Manufacturing tech startup kicks off in Bentonville

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 870 views 

Bentonville-based Cartwheel Startup Studio recently partnered with Chicago-based software developer Strategic Systems International (SSI) to launch a manufacturing technology startup in Bentonville.

Quantis provides software as a service to improve beverage manufacturing operations. The company also recently hired a CEO.

Josh Stanley, CEO and managing partner for Cartwheel, said Quantis offers software Pocket Factory that SSI developed and piloted at a bottled beverage plant in Europe about two years ago. The software has since expanded to be used at more than 20 bottling plants worldwide. Revenue exceeded $1 million in 2022 and is expected to reach multiple millions of dollars this year. He expects it to be in the 10s of millions within three years.

“This is a software suite that’s targeting continuous line manufacturing, which bottling is,” Stanley said. “Because it is continuous, there’s a lot of failure points. When you have a chokepoint, a bottleneck, it can mean serious money.”

The software manages and monitors bottling lines and uses data from the plant’s machines and sensors to alert a plant operator about an issue, he said. The software also uses predictive analytics to alert operators before issues arise. It can identify failing equipment using machine learning and artificial intelligence.

According to company website, it’s helped beverage manufacturers, including Coca-Cola, Kasteel Brouwerij Vanhonsebrouck, Krones and Ogeu, to lower maintenance costs by 40%, reduce yield loss by 25% and cut energy consumption by 30%.

“All the use cases have been built out for bottling,” Stanley said. “And that’s where it’s found organic success.”

Stanley said customers can start seeing benefits from the software in 30 days or less. He added that the software can be applied and provide value in any type of continuous line manufacturing in which downtime can impact revenue, such as food manufacturing.

In August, Quantis hired Cate Gutowski as CEO and a member of its board of directors. She previously was chief operating officer for Primo Water, a $2.2 billion bottled water company. Gutowski, who’s also worked in leadership roles for General Electric and Amazon Web Services, is expected to relocate to Northwest Arkansas from Tampa, Fla., next summer.

Quantis has four staff.