Heather Johnson


Automation manager



Heahter Johnson will discuss the common challenges of integrating plant floor automation during the “Unknotting the pet food supply chain” concurrent session on Tuesday, May 1 at 1:30-2:35 pm. Register here

Learn more about Johnson’s presentation below:

What is the single, most important concept or piece of information you hope attendees will learn from your presentation?

Johnson: Be motivated and prepared to define the next steps to find ways automation can help alleviate quality, supply or worker shortage issues when they go back to their manufacturing facility.

Please explain the significance of this concept or information to the pet food industry and your organization:

Johnson: Automation is an important piece of helping pet food manufacturers keep up with the growing demand for their products with the resources they have.

Interstates specializes in design-build electrical projects, plant floor automation, and mission-critical operational technology support. We actively work with customers in the pet food industry to understand their needs and deliver results to be successful.

What are potential next developments or stages in this specific field? Where do you hope future development or research takes it, or how you plan to progress it?

Johnson: I see plant floor automation continuing to grow. Data mining and analytics of that data will result in incorporating those learnings back into the process control to improve quality and efficiencies. Ideally, the control system will learn and adjust on its own without operator input.

What pets rule your household?

Johnson: I have a dog named Buddy. We adopted him from the Humane Society when he was about 1-year-old and he is 5-years-old now. Buddy is a sweet dog who likes to play and will just sit next to you when relaxing.

Presentation description:

Integrating plant floor automation to alleviate quality, supply, labor shortage issues — Johnson explains how integrating business systems with plant floor automation is an effective way to make changes such as pivoting to just-in-time ordering and streamling processes to get by with a smaller workforce. To stay competitive in today’s fast-paced and sometimes volatile market, businesses must do more with less.


Heather Johnson is an automation manager for Interstates and has been with the company since 1997. She has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Creighton University. Johnson’s primary responsibilities at Interstates include oversight of technical direction for delivering automation-based projects, client relationship management and team development.