Black Country manufacturer targets £1m growth

Ace Forming has announced the arrival of a new operations director and a strategic investment drive to help it hit £1m within the next two years.

L to R: David Merchant (Ace Forming), Chris Ball and Ian Whateley (both Advanced Chemical Etching).
L to R: David Merchant (Ace Forming), Chris Ball and Ian Whateley (both Advanced Chemical Etching).

Ace Forming, which is a critical partner in the development of formed precision metal components, has enjoyed a strong start to 2017 after securing new contracts to supply busbars for automotive and a range of innovative parts for the medical sector.

The firm is looking to capitalise on this growth by appointing experienced engineer David Merchant to the senior management team, and acquiring a new wiring machine and bead blaster to support an increase in prototyping and low-volume production.

The business, which was originally set up to produce parts for sister company Advanced Chemical Etching in Telford, is now on course to increase turnover to £750,000 this year, followed by £1m by the end of 2019.

Merchant, who joined the firm from pressings specialist Brandauer, explained: “This is a fantastic time to be joining ACE Forming and I’m keen to use my experience to help drive new sales, introduce new processes and look at how we can take our reputation for solving complex manufacturing issues into new markets.

“We have a lot of capabilities at our factory in Kingswinford, including our own toolroom, CNC machining and turning, miniature spot welding, mechanical assembly, soldering and a dedicated wire looming facility. I’ve also got a wishlist of new equipment I’m looking to introduce over the course of the next 12 months.”

As part of the expansion, Ace Forming is set to work even closer with Advanced Chemical Etching after receiving significant interest from customers for complex etched and formed parts.

The two management teams have explored ways where they can market this one-stop solution more effectively and now have multi-disciplinary project teams in place to liaise with clients on initial development work and then how they can move it into small and medium volume production.

This includes a process that allows the firms to form titanium and reduce the weight of parts while maintaining the core strength…a capability that is very much in demand in F1, aerospace and other precision engineering applications.

Managing director of Advanced Chemical Etching, Ian Whateley added: “There’s real potential in marrying our different capabilities even closer together and we are currently seeing the busiest quoting period in both of our histories. This is hopefully a sign of things to come.”