NYSTAR Awards Grant to MPI For Product Diversification Initiative

Posted on July 8, 2020 at 2:19 pm

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POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — NYSTAR, Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation, has awarded a $50,000 grant to MPI, Inc. after the company launched a product diversification initiative—a project it completed with support from the Manufacturing & Technology Enterprise Center (MTEC).    

“Through this diversification program for New York State manufacturers, NYSTAR has helped companies across the state pave new paths to growth,” said NYSTAR Executive Director Matt Watson. “MTEC’s work with MPI is an outstanding example of how the NY MEP’s regional centers help manufacturers in their communities solve potential challenges, increase their competitiveness and create and retain jobs.”

MPI is the worldwide leader in wax-room and ceramic core injection as well as automated injection and assembly equipment. It worked with MTEC, the Hudson Valley’s regional center of the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NY MEP), to implement an accelerated program to introduce a new product that broadens the industry sectors it can serve.

NYSTAR awarded the grant through its defense diversification program, which assists New York State companies with diversifying their product mix and operations to make them more resilient to spending fluctuations within the U.S. Department of Defense.

A significant share of MPI’s customer base is made up of DOD supply chain manufacturers, or firms that manufacture components for military equipment. The NYSTAR grant supported MPI’s development of next-generation product capabilities that provide the high reliability, precision and customization required to meet the needs of the commercial consumer sector.

“Developing new equipment for the commercial consumer market was an opportunity for MPI to achieve new growth and create jobs here in the Hudson Valley,” said Aaron Phipps, vice president of manufacturing and engineering at MPI. “Working alongside MTEC to secure the NYSTAR grant helped us accelerate the project and future-proof our business. We’re excited about how our new innovations will drive growth, and we’re grateful to have MTEC and NYSTAR as partners in our collective efforts to advance our region’s manufacturing industry.”

“As a regional resource for manufacturers, our team at MTEC worked closely with MPI to identify the right solutions to foster sustained growth,” said Bob Incerto, MTEC director of engineering. “MPI is a leader within its industry—but to remain the leader, you need to stay ahead of your competition. By bringing these new product capabilities to market, MPI will strengthen its industry position and remain an important contributor to the vibrancy of the Hudson Valley’s manufacturing sector.”

MPI’s customers have used its systems – which are designed for the Investment Casting industry – in the manufacturing of a wide range of products, including defense, aerospace, automotive, medical, commercial and consumer products.

Because companies that manufacture consumer goods often look for lower-cost solutions for their production processes, MPI focused on developing a flexible machine that provides the benefits of automation while achieving single-piece flow, a key principle for lean manufacturing. Built on MPI’s patented wax welding process, the newly designed machine – the MPI Model 20-14 with advanced controls – performs high-quality precision robotic assemblies. Its automated systems enable rapid job changeovers, and its relative ease-of-use allows MPI to train its customers’ operators in one day.

Since they began working together, MTEC has focused on presenting MPI with opportunities to tap into state and regional programs and funding sources that can contribute to their success. During the diversification project, MTEC provided three engineering interns who assisted with product testing and evaluation. The MTEC interns, who were all SUNY New Paltz students, performed at such a high level that MPI offered them full-time employment after their internships concluded. MTEC also assisted with the search for an experienced engineer to complete the project.

MTEC is one of 10 regional NY MEP centers. Administered by NYSTAR, the NY MEP network works with small and mid-sized manufacturers in every corner of the state to solve problems, improve competitiveness and create jobs. In 2018, the NY MEP created and retained 5,351 jobs and achieved $819 million in company cost savings, new client investments and increased sales.