Please tell us a bit about the company and why you are at PPMA 2018.
Astec IT Solutions are a software systems integrator and a solution provider. Mostly we supply to the manufacturing sector, but we do work across a number of verticals.
We are looking to help manufacturing businesses optimize their processes and increase their yields. We do that with a number of different solutions, some of them in a very traditional market. We use data storage and reporting, and analytics to help them get the next level in their processes.
For customers who have multiple plants or machines out in the field, then industrial IOT can really serve them well. That is where we're able to get data from a whole range of disparate systems in any location and make that available for either analytics or for visualization from any device. This is where the future is going to be for our market.
What makes you unique in the marketplace?
We tend to be involved at the forefront of the technologies as they emerge. Sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes it makes for a more difficult sale. But we are able to offer our customers a view into where things are going to be over the coming decade, rather than talking about things that are available now and pushing solutions that have been around for a long time.
What are you hoping to get out of the show this year?
We are here really just to make sure people are aware that Astec exists.
In a show such as this, that's obviously based for packaging machinery, there may be end users who are looking to put that machinery in their factories, but who also need solution then that work above the actual machinery level; particularly around the use of data. People often don't collect enough data. When they collect it, they don't do anything with it, and they certainly don't analyze it to make decisions, and that's what's going to start to differentiate companies going forward. Successful manufacturers will be those that use their data to maximum effect.