A prototype engineering company has doubled the size of its unit at a Black Country industrial estate to support a new multi-million pound contract to build an innovative electric trike that will be used across the globe.
Ace Forming Ltd has been based in Building 32, Bay 3 at The Pensnett Estate in Kingswinford, which is owned and managed by West Midlands-based property company London & Cambridge Properties (LCP), for the past seven years. But, following a major new contract with Ecospin Ltd, the company has taken an additional lease on the neighbouring 11,643 sq ft industrial unit.
The company is currently working on the prototype for the Raptor EPV – a three-wheeled electric trike. The mobility device will initially be used by police departments, security companies and large-scale event organisers in America, Australia, Holland, Ireland and the UK.
Unlike most mobility devices such as Segways, the Raptor EPV will be road legal. They are expected to travel 12,000 miles using £100 worth of electric and will be fitted with a unique battery solution.
Ace Forming Ltd will make 100 trikes before the end of the year with a forecast for 2,000 per year thereafter. The contract could potentially be worth £2 million per year for the company, if the product becomes popular in more countries.
The company currently employs 11 people, four of which were appointed especially to work on the prototype and develop the unique electric harness. It is expected to create an additional 10 jobs before the production stage begins.
Ian Wiles, managing director of Ace Forming Ltd, said: “Ecospin Ltd came to us with the initial idea and we worked with them to develop it and suggest improvements.
“This is a major contract for us but there wasn’t enough room in our existing unit to accommodate the potential number of trikes we are due to build. So when the unit next door came available it was the perfect opportunity to expand without uprooting our current employees or separating the design and assembly teams.”
Andrew Preston, industrial property manager at LCP, said: “Like many of the companies on The Pensnett Estate, from the outside you couldn’t imagine the wealth of skills and creativity that is being used to created extremely innovative products. We are pleased to be able to support Ace Forming Ltd with its expansion plans as it embarks on a major new contract that will see its product being used around the world.”
The Pensnett Estate comprises approximately 2.3 million sq ft on a site of 185 acres, with 25 acres for future development of speculative or purpose built premises. Existing tenants include Helix, Kennametal, Sven Christiansen, Intralox, Handicare and Booker Cash & Carry.
Established in 2002, Ace Forming Ltd is one of the UK’s leading prototype engineering companies, offering a complete service for both prototype and production metal forming. The company works blue-chip clients and product developers in a range of sectors, including aerospace, medical, telecom, electronic and automotive.