3/10/2017 – Aiken Controls celebrates renovated building with ribbon cutting

Posted on: March 10th, 2017 by admin


March 10, 2017



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Chris Aiken held an interest in electronics from a young age, and he helped his father install machinery and wiring for $2 an hour when he was 12.


This interest grew through the years and eventually led to the company he now operates on West Avenue in downtown Lenoir – Aiken Controls – which designs control panels for different types of manufacturing machinery. The company renovated and moved into the building last summer, and the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, along with the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce, held a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the company.


The building was vacant for years and most recently had been an electronics supply store. Aiken saw the building as the perfect opportunity to expand his business.


The company was originally housed in a small, 4,000-square-foot building on Realty  Street, Aiken said. Now that the company is in a 15,000-square-foot building, there’s plenty of room for growth, he said. The company also has a small office in Nancy, France.


“We really needed the office space because we’ve expanded some positions in engineering,” Aiken said. “And then we didn’t have any fabrication area. We were really trying to do everything in one space. We needed the facilities for what we were doing and the kind of work we were doing.”


Aiken said he has added three employees since the move and intends to add another position soon.


“We do industrial controls predominantly,” Aiken said. “And that ranges from simple controls that go on a single machine that would control the operation of the machine, through full production lines. What we’re moving more and more to is larger machines an also some standard products that we’ll be putting into the industrial market … We do a little bit of everything.”


Aiken said at least half of his business comes from the solid wood industry.


“We take boards and scan them,” he said. “We have high-speed scanning equipment. We scan the boards at like 1,000 feet per minute. We find the shape, we find defects. And then we calculate the best cutting pattern for that board. Then we control the machinery to rip it into strips and cross-cut it into pieces.”


Another piece of machinery the company is working on is a 3D sensor that can verify what is contained in a box and check each layer for the appropriate pieces. This technology is being tested for used by Ikea, so that each box can be verified to have all the pieces in it before it’s given to a customer, Aiken said. The machine can detect measurements for length, width, and distance.


Aiken said business has continued to expand across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and parts of Europe.


By Briana Adhikusuma, (Lenoir) News-Topic



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