ASTI TechGroup   

 In the latest installment of our Manufacturing the Future video series, Veronica acknowledges the link between diversity and innovation that’s empowering hers and other manufacturing companies to find better ways to serve their customers and create sustainable change.  

The desire to embrace digitalization, change, and diversity has been pivotal in enabling Verónica to transform her family’s business. Founded in 1982, autonomous mobile robot manufacturer, ASTI Mobile Robotics Group, grew under Verónica’s innovative leadership – amongst other things, she introduced international sales, which now account for 70% of all sales.  

Since 2015, the company has grown by almost 30% every year and was acquired by ABB Robotics in July 2021. In the third of our Manufacturing the Future video series, Verónica shares her inspiring story and how she has embraced digitalization and diversity to drive change within her family business. 

Building the new generation of flexible automation  

When ASTI was purchased by ABB, it marked a new era for the company, but also the continuation of a culture of innovation. Digitalization has empowered the companies to automate internal logistics and ensure global growth through processes, products, and inter-relationships throughout the value chain. Data provides both companies with insights to improve their customer interactions, understand customer behavior, and add value to existing products.   

Creating best-in-class robotics means watching for and adapting to key trends. That’s something Verónica has been keen to incorporate into her company. ASTI’s integration with ABB has resulted in a new focus on bringing to life the new generation of flexible automated robots, revolutionizing how they serve their customers. The companies’ shared vision and capacity to combine robots, collaborative robots, interconnected cells, mobile robots, and discreet automation in one system brings even more value to their customers. 

ASTI and ABB’s industrial customers have a keen focus on how they can adapt in order to support the needs of a changing world. And as Verónica reflects on the increasing need to create adaptable products, she acknowledges that this is an exciting opportunity to transform in order to serve customers – something she believes can only be done if diverse talent is involved in the process. 

Nurturing diverse talent 

Fostering a diverse team of talented robotics experts for the future is something Verónica and ASTI are passionate about. To generate early interest in robotics, the company created the ASTI Foundation, giving youngsters the chance to play with robots, plan projects, and simulate changes.  

One of the projects, STEM Talent Girl, was founded six years ago as part of the partnership with ABB. The project identifies and nurtures early talent in girls and operates across 11 sites, with around 1,000 girls taking part.  

Why is diversity such a priority for ASTI and ABB? Verónica references the large number of studies linking diversity to innovation. “Diversity is a must for our companies because with diverse talent, we can bring much more value in the way we operate,” she says. “The varied perspectives make problem-solving easier in today’s ever-changing world.” 

Verónica’s entrepreneurship has transformed her family’s business, and she hopes her example will continue to drive change not only across manufacturing, but other industries too. “We all need to be responsible and take active actions into making our industries and our companies more diverse,” she says. 

Want to learn more about how entrepreneurial women are powering the manufacturing revolution? Don’t miss our Women Power session at Hannover Messe Industrie on June 2 from 11:00 to 12:30.

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