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.