Based in St Ives, Huntingdonshire ACE specialises in supplying high-quality milled and turned components and assemblies to a variety of industries, from aerospace to communications. ACE's customers in these industries have a shared need for products of a very-high standard of finish and accuracy.
NPL's team of Product Verification specialists visited the company to carry out a Product Verification Health Check, which identifies opportunities to optimise manufacturing and inspection processes through improved measurement practices. This helps ensure products are manufactured right first time, a key factor in reducing costs and increasing competitiveness.
The NPL team then provided support to address two opportunities for improvement identified by the Health Check. The first involved developing ACE's capability to perform in-house calibrations of measurement equipment, which will significantly reduce subcontracting costs. The second involved helping ACE collect and apply appropriate measurement data to better understand its machines' capabilities and improve performance – this should reduce the cost of non-conformance in machining operations by at least £50k a year.
Graham Fenn, Managing Director of ACE, said: "The NPL team quickly understood my company's challenges. They were flexible to my business' needs, which really impressed me, and made an immediate, tangible difference to my business.
"We hope to keep in contact with NPL – their contribution helps us know there is a means to get guidance of a high pedigree that has a practical application in an SME."