Exports boost at ACE after continuous improvement drive

ACE is targeting international expansion after increasing its export work by 10 per cent in the first half of 2017.


Advanced Chemical Etching (ACE), a precision metal specialist that employs 50 people at its facility in Telford, has secured three big projects in aerospace, communications and the medical sector, taking overseas trade to 38 per cent of its £5m turnover.

It comes after the company embarked on a continuous improvement drive that has increased on time delivery and right first time performance.

Ian Whateley, managing director of ACE said: “Our export activity has been steadily growing year-on-year since 2010, but the last seven months have definitely seen a spike that we’re hoping to sustain.

“There may be an element of the pound slipping making us more competitive. However, a lot of the projects we are winning are extremely technical and not many firms around the world can deliver the complexity of components the customer requires.”

“Interest has come from all over too…Germany, Luxembourg, United States of America, we’ve even had orders from customers in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Thailand.”

The continuous improvement exercise at ACE’s 25,000 sq ft facility has been in operation for six months and has involved collecting data on current operating parameters and reviewing what is working well and what could be improved.

This has seen the firm alter its chemistry settings and the introduction of twice daily process control checks, which are said to have led to a two per cent increase on right first time figures and the potential for a 10 per cent boost in throughput on certain products.

Advanced Chemical Etching, which is working towards the AS9100 aerospace quality standard, has made a number of key appointments to cope with recent expansion, including a new technical sales specialist and business development expert.