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What are the advantages of an aluminum case?

Aluminum is a structural material that is both lightweight and strong.  It is typically 1/3 the weight of steel and unlike synthetic materials (plastic), it does not require ribs, gussets and/or bosses incorporated in the design of a case to derive strength.  Aluminum alloy itself is strong, which results in a case that is smaller, lighter and stronger than alternatives intended to carry a comparable payload.

Other key advantages include:

How do I determine the size of the case that I need?

Use the diagram below to reference the orientation of our case dimensions.  Since the interior dimensions of our cases are nearly identical to the corresponding exterior dimensions (see following), simply select a case that will accommodate the size of your intended contents.  Unless they are disproportionately heavy, if they fit insidef our standard cases, most likely our cases can handle the load.

If you are interested in a snug or custom tailored fit for your contents, you should consider one of our custom interior options.  Refer to Case Options for further information.

What makes an ACC case different from other aluminum cases on the market?

It’s simple.  Our cases are made from 100% aluminum sheet.

Most “aluminum” cases on the market today are not what they appear to be.  These cases are manufactured with an aluminum channel frame that houses composite panels.  The panels are often 3/16” plyboard painted or veneered to look aluminum-like.   The result is a case comprised of dozens of components held together by glue, nails, and rivets, which cannot stand up to rigorous use.

Our cases begin with aircraft quality aluminum that is formed into the actual shell of the case.  The aluminum alloys we use are so strong, a frame within the case independent from the case skin is unnecessary.  Seams are riveted or welded depending on the case design, and then the unit is mated with high performance hardware.  The result is a light weight, rugged case intended for continuous duty.  

Refer to Case Specs. for a comparison drawing of case construction details.

How does an ACC case compare to cases that feature an aluminum channel frame?

There really is no comparison.  Cases manufactured using an aluminum channel frame and plyboard panels simply cannot match the performance of an ACC case whose shell is fabricated entirely from aluminum. 

We have several clients who were using "aluminum" cases purchased from an overseas supplier.  They looked good at first, but with limited usage, they simply fell apart.  That's where we came in.  Although the initial case price was a bit higher, our cases outlast and outperform so their replacement costs have gone way down.  In fact, we have several clients who ask for new foam inserts every few years as the cases still look and work fine, but the foam has started to show signs of wear.

These clients are now enjoying the benefits of an ACC case program.  We understand their requirements, and ship on their schedule.  All cases are serialized and, while this company continues to receive failed overseas cases returned by its customers, not one ACC case has been reported to be problematic.  

Your website does not list the internal dimensions of your cases.  Why?  How can I calculate them?

It is not uncommon for the internal, usable space in a case to be far less than its external dimensions.  In fact, the actual carrying capacity of a typical plastic case is often found to be only 2/3 of its exterior size.  The same is not true for an ACC case.  The superior strength of a solid-aluminum case shell negates the need for internal ribbing and/or reinforcement.  The resulting case design yields internal dimensions that are virtually identical to the exterior size of the case.

In theory, the internal dimensions of an ACC case in any plane range from 5/64” to 5/16”less than their external counterparts.  As a quick rule of thumb, simply consider the internal dimensions of one of our cases to be 1/2” less in each direction.  For a more precise determination, simply give us a call and we’ll be happy to assist you.

What is the ACC Prototype Program all about?  Is it possible to get a sample of one of your cases, or possibly a prototype of a custom design?  How long does it take?

Aluminum cases are all we do and to remain an industry leader for over 60 years takes talent and flexibility.  We really can't tell you how long it might take without knowing the particulars of your situation as well as our production schedule when you contact us.  Sample stock cases can usually ship within 24 hours; prototypes could take a few days to a few weeks.  

If you are working on a case design or a project that requires a prototype or find yourself under tight time constraints to satisfy a case requirement, give us a call.  We are known for our responsiveness and will do everything we can to meet your deadline.

Refer to Services for a complete discussion of the services we offer our customers.

Does ACC have a minimum order quantity?

No.  We enjoy long-standing relationships with customers who initially contacted us to discuss a small order quantity.  We are happy to work with all new customers, and remain confident that once you experience the performance characteristics of our cases, our business relationship will continue. 

Custom cases do not have a quantity minimum either; however, there is a $500 minimum charge for any custom order.  Depending on your specifications, this could cover one or several cases.

You promote your products as being made in the USA.  What does that really mean?

It means what it says.  We are an American company, and we are proud of it.  All of our products are manufactured in our plant located in Chicago, IL.  Major raw material categories and origin are as follows: