News & Press Releases


NEWS - WINDSOR STAR

2010-06-30

June 30, 2010 - ACROLAB posts "best ever" sales - WINDSOR STAR

 

JASON KRYK/ The Windsor Star
Peter McCormack, left, Technical Sales Manager, and John Hodgins, CEO, of Acrolab onTranby Avenue.
 

 

               Windsor firm bucks trend
 
    Acrolab expects to see best-ever sales in July
*                    
*                   DAVE HALL
*                   The Windsor Star
 
At a time when many area businesses are fighting to keep their doors open, a small Windsor company expects to have its best-ever sales month in July.
 
Focusing on innovative thermal engineering research, development and custom manufacturing for a variety of sectors and applications, Acrolab Ltd. over the past 60 years has built itself a globally recognized reputation in energy transfer systems, technology and hardware.
 
With 3,500 customers around the globe in aerospace, agriculture, automotive, renewable energy, medical, materials science, petrochemical and telecommunications, Acrolab provides technical expertise on a fee-forservice basis, specialized research and development, engineering design, testing and evaluation as well as field services and installation from its high-tech shop that employs 20 on the city’s east side.
 
It also has sales offices in Montreal and Detroit, sales affiliates in Calgary, Germany and Brazil and a plant in Poland. “In addition to continuing to do globally recognized R&D, our goal now is to get the word out about what we do to potential customers across the region,” said Peter McCormack, Acrolab’s technical sales manager. “We’ll work with anybody and anybody that comes to our door.
 
“We’re a small company but that makes us capable of turning research into commercialization in record time.” “We want people to know what we do because we believe research and development is what helps attract other industries.
 
“Highly specialized research and development which is the key driver for our company is largely bulletproof in terms of the economy,” said McCormack.
 
Over the past few years, Acrolab has provided heat pipe technology for NASA’s space shuttle Columbia as well as aircraft, ships and submarines, biothermal products for the agricultural sector, cooling applications for the chemical industry, heating and cooling pipes for the renewable energy sector and heat transfer technology for the auto industry.
 
Acrolab’s president Joe Ouellette is travelling this week trying to attract more customers for the company’s agricultural division and its biothermal technology which helps farmers turn waste into hydrolectricity. Much of Acrolab’s research is carried out in collaboration with McMaster University, Cornell University, Carleton University and the universities of Waterloo, Vermont, Alberta and Sherbrooke.
 
In July, Acrolab will complete delivery of between 500 and 600 isobar heat pipes for thermal electric generators sold throughout the world by Alberta based Global Thermal Inc. “We’re one of the bright lights locally,” said John Hodgins, chief executive officer of Acrolab. “What we’ve been able to do outside the automotive sector has been extensive. “We’ve done very well despite the fact the buying power comes from the U.S. but we believe it will improve there as well.”
 
Acrolab’s latest innovation, which was a finalist for an innovation award in the annual worldwide JEC Innovation Awards, is an isomandrel which permits the curing of filament-wound pipe and tube sections without the need for curing ovens. The isomandrel, a long cylindrical-shaped bar of metal, is heated uniformly up to 500 F by an induction coil while carbon or other fibres are wound around it as it rotates creating a pipe. Once completed, the mandrel is allowed to cool and the pipe is removed.
 
“The process involves curing the pipe from the inside out rather than from the outside in as with a convection oven,” said McCormack. “It not only reduces production time from up to four hours down to less than one hour, it produces a much better product. “This is the type of research and innovation we do here,” said McCormack. “We have so many resources at our disposal to help anybody who has a problem they need solving or an idea for a product they want to produce.”
Acrolab introduced the isomandrel at the American Composites Manufacturers Association Show in Las Vegas in February and interest is already building, said Hodgins. “The up-front capital expense may be higher,” said Hodgins. “But time is money in manufacturing today and the long-term savings are considerable.”


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