Exhibitor Spotlight: ATS Automation


INTERPHEX created a quick questionnaire to learn more about ATS Automation. In this exhibitor spotlight, Catherine Thacker, answers our questions.

Tell us how your company started and how has your company evolved into what it is today?
Founded in 1978, ATS Automation has become one of the global leaders in sophisticated automation systems for the life sciences, computer/electronics, energy, transportation, and consumer products industries. ATS provides innovative, custom designed, built and installed manufacturing solutions to many of the most successful companies in the world.  Growing from humble roots in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, ATS now employs approximately 4,500 people at 24 manufacturing facilities and over 50 offices in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and China.  

How has the industry changed/evolved?
Gone are the days of block buster drugs, large batch sizes and relatively straight forward products.  Instead, we are seeing moves toward personalized medicines, small batch runs, make-to-order rather than make-to-inventory, increasingly complex products, and a proliferation of variants.  The time for the associated line clearances and changeovers can adversely impact throughput.  Smaller batches can make it difficult to justify dedicated automation.  Variants can increase the equipment cost and complexity.  This puts significant pressure on both manufacturers and their suppliers to find highly flexible but cost effective production solutions, solutions that can be understood, operated, and maintained by today’s workforce.  The manufacturer who partners with a smart automation company will be the one who arrives at the workable, novel approach, the agile solution.   

What is your company’s biggest success thus far?
The trust and loyalty that ATS Life Sciences has achieved with our customers is our biggest success.  Our record of on-time delivery, the repeatable and sustainable product quality produced with our equipment, and the confidence in the equipment’s reliability to meet market demand and ability to satisfy CGMP requirements have directly contributed to a better than 90% repeat customer base.

What don't most people realize about you or your company?
ATS Life Sciences has steadily grown its business quietly and without much fanfare over the past 40+ years. Our reputation has spread by word of mouth.  As a result, most people have no comprehension of the scale of or talent within ATS Life Sciences.  Customers visiting one of our sites for the first time have expressed more than once their amazement at the size and outfitting of our facilities, the caliber and breadth of skills of our staff, the extent of our experience and capabilities, and the innovation we drive and deliver.  ATS Life Sciences is not the local machine shop; we are an end-to-end partner to multinational customers.

What are you looking forward to at INTERPHEX this year?
This a fantastic opportunity for thought leaders and manufacturers to meet and exchange views on market challenges and trends, unmet needs, emerging technologies, innovation, and so much more.  We are anticipating many lively discussions with customers, existing and potential, about where their pain points are and how we can help them.