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Metis entrepreneur goes high-tech with temperature loggers

Article Origin


Raven's Eye Staff







Page 11

When he founded ACR Systems back in 1983, Albert C. Rock, an entrepreneur of Metis Cree heritage, was a high-tech explorer-always looking for new and better ways to do things.

ACR data loggers grew out of his search for an improved method of recording temperature and relative humidity in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems he commissioned. Today, his Surrey-based company is a multi-million-dollar business, manufacturing pocket-sized data loggers that circle the globe - literally.

Its products are used on unmanned orbiters and on the ground in more than 100 countries, in an ever-increasing range of applications from heating systems and blood temperature monitoring to Formula One racing cars. They can be found in a watershed study in the Himalayas, a nuclear power plant in North Carolina, a Colombian rose farm, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Windsor Castle and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Closer to home, the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, B.C., is currently using ACR data loggers to monitor the temperature of the "Yukon Ice Man."

With a staff of 30 people, ACR has expanded its international sales. More than 80 per cent of its production is for export, mainly to the United States, but also to the European Union, the Middle East and the Far East. In expanding its presence abroad, ACR has made use of federal government programs. For example, it has received financial assistance from Aboriginal Business Canada (ABC) to develop its multilingual presentation material; and it has been aided by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS).

"TCS has carried out initial research for us in various countries, helping to validate potential agents," explained Roger Mansel, ACR's Marketing communications director.

The company also attends major trade shows around the world, such as AHR Expo, ISA Expo, Anuga FoodTech and Sensors Expo-all excellent opportunities for making contacts with end users and potential distributors, according to Mansel. ACR is still expanding its dealer network, which is already in place on five continents.

For smaller companies looking to expand their international scope, Mansel suggests, "Take advantage of the many government services available. For example, along with TCS we have found Industry Canada's Strategis and CanadExport, published by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, to be particularly useful in helping to keep an eye on what's going on out there."

For more information check out the Web at www.acrsystems.com.