Advanced Chemical Etching (A.C.E), which employs 60 people at its base on Hortonwood, is taking delivery of an additional post cleaning machine in the next few weeks that will give it the capability to deliver more than 2000 etched sheets every day – a major rise from the 350 it could produce in 2018.
The firm’s expertise is in demand from customers looking to manufacture precision components within a two-week lead time and to exacting tolerances that can also withstand harsh environments.
It is already working with clients who are making parts for use in consumer electronics, oil filtration systems, car dashboards, mobile phones and marine applications.
“We had spent £500,000 earlier this year on upgrading our facility in Telford and have pressed the button on further investment to help us continue to win new work,” explained Ian Whateley, Managing Director of Advanced Chemical Etching.
“The pre and post cleaning machines we installed have made us so much quicker and we have also added new auto loaders on to the lines to aid our move to ‘lights-out manufacturing’ in some parts of production.
“This allows us to compete with UK and international rivals and gives us the flexibility we need to scale volumes up quickly when required.”
He continued: “Electronics and precision engineering, which predominantly uses copper alloys, has potential for us as our prototyping expertise and ability to deliver numerous iterations can be a vital service in the early stage of a product lifecycle.”
A.C.E. specialises in the development of prototype components, pre-production and volume fulfilment to customers in aerospace, automotive, electronics, medical, telecoms and renewables.
The scope of its activities is far and wide and can include anything from safety critical components for aircraft and F1 cars to meshes and electronic connectors and even frames for designer glasses.
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.
Latest production machinery, a dedicated laboratory and state-of-the-art measuring capability ensures it works to the most exacting tolerances and can manufacture components in materials, such as stainless steel, nickel alloys, copper, beryllium copper, phosphor bronze, brass and, thanks to groundbreaking new processes, aluminium, molybdenum, titanium, nitinol and elgiloy.
Chris Ball, Executive Director at A.C.E., went on to add: “We’ve won a number of new orders over the last twelve months, with contracts being placed from customers in the UK, Europe and the Far East.
“This has helped us offset falling volumes on existing projects in automotive and, the decision to invest again, has been taken to ensure we have the capacity in place to react to more positive times when uncertainty has diminished.”
In addition to the investment in new technology, Advanced Chemical Etching is also developing its workforce with a range of process improvements, personal development training and best practice courses currently in place.