Press-Republican

November 21, 2012

Malone manufacturer increases productivity


Press-Republican

MALONE — With a $40,000 grant, Asept Pak Inc. is improving productivity.

The contract blow-fill-seal-packaging company used the Manufacturing Productivity Program funding from National Grid to partner with CITEC to create a plan to improve its processes and therefore comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s requirements for good-manufacturing practices. 

Production schedules, capacity constraints, equipment needs and personnel support were all targeted as part of the effort.

Also, CITEC, a Potsdam-based not-for-profit economic development organization, gave support “to transition Asept Pak to a highly controlled aseptic filling operation using lean principles,” a press release said. 

CITEC helped manage the resources to put in place the necessary steps and also gave support for market analysis and methods to evaluate capital requirements for new product development.

“National Grid’s $40,000 grant enabled Asept Pak to achieve an immediate increase in sales, and we expect sales to double over the next year,” said Terry Wiley, Asept Pak vice president of manufacturing, in a press release. 

“We increased our workforce last year, and plan to hire more personnel as the company expands new product lines in neonatal care, reagents, and inhalation.”

MATCHING GRANTS

Since 2009, National Grid has awarded 97 matching grants to manufacturers in northern New York for projects designed to increase productivity or business growth. 

“The program, which provides matching grants averaging $20,000 each, offers an enhanced incentive for manufacturers to undertake ‘lean manufacturing’ projects that increase productivity and activities that create new products or sales,” the release said.

“National Grid is dedicated to promoting energy efficiency and productivity to help our customers reduce their energy usage and costs,” said Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid regional executive of Central New York. 

“Our Manufacturing Productivity Program supports companies that are investing in activities that result in lower operating costs, thereby increasing output without increasing energy consumption.”

CITEC has assisted Asept Pak and other companies in northern New York’s seven counties to up productivity, improve economic competitiveness and enhance technological capabilities. Those initiatives save time and money, create and retain jobs and achieve higher profits, the release said.

“National Grid’s Manufacturing Productivity Program makes it feasible for small and medium-sized manufacturers, especially startups like Asept Pak, to engage CITEC to solve their most demanding challenges so they can succeed and grow,” said William Murray, executive director of CITEC.

EVALUATIONS

To qualify for the National Grid Manufacturing Productivity Program, an applicant must be a customer in good standing and be able to pitch in enough matching funds to complete the project. Applicants must fall under the North American Industry Classification System as “manufacturing” and contribute at least 25 percent of the total funding.

The Regional Technology Development Centers conduct evaluations to verify project results, such as reduction in operating costs and new or increased sales. 

The program is among National Grid’s most popular, the release said. And cumulative results based on customer surveys, show that, in three years, it has helped create and retain more than 1,100 jobs and has contributed more than $165 million in total economic value.

For more information on the program, visit www.shovelready.com/application.asp or call the National Grid Upstate New York Economic Development Department at (315) 428-6061.

Learn more about Asept Pak at www.aseptpak.com; CITEC at www.citec.org; and National Grid at www.nationalgridus.com.