A.C.E. caps record year with ‘Made in the Midlands’ Award

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It has taken some time but manufacturing seems to have finally reclaimed its rightful spot as one of the economy’s key drivers.

In fact, you could be forgiven for feeling slightly overwhelmed by expert commentators extolling the virtues of the sector, so much so you’ve probably long since forgot it used to be the poor relation to finance and professional services.

So making things is now ‘in vogue’ and long may it continue. This is certainly the feeling at Advanced Chemical Etching Limited (A.C.E.) in Telford, a company that is continually stretching the boundaries of innovation.

The firm, which now employs 35 people, specialises in the manufacture of precision photo etched metal components for blue chip customers in aerospace, automotive, electronics, medical, telecoms and increasingly the renewables sector.

Its ability to undertake demanding prototype and low volume work has seen it enjoy rapid growth across all of its markets, with annual sales touching £3.6m for the first time in its 11-year history.

The recent success has seen A.C.E. secure the Made in the Midlands Record Turnover award, beating off competition from more than 20 rivals across the region.

Alan Rollason, Managing Director, explained: “After the tough times of 2009, it is excellent to be sitting here and seeing investments in new processes and technologies pay off across virtually every industry we operate in.

“The MIM award is fantastic news for the business as it illustrates we are moving in the right direction and also highlights the outstanding work of our staff, many of whom have been with us since the start.”

“This is just the beginning and we’ve got ambitious plans to invest nearly £1m in expanding the production area, by the acquisition of additional factory space as well as new state-of-the-art machinery.”

Located in the Centre of the UK’s manufacturing heartland, A.C.E.specialises in development of prototype components, pre-production and volume fulfillment.

The scope of its activities is far and wide and can include anything from safety critical components for aircraft and F1 to meshes and connectors for cars and even frames for designer glasses.

All parts are developed and manufactured in Telford,Shropshire 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 and aluminum.

The introduction of new processes has also seen the firm offer customers the ability to etch titanium and molybdenum.

Ian Wiles, Sales Director at A.C.E., concluded: “Our record year has been supported by what can only be described as a buoyant export market, with close to 40% of our turnover now going overseas.

“This includes established markets like Germany and the Benelux countries and increasingly new opportunities from China and the US where other rivals simply can’t match the level of innovation we continually achieve.”

Advanced Chemical Etching Limited is part of the Midlands Assembly Network (www.man-group.co.uk), a collective of ten sub-contract manufacturers who work together to share best practice and pitch for new work.

The group, which has won £10m of orders in 2011, includes Alucast, Barkley Plastics, Brandauer, FW Cables, Lightning Aerospace, PP Electrical Systems, SMT Developments, Westley Engineering andWrekin Circuits.

For further information, please visit www.ace-uk.net or contact 01952 416666