Manufacturing Today - Winter 2012 - (Page 78)

ACE Controls Inc. / Headquarters: Farmington Hills, Mich. / Products: Motion control products / Gary Brewer, group president: “ACE Controls has a great brand name, great people, solid manufacturing operation and a strong distribution channels and direct sales.” Customer Focused ace controls continues to strive for win-win situations with clients. by alan dorich Some manufacturers are content to make the same product daily, but not ACE Controls Inc., President Gary Brewer says. Instead, the firm specializes in products that are engineered to meet its clients’ unique specifications. “If you look at ACE’s success, it is [due to] their ability to provide customer-driven solutions,” Brewer says, noting that its clients will provide individual application specifications. “[We’re] then capable of implementing and manufacturing the solutions.” The Farmington Hills, Mich.-based ACE Controls specializes in multiple products, including industrial shock absorbers, stacker crane and crane bumper safety shocks, and dual velocity and feed controls. William Chorkey Sr. started the company in 1963. Chorkey, who had a background in air valves, was looking for new markets where he could apply his motion control products. “[He] saw the need for some flow control valves,” says Keith Szukalowski, vice president of global operations. Chorkey ultimately designed products that decelerated loads, prevented impact damage, reduced noise and improved performance. In addition, he developed industrial shock absorbers when he determined that there was a need to control energy on assembly lines. Today, ACE Controls has a strong international presence, with locations in Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, China and India. “We have distributors in 40 countries globally,” Szukalowski says. The company also is part of Kaydon 78 WINTER 2012 ace controls specializes in motion control products for customers across multiple sectors. Corp., which owns a number of niche businesses focused on highly engineered solutions with such strong brand names as Kaydon Bearing, Cooper Bearing, Ring and Seal, and Fabreeka. This ownership has given ACE Controls the support to infuse capital to support continuous improvement efforts and acquire such firms as HAHN, a manufacturer in Germany of gas and tension springs and dampers in 2010. This was in addition to the recent purchase of Fabreeka and Tech Products this past June, which are focused on vibration isolation solutions. absorbers is Vertical Tower rides at amusement parks. “We have shock absorbers on the corners of these rides, [which act] as safety devices,” Szukalowski explains. “It will catch the carriage with the people in them.” ACE Controls is now developing a customized product for soda bottle manufacturers. Although consumers tend to drink more out of plastic bottles, “You would be surprised how many classic bottles they produce,” Brewer asserts, adding that his clients are of capable of manufacturing 40,000 to 60,000 bottles per hour. Meeting Demands Custom Work Some of ACE Controls’ customized products include special shock absorbers, which is where most of the company’s core competencies are, Szukalowski says. For instance, ACE Controls has manufactured shock absorbers for rockets that a California-based client uses to put commercial satellites into space. Another application for the ACE Controls has seen changes in its customers’ demands, Brewer says. “We’re seeing people who want shorter lead times and better delivery fidelity, [and] new products focused on specified application requirements,” he says. “Our customers are [more] demanding.” In addition, the firm’s clients are no longer limiting themselves to domestic markets. “Having a distribution

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - Winter 2012

Manufacturing Today - Winter 2012
Wauseon Machine
Applied Energy Solutions
Carter Control Systems
Global Technology Systems
Positech Corp.
Tampa Tank Inc./Florida Structural Steel
Carbide Products
Datacard Group
Fullerton Tool Co. Inc.
Honda of South Carolina
Fintube LLC
Sapa Extrusions North America
ACE Controls Inc.
Vendors Exchange International Inc.
EXEL North America
DJO Global
Capewell Components Co.
U.S. Sugar Corp.
Industrial Magnetics Inc.
Lakeside Plastics Ltd.
Norpak Handling Ltd.
Mid-State Machine Products
TenCate Protective Fabrics
The Dupps Co.
Western Manufacturing Ltd.
Wisconsin Plastics Inc.
Metrolina Greenhouses
LaSalle Bristol LP
Clarion Bathware
DAP Products Inc.
Honsa Ergonomic Technologies Inc.
Engineered Material Solutions LLC
Master Spas Inc.
Nypro Inc.
Kelly-Moore Paints
Palomar Technologies
U.S. Chemical & Plastics Inc.
Varflex Corporation
Votaw Precision Technologies
Watry Industries
Wigwam Mills
Banker Steel Co.
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Manufacturing Today - Winter 2012