Trio of appointments give A.C.E. the platform to hit £10m sale

A trio of strategic appointments is helping a Telford precision manufacturing specialist deliver a 40% boost in sales.

Ian Radford, Carwyn Howells and Peter Kirwan who have recently joined the team at Advanced Chemical Etching
Ian Radford, Carwyn Howells and Peter Kirwan who have recently joined the team at Advanced Chemical Etching

Advanced Chemical Etching (A.C.E) has strengthened its management team by recruiting Carwyn Howells and Peter Kirwan as Production Manager and Head of Plant and Facilities respectively, with the duo key to managing volume increases and capitalising on a £500,000 investment drive in new inspection equipment and pre and post-cleaning machines.

They will be joined at the Hortonwood firm by Ian Radford, who brings years of experience in the aerospace sector to his new role as Quality Manager.

He will be responsible for managing the QMS system on a day-to-day basis and first achieve AS91000, before investigating the process of securing IATF 16949 for automotive and ISO 13485 for the medical sector.

“The last fifteen months have been very good for us as a business, with £2m of new orders won and sales rocketing to £7.6m,” explained Ian Whateley, Managing Director of A.C.E.

“It’s all well and good winning the work, but you need to make sure you deliver what you have promised and these trio of appointments is crucial to us achieving just that in terms of production, quality and lead times.”

He continued: “Carwyn, Peter and Ian are all very experienced in what they do and fit perfectly into our company-wide commitment to continuous improvement. They have all contributing to improving our performance and ensuring we have the capacity to target our long-term aim of £10m turnover by 2022.”

Carwyn returns to Advanced Chemical Etching after a previous spell when he was a Quality Engineer.

His brief is to improve throughput and lead the field in technical excellence, two objectives he is well on his way to achieving with on time delivery at 95%, scrap levels at an all-time low and processes in place to deliver 1000 sheets per day – up from 350.

The Head of Plant and Facilities is a new role at the company and involves Peter getting the most out of the recent investment, which includes the pre and post-cleaning machines, the XRF machine in the laboratory, 3D microscope and new Co-ordinate Measurement Machine for the inspection department.

“These are game changers for A.C.E. and will set the standard for future investment,” added Peter, who has held senior roles with companies involved in electronics, printed circuit boards and photo chemical milling.

“We need to capitalise on the recent investment, but this isn’t just about the equipment. It’s about the people, the processes and the culture you create…get all these right and you can register efficiencies never previously achieved.”

He concluded: “The factory is our shop window for customers to view what we do. Therefore, it must be industry leading making us the automatic ‘go to’ company for new and existing customers.”

A.C.E. specialises in the development of prototype components, pre-production and volume fulfilment to customers in aerospace, automotive, electronics, medical, telecoms and renewables.

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

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