Investment in new processes and the latest machinery is reaping dividends for Shropshire manufacturer, Advanced Chemical Etching, resulting in a 20% rise in sales.
Advanced Chemical Etching (ACE), which offers precision metal components, prototyping and low volume products, has used its additional capacity to win a string of domestic and international orders from clients involved in the aerospace and medical sectors.
Turnover increased to £4.2m in 2015, while 12 new jobs have been created as a result, with the potential for more to follow over the coming six months.
The growth has been largely attributed to the company’s ability to provide solutions to complex etching issues, including the introduction of titanium and aluminium molecular etching to meet demand for lighter parts.
Director, Chris Ball explained: “Doubling the size of our factory to 20,000 sqft in 2013 is now starting to pay off.
“The extra space has given us the platform to introduce new state-of-the-art etching machines and dedicated production cells. It has also paved the way for new appointments in our sales team, with the arrival of experienced professionals Craig Dubberley and Steve Gaston.”
He continued: “All of this has contributed to us increasing sales from £3.5m to £4.2m in 2015, and we are looking to push on even further by hitting £5m over the next twelve months…the first time ever in our 16-year history.
“A lot of our work is in precision engineering, aerospace, electronics medical and F1, where tolerances are exacting, components are complex and parts are increasingly lighter. We relish the challenge.”
ACE’s scope of activities is extensive, and can include anything from safety critical components for aircraft and cars to meshes, electronic connectors and even frames for designer glasses.
In recent years, it has started to grow its medical business using its titanium etching facility to manufacture medical implants and bionic components for patients all over the world.
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 advanced measuring capability ensures the business can produce components in a variety of materials, including stainless steel; nickel alloys; copper; beryllium copper; phosphor bronze; brass and, thanks to groundbreaking new processes, aluminium; molybdenum; nitinol, and elgiloy.
Managing director, Ian Whateley added: “We have seen a lot of interest from overseas, boosted by our website and attendance at a number of strategic exhibitions.
“Export is now 30% of turnover and we expect this to increase with new orders won in Germany and the Benelux countries for precision engineered parts.”
ACE’s strategy is to continue to invest in people and its capability, evident in the creation of an additional 2,000 sqft space at its Hortonwood facility.
This will house the firm’s new inspection and quality assurance area, incorporating the latest co-ordinate measuring machines and vision systems.