Company Profile

Apex Instruments

Company History and Description

Bill HoweApex Instruments, Inc. designs, manufactures and distributes emission measurement sampling equipment.  Founded in 1988 and managed by William H. Howe, an experienced source tester, Apex Instruments has evolved and grown from manufacturing testing equipment for residential wood heaters to being a worldwide market leader in the source sampling equipment industry.  Apex Instruments, Inc. is located at 204 Technology Park Lane, Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina approximately 20 miles from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Research Center located in the Research Triangle Park.

At its inception, Apex Instruments provided emission measurement equipment, training, consulting and testing services for the manufacturers of residential wood heaters. In April of 1989, Apex Instruments, Inc. earned its Certificate of Accreditation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the testing and certification of wood heaters.  This early experience from working closely with the wood heater industry became invaluable in the development of Apex Instruments.  The knowledge gained in manufacturing and metal fabrication was crucial in the success of Apex Instruments.  In addition to serving the wood heater industry, Apex Instruments, Inc. performed industrial source testing.  This hands-on knowledge proved to be very valuable in the development of new products and new markets.  By the end of 1994, Apex Instruments, Inc. had sold its wood heater testing division and moved to a new manufacturing facility.  In February 1995, Apex Instruments spun-off its rental division and helped form Cherokee Instruments, Inc.  In October of 1996, Apex Instruments, Inc. was recognized by INC 500 Magazine and ranked #417 as one of the 500 fastest growing private companies of 1995, with Gross Sales in excess of $2,000,000.  Again in 2008, 2009 and 2010, Apex Instruments was recognized by INC 5000 magazine.

In 2007, Apex Instruments, Inc. was presented with the North Carolina Department of Labor SHARP award.  This Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) recognizes small to mid-size businesses that establish and maintain effective safety and health programs.  The award ceremony was held at the Apex Instruments facility and was attended by various representatives at the state, city and local levels.   An award banner, a certificate from the NCDOL and a commendation from the NC State Senate were received.  This award was renewed for 2009-2010 and 2011-2012.

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For over 25 years, Apex Instruments, Inc. has manufactured quality products and provided consulting services to customers worldwide.  Along with a published catalog detailing its product lines, Apex maintains an informative website (apexinst.com) featuring our complete product line, as well as new product developments.

From firsthand, on-stack experience and hand-drawn sketches in the late 80’s to sophisticated, automated equipment with highly-evolved software for mercury sampling today, Apex Instruments has always been directly involved with the environmental industry, working close with the U.S. EPA.  When the Clean Air Act was enacted in 1990 and hazardous air pollutants were identified for control, Apex Instruments was at the forefront of product design, method evaluation and implementation.  A wide range of products from isokinetic and gaseous sampling trains to flow measurement and high-tech sorbent systems are manufactured by Apex Instruments.

Apex Instruments continues to enjoy a significant market share for environmental products manufacture.  For example, in the mercury market alone, Apex Instruments began designing custom mercury sampling probes in 1993.  Over 300 systems have been installed.

Systems Management

In May 2014, Apex Instruments, Inc. implemented an new state-of-the-art integrated accounting, inventory management, manufacturing and CRM software package called NetSuite.

Inventory Management is the cornerstone of an effective manufacturing and distribution system. The Inventory Management tools in NetSuite allows for well-organized, timely and accurate information on inventory location, movement and valuation.  It provides data pertaining to the receipt of goods, movement of goods between locations, the sale, removal or disposition of goods, and the precise valuation and status of goods remaining in inventory at any point in time.   The Inventory Management system also offers comprehensive reporting capabilities and can generate reports on item pricing, stock status, detailed sales history, backorder information, reorder points and recommendations, valuation, turnover, and sales analysis.  The Purchase Order capabilities in NetSuite are fully integrated with the Inventory Management system, allowing items on purchase order and receipt of goods to be reflected in stock status reporting and also allow specially order items to be tied to the Sale Order from which it was generated. Vendor information such as vendor pricing and vendor part numbers can also be accessed in the CRM functions of the software.

