Aerotech, a manufacturer of high-performance motion control and positioning systems and automation solutions, is responding to growing global demand by continuing to expand its headquarters in Pittsburgh. After the recent expansion of the production area and the purchase of additional systems and machines, the surface area of the cleanroom is now also doubled. Subsidiaries in Germany and Great Britain will also benefit. The subsidiary Kiski Précision Industries (KPI), supplier of mechanical components, has just announced the acquisition of the neighboring company Alpha Carb Enterprises (ACE), which more than doubles the operating area to 79,500 m².
With a wide range of products specialized in nanometric positioning, Aerotech has occupied a strong place in the field of high-precision motion control over the past 50 years. Aerotech Ltd in the UK and Aerotech GmbH in Germany were the first European subsidiaries to drive the international expansion of this mid-sized American company. In the meantime, the company has grown to around 500 employees worldwide. The spectrum of industrial applications ranges from medical technology and life science applications to photonics, semiconductor manufacturing, automotive and data storage, laser processing, aerospace, and measurement and test technology.
"Many of our customers come from highly specialized industries with high process requirements. To keep the amount of airborne particles and germs as low as possible, sensitive products such as catheters or lenses are manufactured exclusively in clean rooms," explains Simon Smith, Aerotech's European director. In the interest of our customers, we also ensure constant conditions and avoid contamination during the production of our positioning systems. He adds that it is imperative to deliver on this promise of quality, even as demand increases. "We take our obligations as a manufacturer very seriously – in order to be able to produce larger quantities under the best conditions, we are currently expanding our cleanroom capabilities at the Pittsburgh headquarters."
Significant investment in new spaces and equipment
At the end of the construction work, the clean room will have an area of 600 m², about double its initial size. It will be extended to ISO class 6 with areas specific to ISO 5 class cells. Additional investments will be made in cleanroom clothing, work equipment, tools and full product lines.
The cleanroom expansion is seen as a continuation of a multi-year investment in facilities and operational capability that began in 2018. Aerotech has added an additional 12,000 m2 of manufacturing, office, engineering and laboratory space to its Pittsburgh facility.
The new cleanroom capabilities will then also benefit Peak Metrology. Aerotech's youngest subsidiary, also located in Pittsburgh, is currently growing rapidly. Its experts, led by RJ Hardt, focus exclusively on industrial customers in the field of surface metrology.
Peak Metrology offers a wide range of products for this purpose – up to turnkey machines. Already as a business unit of Aerotech, a large customer base has been built around standard and customized precision solutions for surface metrology.
Kiski Precision Industries acquires Alpha Carb Enterprises Aerotech is also pleased with the rapid growth of its subsidiary Kiski Précision Industries (KPI), which subcontracts metalworking such as CNC machining, precision grinding and wire EDM, as well as assembly services for Aerotech. Kiski announced in early December 2022 the acquisition of Alpha Carb Enterprises (ACE), a neighboring company specializing in wire EDM in the tool and die industry, among others. According to KPI, the addition of 7,390 m2 doubles the available operating space – a key factor, as the current production facilities are at full capacity. ACE also offers complementary industries and a wide range of expertise and experience to serve a variety of different markets. Combined, the two companies will join forces on a common platform to offer their customers an expanded industrial offering in the future.
"We have little overlap of customers and only two redundant machining processes – metal cutting and EDM. However, KPI is still new to EDM and has traditionally focused on CNC metalworking and processing, while at ACE the focus is more on EDM. With this addition of EDM expertise, we can offer our customers much greater capacity around wire EDM in tooling and prototyping for all the services we offer," says Dave Holm, President of Kiski Precision Industries, adding, "Flexibility is key to our success – from prototyping to mass production. from complete machining to finishing, from plastics to special alloys. »
Aerotech also wants to benefit from the acquisition of ACE, as KPI now has additional capabilities and more know-how in the various business areas. ACE employees have been offered jobs at KPI KPI employees have been offered jobs at ACE, and executive executives will also be hired.
"In recent years, KPI has developed very specific know-how for key industries and has also implemented special procedures and certifications. We can only benefit from this knowledge – and it's a great advantage that KPI is only about a 45-minute drive from Pittsburgh, as the professional exchange can take place without compromise," says Simon Smith, who is delighted with it all.
Pittsburgh management is also pleased with the current development. "We can look positively to the future," says Dr. Robert Novotnak, president of Aerotech. Given current demand, these investments will allow us to continue to provide our customers with the products and services they expect from Aerotech. Mark Botos, CEO of Aerotech, said: "Fully meeting the needs of our customers has been at the heart of our company philosophy for 50 years. We look forward to continuing to bring our ideas of quality and precision to life and to succeeding together with our customers."