Editor’s note: From time to time, we feature valued business partners and vendors on the UCEC blog. Today, we’ll introduce you to ACES Engineering.
By Mark Inboden
UCEC has had the pleasure of working with the principals at ACES Engineering since the 1980s. Based in Farmington, NM, ACES provides electrical systems engineering for private, local and federal entities throughout the Southwest. They work primarily in systems integration, migration and automation services.
President and Principal Engineer Gary Spies told us that a typical project for ACES is where his firm is hired to do the engineering and design for automation and control systems, which typically include PLC control panels.
When the panels arrive in Farmington, Gary’s team runs a hardware functional acceptance test (FAT) and verifies that the panel was built to spec. “We trust UCEC and their quality,” Gary says. “If there’s an issue, it is a small one and UCEC works with us to resolve it quickly.”
Gary estimates the two firms have collaborated on “hundreds” of panels over the years. It’s an easy call for ACES to bring UCEC onto a project. “UCEC takes care of us,” Gary says.
After working with companies such as Manville and Rapley, Gary saw an opportunity to establish his own firm in 1999. He immediately reached out to UCEC for several projects, including one that had 23 PLC panels that needed to be built. In those early days, Gary would send a crew up to Arvada, CO for the FAT testing. Through the years, the two companies eliminated that step and now UCEC ships everything to Farmington.
ACES’ work culture can be summed up in one, quick phrase, according to Gary: “Get it done right and on time.” With 17 people on staff, the experienced firm knows the in’s and out’s of the automation industry, whether it’s a new build or an update to an aging plant with millions of dollars already invested in equipment. “We offer the experience and the industry knowledge to integrate new technology into existing facilities,” Gary notes.
One early project shaped ACES’s culture: a huge upgrade in the automation systems for compressor stations on a natural gas pipeline. The stations were placed every 50 miles on the pipeline from Texas to California. ACES designed the control system upgrades for the compressor stations to have the same look and feel from one end to the other. By doing this, on-site technicians could work faster and more efficiently because they were already familiar with the layout of each station. This enormous project shaped the way the firm would work together: collaboratively, creatively and efficiently.
From time to time, I’ll share additional partner success stories in this space. Thank you for visiting the UCEC blog, and if we can help you in any way, please reach out.
Mark is President and CEO of UCEC. Want to know more about UCEC? Sign up to receive our blog posts by email.