Investment caster Acra Cast, Bay City, Mich., has invested in a new spectrometer and grown its employment numbers almost back to their pre-recession levels, according to a company executive.
Richard Singer, Acra Cast’s president and owner, said the company has spent $70,000 on improving its laboratory testing facilities and now employs 18, up from a low of 11.
“We’re on the incline again, which is positive news,” Singer said.
In addition to purchasing the new spectrometer, the company has improved its lab by moving its air compressors outdoors, creating a dedicated modular space with new plumbing and electrical lines, and upgrading the facility’s doors and ceiling to make it more airtight and reduce dust. The company can now test incoming melt stock, verify chemistries are correct through in-process metallurgical tests and self-certify alloy chemistries prior to shipping.
“We’re probably shaving three to four days off of each shipment by doing all the testing in-house,” Singer said.
According to Singer, Acra Cast has seen a growing number of defense contracts since he and his father purchased the facility in 1998. Singer estimates the company’s customer list has gone from 10% defense to 60% defense since that time.
“That was one of the drivers for investing in the spectrometer,” he said.
Singer said Acra Cast is also in the process of examining a potential expansion of the facility as part of its long-term growth plan, which may also include the installation of a robotic dipping line.
“There is vacant land adjacent to us that we’re currently having surveyed,” he said. “The owners have expressed a willingness to sell it, and the ball’s in our court.”