Elisabeth Smith, President and CEO
Aerospace and defense manufacturing is a sector that warrants the highest level of precision. For that reason, CNC (computer numerical controlled) machined components are the only choice to manufacture metal components that meet the required standards mandated by various quality control agencies. However, manufacturing processes, including machining, finishing, and assembling metal components, is capital- and labor-intensive, pulling resources away from the aerospace company’s core competencies. By partnering with a CNC machining company with rich experience and advanced equipment, manufacturing large aircraft components with high efficiency and low cost is no longer difficult. Acutec Precision Aerospace, a machining and subassembly supplier, successfully addresses such complex machining requirements of the aviation and aerospace industry. The company offers its manufacturing expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to provide lower-cost products, improve quality, and significantly increase client’s return on investment. “Our specialties, include mill, turn, grind, EDM, and small to medium runs (15-5000 count lot sizes) with vertically integrated post-machining operations,” mentions Elisabeth Smith, president, and CEO of the company.
As Acutec has dealt with 12,000 types of machine components and assemblies across multiple OEMs, the company can operationalize any complex customer requirements. Moreover, the company foresees its client’s design requirements and streamlines purchasing strategies to help them save money. Such initiatives are aimed at mitigating the risks associated with the supply chain, arising due to overstretched finances, M&A transactions, and cybersecurity requirements.
The company invests in the latest technology and equipment and proactively identifies manufacturing issues and solves them. Over the years, Acutec has gained significant traction by managing NPI (New Product Introduction) projects. In such cases, the company leverages its capabilities to develop a zero-defect planning strategy aimed at designing the component and assembly economically while ensuring high throughput. During the NPI process, the company handles the design changes effectively and enables complete traceability and reliability. From the initial development phase to production, Acutec helps the customer move through the process swiftly by mitigating the challenges occurring due to design changes.
As actionable insights can lead to better decision-making, Acutec leverages live data while solving various organizational problems. The company employs an in-house software development team that focuses on building software solutions that connect disparate systems; its ERP system, quality management system, and tooling management system are interlinked. With that, Acutec brings more transparency in its work; any employee can access work instructions, customer data, and more and understand the company’s day-to-day operations.
When a new client approaches Acutec, the company holds a planning session to validate their requirements. With that, the company makes sure that they are equipped with the resources to align with the client’s schedule. The client’s budget expectations also become a key consideration in the planning session, which is then followed by essential paperwork. After studying all aspects of the client’s project, Acutec presents a timeline and a quote before them. When it comes to payment, clients can pay NRE costs upfront or amortize the same. After discussing the terms of the payment, Acutec comes to an agreement with the client and submits the paperwork for approval.
In one instance, a client approached Acutec to undertake a munitions program. The client was looking for a machining and subassembly firm that can handle a larger volume of components. In order to accommodate for the client’s requirements, Acutec expanded its facility by bringing the machine tools needed to run the program. In addition, the company also set up a robotic cell and purchased three dedicated CNC machines. By pairing the CNC machines with dedicated CMM robots, Acutec completed manufacturing the parts and verified its compliance with design specifications by performing a dimensional inspection. In another instance, Acutec partnered with a client to build a complex titanium component. The company turned around the project in just two weeks despite the delivery pressures and technical challenges.
Such success stories stem from Acutec’s commitment to realize its client’s complex challenges with utmost perfection. “In the journey of serving aerospace clients worldwide, we follow a philosophy consisting of four interlocking principles: always be lucky, wake up paranoid, embrace change, and recognize adversity as an opportunity,” mentions Elisabeth. When Acutec hires new staff, Elisabeth promotes the same values to her people by incorporating them into their employee development program.