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Precision Component Specialist, Advanced Chemical Etching, Achieves 10% Sales Surge Amid Reshoring Boom

by Anna

Telford-based precision component specialist, Advanced Chemical Etching (ACE), has reported a significant 10% increase in sales, capitalizing on the ongoing ‘reshoring boom.’ The company, supplying parts to diverse industries such as aerospace, automotive, electronics, general engineering, medical, and telecoms, has successfully secured £800,000 in new orders from companies seeking precise quality and expertise in new product development.

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ACE’s strategic focus on reshoring initiatives has propelled the company to secure a surge in fuel cell projects and witness a 25% increase in the volume of new projects. This promising trajectory positions ACE for an ambitious sales target of £10 million for the current year. The company is set to enhance its capacity and expedite turnaround times with the deployment of two ‘Chemcut’ etching machines at its Hortonwood 33 facility.

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Ian Whateley, the managing director of ACE, expressed enthusiasm about the manufacturing innovation in the UK, noting that the company is gaining traction as other countries recognize the value offered by the UK. The surge in sales is complemented by a concurrent 10% increase in the number of new projects, indicating a growing demand for a strategic partner capable of supporting projects from design through early-stage prototyping to low and medium volume supply.

Whateley added, “Export now accounts for nearly 30% of our annual turnover,” citing strong demand from various European markets and emerging opportunities from the Far East and the US. The deployment of the new ‘Chemcut’ machines is expected to further fuel these growth prospects.

ACE’s extensive portfolio includes safety-critical components for aircraft and F1 cars, meshes, electronic connectors, battery interconnectors, fuel cell bi-polar plates, cooling plates, and heat exchangers. The company operates from its main site in Telford and its sister business, ACE Forming Limited, in Kingswinford.

Chris Ball, the executive director of Advanced Chemical Etching, highlighted that the company has witnessed volumes surpassing pre-pandemic levels, particularly in the aerospace sector as airport traffic experiences a surge. To meet the growing demand, ACE has invested not only in cutting-edge etching technology but has also expanded its workforce, recruiting eight new members in the past twelve months.

Ball concluded, “The £10 million sales threshold is definitely in our sights for 2024, as we continue to put Shropshire on the global manufacturing map.” Additionally, ACE has initiated the accreditation process for the aerospace AS9100 standard, with the audit scheduled for February and approval expected by May 2024.

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