ACDi finding efficiencies at new HQ in Frederick

Submitted photo
Bill Hornbaker, ACDi’s president and CEO, was joined by Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner at a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony for the company’s new headquarters in Frederick, Md. Holding the ribbon are ACDi’s Debbie Hartsfield and Juandro Sotto.


FREDERICK, Md. — When your company designs and makes printed circuit boards, details matter — right down to the floor.

ACDi’s new headquarters on New Technology Way in Federick, Md., takes those details into account, said Kenneth Houck Jr. as he led guests on a recent tour of the facility.

The company had been located a few miles away, on Industry Lane. It moved into its new home in late February, and staff members and company leaders recently welcomed visitors for a ribbon-cutting and open house.

The company provides electronic manufacturing services, product engineering support services, printed circuit board layout, testing, systems integration and product lifecycle management solutions.

“We put parts down on boards, for lack of a better term,” Houck told a group as he showed them the manufacturing area.

ACDi — American Computer Development Inc. — was founded in 1984. William Hornbaker is the president and CEO of the company, which also has a facility in Nashville, N.C.

The company employs about 75 people in Frederick and about 45 in North Carolina.

The new headquarters of about 33,000 square feet is a complete build-out for ACDi’s purposes, officials said.

The new facility and refinements in processes have improved some efficiency measurements by roughly 50 percent, said Gabriel Kenny, chief operating officer.

“We’ve kept a lot of metrics since we’ve moved over here. It is a huge improvement in a few months,” he said.

The new headquarters has space for office functions, meeting rooms and engineering services. Visitors toured some of those areas as well as the design department, where ACDi develops plans for custom circuit boards.

“That’s a huge part of the business,” Kelly said.

He said the firm designs 350 to 400 boards a year and produces about 10,000 to 12,000 in any given month, although the demand varies widely by job. 

In the back of the building, ACDi can manufacture boards to customers’ specifications.

Much of the precision work is automated. Staff members oversee machines that place the small parts and make the tiny connections that power modern electronic devices.

The 18,000-square-foot manufacturing room area is designed so the assembly lines begin near the inventory shelves and travel straight through the building to the other end, where the packing and shipping takes place.

“The whole goal is to fill the back section and go out the door,” Kelly said.

At present ACDi operates two assembly lines. There is room to add a third.

And the floor? It’s covered with electrostatic dissipative flooring to prevent static electricity, which might harm the circuit boards.