Local company diversifying its product line
Many successful companies learn to adopt to changes in business and technology.
For PMF Industries Inc., that approach of late has meant targeting the evolving natural gas industry.
Recently, the company at 2601 Reach Road, Williamsport, received government funding to focus manufacturing toward natural gas fueling.
By the end of this year, the company will begin turning out compressed natural gas storage tanks, cylinders and fueling pods.
PMF Industries President John Perrotto sees the products not only as good business, but as a means of the company doing its part toward better overall energy efficiency.
“It decreases our dependence on foreign energy sources,” he said.
Natural gas can reduce fuel costs, extend engine life of vehicles and cut down on carbon emissions that go into the environment.
This year, the company erected a 12,000-square-foot addition at its Industrial Park site to make way for the new manufacturing, which includes space for a vertical heat treat oven for special production of stainless steel storage cylinders.
The funding sources include a state Alternative Clean Energy grant of $150,000.
The cylinders are used to hold natural gas; fueling pods are dispensers for getting stored natural gas into vehicles running on the fuel.
“We can offer a superior cylinder at a lot lower cost,” said Kenneth Healy, PMF executive vice president and director of engineering.
Stainless steel is lightweight and offers more durability.
Over time, at least 20 workers – skilled and unskilled – will be hired to help produce the products.
PMF, which employs 105 workers, provides contract manufacturing services with an emphasis on flowforming – production of metal parts that are cylindrical, conical or coutoured with precise control of thicknesses.
That’s why the decision to include compressed natural gas products is not a huge leap.
“We are quite diversified,” Perrotto said.
Customers over the years have included industries tied to aerospace and energy, even soft-serve ice cream.
While the demand from motorists driving vehicles running on compressed natural gas still is not high, Perrotto and Healy look forward to the company’s new manufacturing line.
Perrotto said clients already are lined up for some of its new products.
“It’s very exciting,” Healy said. “It kind of expands our market approach.”