RAVENNA, Ohio—Erick Sharp is planning on offering testing capabilities bridging the rubber and silicone markets, as well as providing industry education, with investment and expansion at his Ace Products and Consulting business.
Sharp, president and CEO of Ace, is leading the company through its second expansion stage, which opened to customers as of March 1, he said. The expansion includes an additional 3,500 square feet to be added to the company's current 7,000 square feet at its Ravenna facility, and will cap off with an open house April 12.
Ace is housed in a 172,000-sq.-ft. industrial park facility on 72 acres with rail access, giving the company more room to expand in later planned phases and bring in other rubber-related business, Sharp said.
Before Ace, Sharp worked with Portage Precision Polymers Inc. for four years. When Portage was acquired by Hexpol A.B. in December 2014, Sharp decided to get away from the corporate environment.
"I've been through this before, going big to the corporate side. It's just not a match for me," he said. "I'd rather go completely to the other side and start grassroots."
Sharp started Ace on his own at the beginning of 2015, and expanded into a 2,000-sq.-ft. lab in Akron with some mixing and basic test equipment to do research and development work.
"That was going well for us, and there was a lot of feedback from customers pushing us to go into independent testing and expand the scope of what we were doing," he said.
Sharp took a look at the market for pain points in the rubber industry, and put together plans for the next stage of independent testing and a broader scope for R&D testing as well, he said.
"I could maintain the business at the size it was, and be a happy, small company, or seize the opportunity to bring in investors and go for it," he said. "I'm not very good at being happy and content. I like to go for it."