In the spirit of ‘Together Means Greater’ (TMG) Raymond Nogael, President of MECATHERM North America and Alyson Slapkauskas CEO of ABI talk to Editor Caitlin Gittins about major milestones and more
Please introduce yourself and your roles at the company?
Alison (A): I’m Alyson Slapkauskas and I’m the CEO of ABI Limited, which belongs to the TMG Group and is the sister company of MECATHERM.
Raymond (R): I’m Raymond Nogael, the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development of TMG and the President of MECATHERM North America. I’ve been working for the company for nine years.
Alison and I come from different sectors, I hail from the automotive sector and Alyson from the aerospace industry, which is very important because we’re bringing a different view with us and angle to TMG. It’s important for our organisation to have a different mix of people who can bring their expertise, new ways of looking at the business and so on.
What have been major milestones for ABI and MECATHERM over the years?
A: Overall, I think growing from a family organisation to one that was acquired by TMG has been a major milestone for the business. With TMG, ABI has found a partner who shares the same values and culture. Additionally, our complementary offering with MECATHERM enables us to better serve our customers globally.
Another element has been our relationship working alongside MECATHERM, leveraging our synergies and working closely together. As a Canadian company, working together with European companies has put into practice this point about the value of bringing together new views and perspectives.
This is the journey that we’re currently on. For us a major drive is automating for the bakery industry and ensuring we’ve got the right solutions through R&D which includes integrating vision technology, AI and robotic solutions into bakery production.
R: ABI was initially founded focusing on solutions for the makeup stage for bagel production. Step-by-step, it has evolved into a different, more modern, organised business with a strong focus on automation. That’s brought us to today, where ABI recently launched a new quality control system EYE-Q that combines 3D vision, AI and robotics to bring an advanced solution to the market to maximise industrial performance and improve repeatability.
For MECATHERM, in the last 10 years, we have significantly changed our approach to become a reference in the market. We’ve moved from a self-centric organisation to a customer-centric organisation, where we’re focused on our customers and bringing them our services.
We’ve also significantly invested in digitalisation partly in response to the labour shortages we’re seeing everywhere. A challenge related to labour shortages is not just hiring people to fill roles, but to train them as well. There is this issue of retention that everybody is facing today, particularly our customers. As a consequence, we’ve anticipated these challenges and strove to bring more services and digital solutions to our customers.
What are some of the demands you’re experiencing from your customers today?
A: They’re looking for solutions to help them with automation…
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