ACE Makes the “FAB 40” List of Top Fabricators

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”ACE METAL CRAFTS COMPANY moved into a new building in Bensenville, Ill, doubling its plant size, and expects to produce $3 million more this year than it did last year.”
– The Fabricator

According to James Manyika, San Francisco-based director of the McKinsey Global Institute, the “unsung heroes” of the recovery from the Great Recession may be what he identifies as regional processors, and this includes fabricated metal products. Our sector alone has hired back 179,000+ jobs since 2010.

In fact, fabricated metal products had the most pronounced jobs bounce-back of all since then. He attributes this in part to the “re-shoring” trend, as OEMs choose suppliers close to the final assembly plant and, ultimately, the end customer.

To make the list, ACE had to meet criteria including robust growth. But it doesn’t end there. Citing regional players as a strong model, The Fabricator says, “it’s all about location, location, location. You can send information instantaneously from one side of the world to the other, but there’s still no way of getting around trucking a batch of fabricated parts to the assembly plant, which is ideally nearby.” And that bodes well for regional fabricators like ACE.

Customers of the “Fab 40” ( were asked how they saw the future of the business. It was a mixed bag. Some sectors like industrial maintenance still struggle, but food processing, a major focus for ACE, is predicted to be on the rise. And on the question of national players vs. regional going forward, The Fabricator had this to say, “The industry may see growth in larger players, which help meet capacity and risk-reduction demands as OEM’s pare down their supply base. But the small, nimble shops probably will dominate the market for some time to come.”

According to Anthony Schneider, Senior VP of BKD Corporate Finance, an industry watchdog, “The job shop is fluid, nimble. This has made smaller, independent fabricators successful, if they have the right culture and outstanding customer service.”

“Considering the staggering number of large and small fabricators in the country, being 24 on the list of today’s Top 40 means we’re doing something right!”