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“Standard industry lead time is eight


to 10 weeks,” Davis said. “When you go out to bid a custom project, with no tooling cost and no leadtime, it’s a big advantage. Tat’s what we are stocking on and winning quite a bit on.” Acuity’s path to industry-leading


delivery times on new, custom projects started eight years ago with the spark of an idea from Davis, a designer with just about a year of casting experience under his belt.


Light Bulb Moment In 2003, Acuity had an order with


Key West, Fla., that included making custom door pulls with its town logo. Customization is nothing new in the outdoor architecture industry. Accord- ing to Davis, most towns want the antique look with their own twist to give it an identity. In the past, a rubber mold with the design addition—like a logo—was glued to the tool and then cast. Te rubber mold wore out quickly. Davis felt there was a better


Shown is the tooling for the finials of an outdoor lamp. The tools were produced with plastic patterns made on a 3D printer.


way to make custom products quickly and thought an ABS plastic 3-D printer could be the key. “I am always looking at differ-


ent technologies and ways to try to improve products and processes for


Acuity Brands,” Davis said. “Don’t get locked in by what you know to be feasible.” Davis’ vision was helped by Acuity


Brand’s metalcasting facility asset in Matamoros, Mexico. Te lighting


February 2013 MODERN CASTING | 31


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