Advanced Technology Services (ATS) is celebrating 25 years of providing managed services for production equipment maintenance and information technology. Born in April 1985 out of the need for American manufacturers to remain competitive in a fast-changing global economy, ATS is now the recognized leader in outsourced production equipment maintenance. Founded in Peoria, Ill., as a spinoff of Caterpillar Inc., ATS now employs more than 2,000 people and has offices and service centers in Greenville, S.C.; Chicago; Detroit; Monterrey, Mexico; Puerto Rico; the United Kingdom; and China.

“Reflecting on our first 25 years in business, we are deeply grateful to our customers for their trust and loyalty and our employees for being our biggest asset,” said ATS president Jeffrey Owens. “We have come a long way together and experienced many changes that I believe have ultimately made us stronger and allowed us to better serve our customers. We look forward to many more years of service.”

ATS began as a spinoff from Caterpillar and was the brainchild of Richard Blaudow. In the early years, Caterpillar owned a majority stake in the business. In 1996, Blaudow led a buyout of the company. Today, ATS is privately owned and growing aggressively with new customers nationally and internationally.

“From the beginning, CAT was our biggest customer, although we immediately had others as well,” said Blaudow. “Our business model caught on quickly with customers like Honeywell, Eaton, Textron and Johnson & Johnson. ATS is a perfect example of where entrepreneurial thinking can take you.”

Blaudow began his career at Caterpillar in 1969 in the plant operations training program. He later became staff engineer in plant engineering in the East Peoria facility and held positions of increasing responsibility. He started and managed the Electronic Repair Department at the East Peoria Caterpillar plant. This department later formed the basis of what became ATS.

"As proud as I am of what we have achieved so far, I believe our company’s greatest accomplishments are yet to come,” said Owens. “With the continued confidence of our customers and commitment of our employees, we will have a long, successful road ahead."

To commemorate its silver anniversary, ATS will be hosting a celebration for its employees and customers on April 13. Additionally, Owens will be releasing a book featuring business and industry lessons learned, case studies, and commentary from ATS leaders, customers and founders.