By Susan Elise Campbell
Precision Valve & Automation, a maker of dispensing, coating, and custom automation equipment, has “come full circle” by returning to Saratoga County at a new location at 6 Corporate Drive in Halfmoon, according to CEO and founder Tony Hynes.
About 200 employees relocated from the 135,000-square-foot facility at One Mustang Drive in Cohoes that the company occupied since 2010.
“We moved $15 million in production in one day,” Hynes said. The new headquarters opened officially on Aug. 23.
Hynes started the company in the basement of his home in 1992 and was soon accepted into the RPI Incubation Center for manufacturing start-ups.
“We had to petition to go there, do interviews, and present the business plan so they could appraise our potential for success,” he said.
Hynes had seen room in the competitive field of dispensing and fluid dynamics to improve equipment for applying adhesives for robotics. By marrying technology with automation, today Precision Valve offers turnkey solutions to clients worldwide.
From RPI, Hynes moved the business toward Albany Airport and then to Halfmoon, but the company kept outgrowing their facilities, he said.
Because of the impact of COVID-19 on manufacturing and exporting, Hynes said business was down 45 percent but has bounced back.
“The company was hiring all along despite the pandemic,” he said. “It has been a very good year.”
Growth was behind relocating to larger spaces in the past. But this time, “Amazon decided they wanted our 20-acre plot of land for a distribution center,” Hynes said. He owns other real estate around the Capital District and his agent is also an agent for Amazon.
“My agent approached me with an interesting opportunity,” he said. “Now we needed to move and fit up the new space very quickly.”
There were about a half-dozen sites to look at, but the company settled on the 76,000-square-foot former home of the Sportsplex on 6 Corporate Drive. The building had six indoor soccer fields, so it was wide open and easy to convert to manufacturing.
The space is smaller, but Hynes said he has contracted to purchase another 12,000 square feet at 5 Corporate Drive across the street and will move metal manufacturing there. Offices and final assembly are housed in the larger building.
The company hired BBL Construction Services out of Albany and renovation work began last November.
“This was our first opportunity to work with BBL on any scale,” Hynes said. “We needed a quick turnaround and they have a stellar reputation. It was a very good partnership.”
Space at headquarters is dedicated to a gym, cafeteria, barbershop, medical center and physical therapy center.
“Our health care centers are open 24/7 and are free to employees,” Hynes said. “You just don’t find these amenities today even in the biggest companies.”
Hynes said their health care group is working to navigate the Delta variant and keeping staff up-to-date.
“That’s the only cloud I see on the horizon,” he said.
Visit PVA.net for more information.