New Berlin, Wis. — ACS Group is going on the offensive in the competitive market for plastics auxiliary machinery.
The most visible sign — on Nov. 15, the company opened a 12,000-square-foot new technology center in New Berlin, about three blocks down the street from its 186,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing plant.
The opening was timed to coincide with the company's annual national sales meeting.
“It's a place where you can bring your customers and feel proud,” said Paul Grekowicz, vice president of marketing and product development.
Prior to the new center, plastics processors who wanted to visit ACS to test equipment or learn about new products had to visit an area in the back of the manufacturing plant.
Grekowicz said ACS is hiring staff to create products, many of them timed for introduction at NPE 2018.
“We're investing in additional resources to accelerate new product development. We're hiring,” he said. “We have a lot of good things to show, and every few months there is going to be something new. That's the exciting part.”
The tech center project came together quickly. At first, ACS planned to use the leased space for warehousing. Then, about two months ago, officials decided to convert the building into a fancy showroom and technical center, with polished floors, upgraded lighting, and space to show off the company's complete product line.
ACS spent more than $150,000 on the renovation. The company, which has brand names including AEC, Sterling and Cumberland, also invited a primary equipment supplier to the project, so customers can see how ACS equipment works with an operating injection molding machine. There's a 165-ton Venus injection press from Absolute Haitian in the building. At the open house, it was pumping out discs for disc golf.