An integral feature of Apex Instruments’ manufacturing process is the utilization of the Bill of Materials.  NetSuite allows for the creation and maintenance of detailed bills of components, labor and miscellaneous charges of finished items and subassembly components.  As the production of each finished product is recorded, the component items used are automatically transferred from inventory, and the finished products are automatically received into inventory.  When needed, disassembly of finished items can also be recorded, and the components are returned to available inventory status.

Assembly & Manufacture

Apex Instruments Inc. manufacturing follows a regimented procedure in its manufacturing and assembly process.  Use of established Bills of Material and Manufacturing Standards begins the process of producing quality products.  The Apex staff has strong experience in the assembly of metering consoles, temperature process meters and controllers, electronic cable assembly, fabrication of pumps and meter consoles, heaters, sample lines as well as requested custom designs.

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Apex Instruments, Inc. maintains an ample inventory of parts needed in its production process.  All manufactured items are documented in a Bill of Materials accompanied with Manufacturing Standards.  Production is monitored closely with our NetSuite computer program which monitors the use of materials as well as our inventory levels.  All manufactured and assembled items are recorded in NetSuite and in manual records.

The Apex Assembly/Manufacturing team of technicians has a wide range of experience in large and small company operations, including hydraulic filter assemblies for government and military contractors, printed circuit boards, and wave soldering applications. They continue to keep abreast of current manufacturing compliance standards. Apex Instruments provides on-site training seminars, and as a result of its close proximity to Wake Technical College, also encourages employees to participate in tuition paid advancement courses.  Most employees in this department have an average of 8 years experience with Apex Instruments, Inc., and an average of 20 years career experience.

While members of the Apex Instruments Assembly and Manufacturing Department have extensive electronic assembly experience, some of the electronic fabrication is subcontracted to qualified electronic contractors.   Electronic circuit boards and other electronic parts comprise only a small part of Apex manufacturing. When it is proven to be more economical, completed components are purchased, which allows the Department to concentrate its skills and efforts on Apex Instruments designed products.

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Apex Instruments, Inc. also employs a highly experienced Welding Department.  Employees of this department are experienced in MIG, TIG, Stick and Plasma Welding.  They are well trained and hold certifications for private industry and government contracts.  Members of this department are also cross-trained in most Assembly/Manufacturing Department procedures, and are capable of assisting in assemblies when necessary.

Quality Control                                          

It is the expressed policy of Apex Instruments, Inc. to provide our customers with the highest attainable quality in our products and services. Each and every employee is charged with the responsibility of complying with manufacturing standards, using inspected and approved materials, and providing quality workmanship in the production of all Apex equipment.

Quality Control

Quality control conformance is measured throughout the manufacturing process.  Beginning with inspection of raw materials and sub-assemblies, quality checks are performed at several stages of assembly by several technicians.  Each product receives a minimum of three inspections from start to finish of manufacturing, with corrections and adjustments being made when necessary.  In addition, each item receives a final inspection when prepared for shipment.

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Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction is of the utmost importance to Apex Instruments, Inc.  Providing the best quality equipment as well as experienced and timely service at economical prices is our number one goal.  Apex Instruments, Inc. intentionally maintains a large inventory of completed items, which allows for shipment of most orders within 24 hours.

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Apex Instruments, Inc. continues its commitment to air quality and compliance by consistently designing and developing equipment with a genuine understanding of the needs of stack samplers in combination with U.S. EPA Reference Methods.

Markets

Apex Instruments, Inc. supplies equipment and services primarily to end user customers including government agencies, consulting firms and private industries throughout North America.  In addition to its domestic customers, Apex has developed a network of Authorized Distributors and customers in over 50 countries worldwide.   Apex exhibits products at trade shows domestically and internationally each year.  A partial listing includes the Air Quality Conference, Energy Utility Environmental Conference (EUEC), Power-Gen, Pollutec Horizons (France).  Implementation of the mercury regulations provided wider access to the power and cement industries, new markets for Apex Instruments, Inc.