National Grid, CEG Help Cohoes-Based PVA Repurpose its Business to Manufacture Critical COVID-19 Equipment
Economic development grants help NY companies retool operations, produce pandemic supplies
As manufacturers around the world look for ways to make products that support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, National Grid has found a way to support companies across New York who are joining those efforts. As an example, Cohoes-based high-tech manufacturer Precision Valve and Automation, or PVA, is receiving National Grid support to produce critical equipment for healthcare workers and patients.
PVA is a global supplier of automation equipment for the electronics, medical device, telecommunications, semiconductor and defense industries. When the company decided to transition its manufacturing process to make a device called PREVENT, National Grid was ready to help offset their costs. The emergency resuscitator, to be used by medical personnel caring for COVID-19 patients, mechanically controls an ambu bag that can keep a patient breathing temporarily when a ventilator isn’t immediately available.
To support businesses like PVA in making the critical products needed during the COVID-19 pandemic, National Grid is fast-tracking funding requests through its Manufacturing Productivity Program. The program, in collaboration with New York State Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers, offers funding of up to $40,000 to reimburse customers for the costs to transition their existing facilities to produce critical medical equipment and supplies needed to support the COVID-19 response effort.
National Grid provided a $35,000 grant to PVA to help offset the $58,000 cost to retool their facility to manufacture PREVENT. “The support from National Grid helped make this possible,” said Tony Hynes, PVA Founder and CEO. “Partnerships like this between PVA and National Grid show how we come together in challenging times.” PVA is expected to ramp up to 100 units per day upon FDA approval.
“Our goal is to partner with manufacturers statewide to retool their core businesses,” said John Bruckner, National Grid’s New York president. “Our fast-track funding is one of the many ways we are helping win the war against COVID-19 by increasing productivity and implementing programs that will sustain businesses during the recovery.”
PVA also is working with the Center for Economic Growth, an Albany-based nonprofit regional economic development organization. CEG is providing the professional services for PVA to receive manufacturing certifications and fast track FDA approval for PREVENT.
“In the past manufacturing companies sought the assistance of CEG’s Business Growth Solutions to get ISO-certified when they wanted to enter a certain market, such as aerospace parts or medical device manufacturing. However, in the post-COVID-19 environment, quality control processes will be paramount for all operations,” said Andrew Kennedy, CEG President and CEO. “Manufacturers will want ISO certification to keep workers and products safe; the ability it carries to enter new markets will be an added benefit. As we’ve seen with PVA’s pivot to making emergency ventilators, the leveraging of National Grid’s Manufacturing Productivity Program to offset the cost of ISO can help save lives, and it will help save many manufacturers as well. I want to thank the professional staff at CEG who reacted quickly to help PVA address this issue and meet their operating needs.”
Federal, state and local officials are asking manufacturers to shift production to critical personal protective equipment and medical equipment needed by front-line health workers and institutions responding to the pandemic.
In response to COVID-19, National Grid has streamlined the program to help manufacturers who need assistance to develop new products or implement lean manufacturing, to produce critical items to support the pandemic response. Funding will be made available to manufacturers working with their regional New York State Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers on eligible activities. The program is part of the company’s suite of Shovel Ready economic development programs for New York. For more information on the program and other eligibility requirements, please visit www.shovelready.com.
Precision Valve and Automation, Inc. (PVA) is a global supplier of conformal coating systems, innovative fluid dispensing solutions and precision valve technology. PVA’s customer driven solutions are utilized worldwide in applications for printed circuit assembly, semiconductor packaging, medical device manufacturing, telecommunications, solar, and consumer electronics. Throughout the changing global manufacturing landscape, from laboratory applications to advance production systems, PVA provides technologies that deliver unmatched precision and reliability.
The Center for Economic Growth (CEG) is the Capital Region’s regional economic development organization, with over 265 investors in business, government, education, and the not-for-profit sectors. CEG is a New York Empire State Development Division of Science, Technology and Innovation-designated Regional Technology Development Center and an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). For more information, visit www.ceg.org.
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