22 April 2010


Precision Flow Technologies to double staffing

Precision Flow Technologies of Saugerties, NY, USA, which designs and makes ultra-high-purity process gas delivery systems, gas purge and mixing systems, says that it is to more than double its staffing (from about 185 currently) by creating 190 new jobs at Tech City in Hudson Valley. This is said to be the largest jobs expansion associated with The Solar Energy Consortium (TSEC), of which Precision Flow Technologies is one of 15 member firms (including manufacturers, installers and tooling companies). 

“Hudson Valley is well on its way to becoming a major leader in growing solar energy sector,” said Congressman Maurice Hinchey, who was present at the announcement together with Ulster County executive Mike Hein, TSEC president & co-CEO Vincent Cozzolino and Tech City owner Alan Ginsberg. Precision Flow Technologies and other firms have leased 250,000ft2 of space at a former IBM plant in Tech City in the past year, adding or committing to 1000 jobs overall, says Ginsberg in a report in the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Hinchey helped to establish TSEC in 2007 as an industry-driven, non-profit organization that provides leadership, organization, resources, and support for the establishment of a solar industry research and manufacturing cluster in the New York Hudson Valley region. He has since secured more than $31m in federal funding for the consortium and its partners. This includes $8.4m for Precision Flow (and its prime customer, silicon carbide wafer maker C9 Corp of Wilton, NY), helping it to speed its expansion into TechCity. An extra 31 construction jobs will also be created for a period of 26 weeks during a $1.2m upgrade of the Tech City facilities, where a 40,000ft2 manufacturing plant is being constructed for Precision Flow Technologies.

The funding secured on behalf of Precision Flow and C9 is being used to advance energy technologies with the Department of Defense that aim to enhance the use of solar arrays, hybrid electric vehicles, and other energy-efficient applications. Specifically, last December saw approval under the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill for a $2.8m contract to improve semiconductor-grade silicon carbide (SiC) material for semiconductor/solar manufacturing, targeting widespread applications not only for the military (e.g. boosting battery life for powering hand-held and back-pack devices for troops, recharging unmanned reconnaissance platforms, and developing hybrid vehicles) but also for the private-sector power utilities, automotive, aerospace and computer industries.

Funding is being paid through primary subcontractor L-3 Communications to fellow subcontractors NanoDynamics-88 and C9, which will both use fourth subcontractor Precision Flow Technologies to develop equipment for producing solar wafers. Of the total funding, C9 is receiving about 60%, of which Precision Flow Technologies is receiving at least 80%, according to C9.

C9 is a privately funded firm founded in 2005 by executives at three New York companies: chief technology officer Dr C.G. Wang (president and CEO of device R&D firm Nanodynamics-88); president & chief executive officer Kevin Donegan (CEO of Amtrade, which brings military R&D technologies to the commercial market); and chief operating officer and senior VP Frank Falatyn (president & CEO of manufacturing services firm FALA Technologies). C9’s focus is bringing Nanodynamics-88’s semiconductor technologies to market. The primary technologies include: SiC-based devices that are claimed to be defect-free (with epitaxial quality products ‘equivalent to those currently found in standard semiconductor wafer processing’); SiC/silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers; specialty thermal materials; and harsh-environment products.

In concert with its expansion, Precision Flow Technologies says that it is adding jobs mainly in manufacturing but also including engineers, management and administrative positions. “We are hiring at the rate of five to seven a week in manufacturing and several more in engineering,” according to president & CEO Kevin Brady in the Poughkeepsie Journal report.

TSEC will continue to work with Precision Flow’s management team as they grow their businesses by providing solar related products and equipment, according to Cozzolino.  “As PFT has grown, they have provided business opportunities to several other TSEC partner companies, creating jobs elsewhere in our region," he adds. “The Hudson Valley is rapidly becoming a hub for solar energy, with TSEC and Tech City leading the way,” comments Hinchey.

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