Animal Planet’s 'Tanked' Jobs Flow Smoothly with Stiles Machinery

By Karen Koenig | Posted: 06/16/2013 7:00PM


LAS VEGAS – Custom aquarium jobs flow smoothly through Acrylic Tank Manufacturing’s 33,800-square-foot plant, thanks in part to recent equipment  buys from Stiles Machinery Inc.

The world’s largest manufacturer of custom tanks, ATM’s operations are featured on the Animal Planet television series “Tanked.” The weekly series follows the Las Vegas manufacturer’s production of the eye-catching aquarium systems, installed worldwide in celebrity homes, Fortune 500 headquarters, zoos, casinos, hotels, churches, theme parks and more.

Stiles Machinery will feature an ATM tank, along with equipment for wood and plastic fabricating, at booth #8057 during AWFS, July 24-27 in Las Vegas. Registered customers of Stiles Machinery will also have an opportunity to tour ATM’s manufacturing facility, and meet the Tanked cast during the biennial fair.

Founded 17 years ago, ATM is owned by brothers-in-law Wayde King and Brett Raymer. The company’s projects vary widely in size and scope, “from a small aquarium in a kid’s room all the way up to Sea World or whole compound exhibits,” said King, CEO.

Typically, 20 to 30 projects run through the shop at any given time. According to King, ATM’s recent purchases of a Weeke Vantech router, Altendorf F45 sliding table saw and soon to be installed Holzma HPP 410 panel saw will help the company improve its productivity on the acrylic tanks and wood-based bases.

Among the operations performed on the Weeke are engraving, profiling and polishing of curved geometries while the Altendorf sliding table saw is used for bevel cutting. The Holzma saw will be used to cut the cell cast acrylic sheets to size.

The new machines, King said, “save us hundreds of man hours,” in cutting, edge planing and CNC routing. “What would take us 3 or 4 hours we can do in 7 minutes on the CNC,” he added.

Other equipment used in the shop includes: a thermoformer, oven, welding station and saws. The company also uses Delcam software in the production process.

A one-stop shop, ATM will design, engineer, manufacture and fully install the tanks, including the fish, life support, electrical, plumbing and any extras required.

“We’ll do A through Z…whatever’s needed to get it done,” he added. ATM employs 58 people.

Average turnaround time is four to six weeks, depending on the scope of the project, King said, which can range in price from a few hundred to a few million dollars. Among the most unusual, he added, was a large aquarium used at the entrance of Inspiring Body of Christ Church in Dallas, TX, a project which took 2-1/2 years to complete. Other aquariums featured recently on Tanked include one for the Westfield Mall, the Popcorn tank, Dwyane Wade’s Sneaker tank, and the Predator and RV tanks.


About the Author

Karen M. Koenig

Karen M. Koenig has more than 25 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As Editor-in-Chief of Woodworking Network magazine (formerly Wood & Wood Products), Karen’s primary responsibilities include spearheading the writing, editing and coordinating of the editorial content of the publication, along with the Red Book resource guide and the Red Book online source and supply directory ( She is also a frequent contributor to other Woodworking Network online and print media. She can be reached at or Google+.

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