Heavy metal

Joseph Zeno, president and CEO, ACS Industries Inc.

Before 2009, ACS Industries Inc. had sold few hot slag buckets used in the production of steel to carry away the slag byproduct, in part because the company had no steel mill customers.

At the end of 2011, that situation had changed significantly ­― ACS was servicing 62 steel mills on an exclusive basis and had produced more than 360 new hot slag buckets.

How it happened boils down to the addition of new and lean manufacturing techniques.

ACS, under President and CEO Joseph Zeno, got the ball rolling in 2008 with the purchase of new semi-automatic and robotic welding technology. That same year, two of the company’s product lines were redesigned to optimize the returns from the new manufacturing technologies and provide better value for customers.

Even though the launch of the new technologies occurred during one of the worst economic times, the results were immediate, sustainable and exceeded company expectations.

During this time, ACS also concluded that there was compelling logic to redesign and remarket an existing product line so the company could better serve customers with older or legacy equipment. The acceptance of the redesigned legacy attachment line has been excellent, and sales have increased every month since the product was introduced. Some other key factors in regard to this product is that it is value-priced and ready for immediate delivery, which are important advantages in today’s competitive market.

A spring expansion of the company’s factory in Kent is planned in order to house new equipment including more robotic welders and lean manufacturing techniques so that another product line may be produced.

Company leadership also plays a large part in ACS’s success. The leadership has a unique understanding of manufacturing dynamics and is committed to the practice of value-based leadership, building a successful team of quality employees and maintaining a positive culture in which the people work and achieve.

How to reach: ACS Industries Inc., (800) 321-2348 or www.acs-coupler.com