ATS Introduces Specialized Automation Consulting Service For Healthcare Companies | Automation.com

ATS Introduces Specialized Automation Consulting Service For Healthcare Companies

May 032004
CAMBRIDGE, ON, May 3 /CNW/ - ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. today announced it has introduced a specialized automation engineering consulting service to further enhance the high value solutions it provides to pharmaceutical, medical diagnostics and medical device customers.

The new service, called ATS Compliant Solutions, is the first of its kind in the automation industry dedicated to helping healthcare companies fully assess, plan, implement and qualify their automation projects.

In announcing the creation of ATS Compliant Solutions, ATS President and Chief Executive Officer Klaus Woerner said: "Because of rigorous government regulations, combined with mounting pressure to improve productivity and profitability, healthcare companies face a unique set of challenges when it comes to manufacturing processes and manufacturing compliance. As a result, there is a substantial need in the marketplace for comprehensive professional advisory and engineering consulting services that are specifically dedicated to helping healthcare customers make the right decisions with respect to manufacturing processes and automation. This need will be fully met by the experts at ATS Compliant Solutions.

"This new service enables customers to define and implement automation solutions that meet not only the highest regulatory standards but also the highest standards for efficiency, throughput, quality and cost-effectiveness."

Mr. Woerner added that this new strategic initiative was launched in direct response to "very strong interest in these types of value-added services from customers in healthcare in general and pharmaceuticals in particular. ATS is uniquely positioned to add consulting engineering to its capabilities because of our comprehensive knowledge of healthcare and pharmaceutical automation and our extensive turnkey integration capabilities."

The team assembled for ATS Compliant Solutions includes both automation industry professionals and veterans with direct experience in healthcare and pharmaceutical markets. The group will be led by Thomas Hayes, P.Eng., General Manager, who has more than 20 years' experience in senior operating and consulting roles in the highly-regulated pharmaceutical industry, and will be supported by a core group of process experts as well as by the in-house engineering capabilities of ATS.

Said Mr. Hayes: "ATS Compliant Solutions will enable customers to get the most out of each dollar invested because they can look to us for turn-key, unbiased and comprehensive knowledge of automation planning, design, proof of principle, and of course, production and implementation.

"The role of ATS Compliant Solutions is to work collaboratively with customers from the initial planning stage right through to implementation and qualification. With this service, applying automation for competitive advantage will become easier, less time-consuming and more efficient for all customers, whether they are new to automation or are already benefiting from it.

ATS Compliant Solutions will have a worldwide reach with an initial special emphasis on the so-called pharmaceutical corridor in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It will offer automation planning, project management, process development, process validation, certification, documentation, operational efficiency improvement, automation simulation, process development and proof of principle services.

"As long-time customers of ATS know, we've always provided more than equipment and technology as part of our total solutions strategy," said Mr. Woerner. "Knowledge has always been the cornerstone of our capabilities. With the creation of ATS Compliant Solutions, we've formalized the delivery of consulting engineering and this will allow us to offer an unparalleled level of customer support."

Automation in Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals
Improving manufacturing technology, quality and yields has recently become a critical objective for the drug development and manufacturing industry. It is already a preoccupation for diagnostics and medical device manufacturers. These high growth industries regard improved manufacturing productivity and quality as key opportunities to lower costs and maintain profit margins in the face of increasing competition and government cost containment initiatives. This has created significant interest in automation and in ATS in particular, the world leader in automation. Today, pharmaceuticals represent about two thirds of the $550 billion global healthcare product market, and this industry is forecast to grow 12% annually over the next 5 years.

About ATS
ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (www.atsautomation.com) is the industry's leading designer and producer of turn-key automated manufacturing and test systems, which are used primarily by multinational corporations operating in a variety of industries including: automotive, electronics, healthcare, and consumer products. The Company also makes precision components and sub-assemblies using its own custom-built manufacturing systems, process knowledge and automation technology. Through Photowatt International S.A., and Spheral Solar Power Inc., ATS is an emerging leader in the rapidly growing market for solar energy cells and modules. ATS employs approximately 3,500 people at 26 facilities in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The Company's shares are traded on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA.

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