Q&A with Per Lutteman (Managing Director)

1. How has your day been today?
Very good, I started with a cup of coffee and some cereal, you can never go wrong there. I have also been looking at quotes and discussing timelines and deadlines with clients.

2. What does APS do and what does the company mean to you?
APS mainly do control systems for the printing industry, and that’s both the commercial side and the security side of printing. Traditionally we started with APS perforator, which is globally unique, and we installed them in all developed countries. Now unfortunately, the postage stamps are in decline and so is the printing industry. So, we are excited to join Control Techniques Nidec as a System Integrator partner and hopefully branch out into new industries. This will obviously be great for business, but also lead to very exciting projects as our skillsets are much vaster than just the printing industry.

3. What is the best bit about your work at APS?
The best thing about leading APS is that everyday is a challenge, which is fun, because not everyday is the same and I am constantly having to apply my knowledge and skills to different parts of the business.

4. What is the worst thing about working at APS?
Chasing payments!

5. What are your plans for APS moving forwards?
The main plan at the moment is to set up more strategic alliances and build upon existing relationships, allowing us to be more concise and efficient and work alongside very skilled partners. Similarly, when our partners need our expertise, we are here to provide it. So, it’s a win-win situation for all.

6. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Mind reading could be fun. I think I’m too old for all the other powers!

7. What are the most common challenges that you face during a project and how do you overcome them?
With every project we have had, when issues have arisen, we have been able to rectify them by taking each process one step at a time; so no problems have been insurmountable so far!

8. You have been in the industry for nearly 30 years, what has changed since you first started?
A lot has changed. In my father’s era, he was working with valves, belts and pullies technology. Then it went on to transistors, then IC’s and then software came out- which is when I came into the picture. So, in my time, it has changed from RS485 communication, to ethernet connectivity and now to wireless connectivity. Even screen technology has changed, from curved screens, touch screens and so the technology in all aspect is developing and will continue to do so.

9. Where is your favourite place to be on the planet?
Orba, Spain. My place in the sun.

10. Congratulations on being acknowledge as Control Techniques top Systems Integrator, how have you enjoyed working with them so far?
I am always delighted and encouraged when I visit a client, customer or partner and the people involved from the MD/President, to the Directors, Salesman and staff are tentative and approachable people that I want to work with. Control Techniques, more than any other company, has displayed these qualities and the chain of people that I can communicate with is astounding. So I think it is going to be a very successful partnership.

11. Who is your favourite artist/musician?
Carlos Santana

12. How did you get into the control systems industry?
I have always been on the engineering side with car mechanics and I was always a natural with programming too, which is why APS today is so involved on the software side.
Before I started with APS, I was testing new cars with Saab and advising them on changes they could make. Following that, I went into developing antennae for fighter jets, but I found that too much on the development side and I like getting my hands dirty. So, I moved to Farnell Electronics as a Sales Engineer and from there I joined as a partner at Micha Design. Following that, I partnered with my father at APS Engineering and that was all the way back in 1993 or 94.

13. What is the worst thing that has ever happened during a project?
We were working with a company who were moving their offices to another country. But, they lost their contract with the company and we were unable to see through the end of a really exciting project. Fortunately, things like that are very rare.

14. What motivates you to work every morning?
What motivates me is finding new ideas and areas that we can develop. Also, to push the company in a successful direction, which I try to do every day.

15. How do you work with your customers?
Very closely. Not only are we experts in what we do and what we provide, but we work closely with our customers to provide for specific requirements. Following the instillation, we keep in close contact and ensure that if any updates or changes need to be made, that we are able to keep their equipment to the highest quality.