ACE Rebrand Signals New Era in Automation and Material Handling



ace rebrand logo

MHI’s Electrification and Controls Manufacturers Association (ECMA) rebranded in 2023 as the Automation, Controls and Electrification Association (ACE), signifying a new era of innovation in industrial automation and material handling.

ACE members are at the forefront of delivering automation solutions across the globe, spanning significant manufacturing and distribution sectors. This includes a range of cutting-edge offerings such as controls systems, drives, motors, I/Os, HMIs, safety devices, vision systems, sensors, weighing mechanisms and cabling solutions, plus all the included software, all working synergistically to elevate productivity in material handling.

The impetus for rebranding to ACE was to have an industry group within MHI that would serve the automation, controls and electrification needs across the entire material handling ecosystem—everything from the shaft of the motor all the way to the factory network or cloud, said ACE vice chair Dan Barrera, sales product manager at MHI member Bosch Rexroth.

“The rebranding gives us a new value proposition, with new goals and targets regarding machine safety, connectivity, data collection and security with encryption, to create high-performance architectures or solutions—this is what the material handling industry is looking for,” Barrera said.

ACE will work across MHI’s Industry Groups to ensure the data collected from automation components throughout the material handling ecosystem is secure and can be passed from the operational technology (OT) to the information technology (IT), and then to the cloud for AI analysis and management by members of each industry group—”that’s how we want to position ourselves within MHI,” Barrera said.

“We have a vision of creating a map of all the groups and how they link to each other,” Barrera said. “ACE can be the center within MHI of all of the different things that require automation.”

MHI member Murrelektronik joined ECMA in 2021 when it focused mainly on electrification and controls for cranes. Since then, there has been significant growth within the sector to include automation and controls across all of the components within a warehouse or distribution center, says Eric Miller, key account development manager at Murrelektronik, based in Suwanee, Georgia.

“We are definitely excited about the direction that ACE is heading,” Miller said. “The existing members have experience with writing specifications and now we’re broadening that to all of the material handling industry.”

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