This is due to the weak pound making UK based manufacturers increasingly competitive on price. Furthermore, UK and European manufacturing companies are increasingly pulling manufacturing out of the Far East and China due to a general fall in sales volumes that is resulting in companies needing fewer components, shorter timescales and lower delivery costs.
"I can't deny that it feels that the boom times are over, but we are still getting good enquiries for our CNC machining and turning services and our workshop has been near full capacity most of this year," said Fred Pain, General Manager at Acro. "Clearly the weaker pound is good for us, it enables us to compete more easily on the world market. In the past we've done work for likes of the Norwegian oil industry, so I'm hoping we are now in better position than ever to win this type of overseas business."
Acro has been established for over 30 years and now runs highly automated CNC machining technology that is able to run 24 hours unmanned. Furthermore, using webcam technology, Acro engineers are able to remotely monitor their machines through the night to ensure production volumes are met and that quality standard are maintained. Acro has also recently invested in SolidCAM 3D machining technology that enables the automated machining of complex parts.
"At Acro we have invested in the very latest machining technology so that we can maximise our productivity and quality and minimise our pricing," said Fred. "This is how we have managed to compete in the past and will be key to future profitability as well. We are in very good shape to compete for both the work that is returning from China and the Far East and the European work that we are now seeing heading this way."
Acro also recognizes, that during turbulent times, manufacturers look towards suppliers that are commercially stable and able to ride out any storms that may effect the economy. In this respect, Acro have been careful to maintain a small but highly skilled workforce and have avoided unnecessary expenditure over the past few years to ensure they were in robust shape for any downturn.
"After the recession of the 80's that decimated the engineering sector, I think many of us older engineering companies could see the downturn coming and knew what to do," said Fred. "We've been careful not to over expand our factory or to take on too many staff, and we've also been careful with our money. We wanted to be in a strong position to carry on choosing work that is a good fit for us and to carry on delivering the high level of service for which we are recognised. We wanted to avoid a lot of the stresses that we know can impact an engineering company during difficult times."
Acro's early work was focused on supplying the growing North Sea oil and gas industry but in recent years Acro have been supplying turned components into industry sectors such as automotive, medical, defence, construction and hi-tech. Using a broad range of CNC sliding head, multi-spindle and multi axis milling machines, Acro have established themselves as a capable and reliable supplier of turned components. Using 24 hour unmanned machining technology; Acro strives to compete on a worldwide basis, providing both high volume component manufacture as well as prototype work and low volume specialist components. Acro have also recently undertaken projects for the defence sector, the oil industry and the automotive sector using their SolidCAM 3D machining technology.
About Acro Precision Technology
With over 30 years' experience in the machining of precision engineering components, Acro are one of Europe's leading suppliers to the engineering and technology sector. Acro offer specialist low volume prototype development as well as high volume manufacturing and are equipped with a broad range of modern CNC [Computer Numerically Controlled] machinery: -
· CNC lathes with live tooling and 24 hour unmanned production
· Swiss type sliding head automatics
· 3D SolidCAM CNC milling
· Conventional turning/milling/finishing
Customer projects have included components for sports cars suspensions, bomb disposal robots, hospital beds, forecourt petrol pumps, the London Underground, equipment for off-shore oil exploration and production and components for the construction industry.