AMSTERDAM — MHXCo Foam Company will boost its production capabilities and create new jobs at its Amsterdam facility when manufacturing processes are brought fully in-house through the support of a $500,000 state grant.
The funding to MHXCo was among over $22 million in grants and tax-credit funding from Empire State Development recently awarded to 21 projects across the state through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
“As we continue to make deep investments in New York communities, we remain committed to doing so in a way that expands opportunity, drives private investment, and bolsters our talented workforce,” said state Gov. Kathy Hochul in a prepared statement.
The $500,000 in state funding will aid a larger investment by MHXCo’s parent company Adhesive Applications purchasing and installing new equipment at the specialty foam manufacturing facility at 120 Edson St.
“Obviously we’re really excited about getting this grant,” said Petra Schaefer, president of Adhesive Applications and co-owner of MHXCo, on Tuesday. “It allows us to have some flexibility, but the equipment we’re putting in costs significantly more.”
MHXCo produces a variety of foam products with unique characteristics that are sold nationwide for use in the medical, automotive, construction, industrial and defense industries. Foam suitable for skin contact is used in healthcare products for securing wounds or medicated patches. Other adhesive foams are commonly used as sealants for building materials or mechanical systems.
Foam is made from plastic through a three-stage process. Plastic pellets are melted down into dense rolls through extrusion, the physical properties of the material are then enhanced using an electron beam crosslinking system and finally the plastic undergoes an expansion process to become foam.
MHXCo previously handled the initial and final stages of manufacturing, but lacked the equipment for the middle step that prepares plastic to become foam. The company had transported partially processed materials across state lines to undergo the molecular crosslinking process before hauling it back to the Amsterdam plant for finishing.
The company will buy and install an electron beam crosslinking system at the Edson Street plant to bring the manufacturing process completely under its own roof with support from the state funding. The exact cost of the equipment was not immediately available. Installation is targeted by the end of this year.
“The fact that we are now going to be developing that process here is going to give us a lot more flexibility and efficiency,” said Paul Schulz, general manager of MHXCo. “It’s going to expand our capabilities and our capacity.”
The equipment will enable the company to more closely control the production process, shorten delivery lead times and advance the ability to custom make products to meet the specific needs of clients and adapt to emerging technologies.
“Because we’re small and nimble we can customize existing products to work for new technology,” Schaefer said.
The additional production capabilities will lead to the creation of new skilled jobs at MHXCo for machine operators and technical support staff. On-site training is commonly offered, according to Schulz, who credited the business’ success to the local workforce.
“The Amsterdam workforce has a high degree of work ethic and commitment,” Schulz said. “The company continues to want to expand and grow in the area.”
Although Adhesive Applications is based in Massachusetts, Schaefer said the family-owned parent company is committed to Amsterdam and has invested in other improvements and added equipment to the MHXCo foam plant since acquiring the business around 2018.
“We’re continuing to invest,” Schaefer said. “Our plan is to remain in Amsterdam and we’re looking forward to being part of the reignition of the economy in the Mohawk Valley.”
Reach Ashley Onyon at [email protected] or @AshleyOnyon on Twitter.