New growth opportunities etched in metal as ACE completes £500,000 investment drive

Photo: Shaun Fellows/Shine Pix Ltd

Advanced Chemical Etching (ACE), which recently increased its workforce by 12%, has taken delivery of two Chemcut Etch machines at its Hortonwood 33 plant in a bid to meet growing global demand for aerospace, electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells. markets.

The acquisitions will increase the company’s engraving capacity by 30% and help customers get their designs and prototypes to market faster, a big selling point the company hopes will help it meet its two-year plan to reach £10 million in sales.

It’s been a busy 12 months for ACE, with revenue now above Covid-19 levels and its best month ever after an influx of domestic and international orders for customers keen to avoid disruption to the international supply chain.

Ian Whateley, Managing Director of ACE, said: “We are always looking for ways to reduce lead times and have better control over the tolerances we can deliver, and this latest investment reinforces that.

“The two engraving machines are being installed and should be fully operational by the end of the summer. When they go live, we will have a third more production capacity, which means we can take advantage of new opportunities and there are plenty of them right now, whether it’s supplying busbars and frames connection to electric vehicles or critical components in the medical sector.

“This latest technology will make us faster, ensure repeatable quality and, with rising energy costs, significantly reduce our electricity and water consumption.”

ACE specializes in the development of precision components for customers in over 25 countries, spanning aerospace, space, general engineering, automotive, electronics, medical, telecommunications and renewable energy .

The scope of its business is vast and can include everything from safety critical components for aircraft and F1 cars, to electronic meshes and connectors, battery interconnects, fuel cell bipolar plates, cooling plates and heat exchangers. .

All parts are developed and manufactured at its main site in Telford or at the company’s dedicated sister business, ACE Forming Limited, in Kingswinford.

It works to the tightest tolerances and can manufacture components in materials such as stainless steel, nickel alloys, copper, beryllium copper, phosphor bronze, brass and, through new processes, aluminum, molybdenum, titanium, nitinol and elgiloy.

Chris Ball, Executive Director, added: “We have operated throughout the pandemic and thankfully we have emerged with an even stronger backlog than we entered Covid-19 with… that is a excellent position, especially with the amount of relocation opportunities back in the UK.

“In addition to our recent investment campaign, we have also strengthened our workforce with eight new people joining our inspection, facility and plant maintenance departments, as well as our sales and marketing departments.

“There has been an increase in the number of special ops products we become involved in and this would require people to be versatile and work in-house on many projects. This is why the investment in ongoing training will be so crucial.

ACE is planning further exhibitions this year, with its next appearance at the Precision Fair in the Netherlands in November.

He also receives requests to hold mini-shows of his abilities from numerous design departments at existing and new clients.