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We provide what you need from robotics, automation, palletizing, logistics & more.
Our team will source, integrate, configure, test, and coordinate installation & service for your entire packaging system.
Viking Masek Robotics & Automation was born of a thirst to innovate. Paul Szeflinski founded the company with the vision of uniting automation technology to elevate what is possible in manufacturing. Work on a single machine was the capital to get us started, and although we’ve come a long way since then, we maintain the same amount of dedication and pride in everything we do.
We are a group of engineers that are using our diverse backgrounds to provide cutting-edge automation systems. We believe that success starts with robust design, that collaboration is essential, and that passion drives innovation.
IAS was started somewhat unconventionally as a programming services entity focusing on industrial equipment. The programming services included PLC, HMI, machine vision, and some higher-level programming. The company was basically just me for the first couple of years. I found the work challenging while also being interesting and learned that part of what motivates me is continually learning and positioning myself in a setting that ensures continued professional growth in an exciting and expanding area. The industry segments, types of applications, programming packages, people, locations, etc. changed dynamically. Back then, as is true now, the field changes rapidly and for those that are passionate about automation as I am there will be opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the 23+ years I have been in business, my interest has strengthened as we progressed from a small group focusing on software to where we are now as a robotics integrator. I am proud of the work that’s been done to date by everyone that has contributed to our advancement.
In truth, I didn't start IAS with a carefully thought-out plan. Some of you know it was a side job for several years that I could do in between teaching various courses at UWM. It wasn't long before there wasn't enough time to dedicate myself to teaching and my educational path and the growing work at IAS. It was one of those branches in life - you don't get too many of them... The opportunity was there, I always loved working on the automation projects (it truly was like a hobby) and that's when I made the change. Shortly thereafter I had some larger opportunities in the automotive sector. Our first large customers were Dephi Electronics and Visteon (Ford's former electronics wing). We were building conformal coating machines (I can explain in more detail for anyone that wants to hear about it) for several branches of Delphi and Visteon in different places in the world. As IAS entered its 2nd official year in business, I had grown to love many aspects of being a business owner and being in such a dynamic field of technology. IAS continually adapted (as we do now) to the changing needs of the marketplace. We added people and for a short period of time we were strictly software centric (2003-2006). One of our main customers was Primeco (now known as Verizon). Although I enjoyed those years, and projects what really interested me was robotics and how I felt the technology would alter manufacturing in the future. Breaking into this area was not easy, there were very few robotics integrators at the time and getting on an approved list for any of major manufacturers was not a trivial task. I set IAS’ sights on KUKA after learning a lot about their product line, people, and programming environment. Looking back, I started with the robotics manufacturer that was (and still is) very challenging to get on their System Partner list. KUKA was our first official partner (2008). The economy took a nosedive right around that time, robotics sales dropped 30-40% in the US making it very hard for many integrators that were focused solely on these applications. Fortunately, IAS was (and still is) diversified across industries and applications and as such we were able to ride out the economic downturn leveraging our capabilities and connections in the printing (converting) sector. In short, we did not abandon our existing customer base to focus on robotics. More specifically we grew that offer to the market steadily over the next several years and continue to grow it today (2012-present). We are robotics centric now (80+% of what we quote is a system with at least one robot, wow!) however IAS still maintains a footprint (albeit small now…) in the converting industry (ProAmpac, Convertapax) and is known for machine vision capabilities.