ACE METAL named to The FABRICATOR magazine’s FAB 40

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For the 5th consecutive year, Ace Metal Crafts Company has been named to The FABRICATOR magazine’s FAB 40 list, developed from the more than 1,000 subscriber companies of the magazine.

Since 2010, The FABRICATOR has sought to create a snapshot of successful metal fabricators, gathering company financial data, feedback on current operations and the outlook for the coming year.

According to the magazine, after a less-than-stellar 2016, the custom metal fabrication industry seems to be breathing a collective sigh of relief, doubling down, and preparing for significant growth. That in a nutshell is what this year’s FAB 40 tells us.

In 2016, the FAB top 10 generated more than $1.3 billion (a little less than 2015), while the remaining shops increased their combined revenue to nearly $1 billion. Combined revenue for all FAB 40 companies climbed to a new high, to almost $2.3 billion.

Still, 2016 was tough for many, including some of the industry’s largest players—not surprising, considering the weakness in oil and gas, agriculture, mining, and other heavy equipment markets.

And, since the FAB 40 growth (combined revenue of all shops) has remained relatively flat for the past two years, growing by 1 percent in 2015 and 5 percent in 2016, one would think that shops would be hitting the pause button on capital expenditures.

Not so. FMA’s "2017 Capital Spending Forecast" (which is far more positive than capital spending in the broader economy) pegged total projected equipment spending at more than $2.2 billion, which isn’t the highest ever, but an historically high level all the same.

ACE has experienced organic growth, through the recent addition of services, such as machining, and capital investments in new technology, such as the Bystronic Xpert 320 Press Brake, with the decision to add these assets being driven primarily by the needs of our customers.

But, rather than become the proverbial ‘one-stop shop’ for all metal fabrication, ACE has been working toward becoming a one-stop shop for a select group of customers, many of whom are seeking to send more work to fewer top-performing suppliers. In this sense, customers are shaping the way their suppliers grow more than ever before.

As the title of the Fab 40 article suggests, ours is a dynamic industry that relies on keeping up-to-date with technology just to stay in the game. Tooling Up For Growth is, and has been, a significant part of the Ace Metal Crafts Company plan to serve and grow with our customer base.

We see good things ahead for 2017!