SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Syracuse’s Air Innovations has just been recognized in Washington D.C. with the President’s “E” award for exporting.
The award, issued by the United States Department of Commerce, affords continuing recognition of noteworthy export promotion efforts.
About six years ago the company made the deliberate decision to start pushing into international markets.
“The rewards to your company, you can generally sell to a higher profit, you’re now diversifying your portfolio so you’re not relying solely on the US economy so there are a lot of strategic advantages to doing that,” says Michael Wetzel, President, and CEO of Air Innovations.
The company now exports to 49 different countries, some through direct sales to customers around the globe, others through US customers who use them in products they ship internationally.
That’s how the company’s cooling units for airport baggage screeners end up all over the world.
A third of the business for Air Innovations is now exporting.
The biggest product line is wine cooler and humidifier units the company sells under the name “Wine Guardian”.
Last year they made 200 different models, many of them exported to places like Australia.
The company is also in the semiconductor industry.
It is about to ship a unit to a large chip maker in the Pacific Rim.
Wetzel explains to NewsChannel 9, “Our job is to hold a very stable temperature and humidity around their machine 24 hours a day. Our stability is spec’ed to be plus or minus 0.02 Celcius, so two-hundredths of a degree Celsius. It can’t move more than two-hundredths of a degree Celsius or it goes out of spec.”
Aerospace is a growing sector for the company too.
They recently had an order from the South Korean government for a unit to protect satellites at a new launch facility in the country before they are blasted into space.
Wetzel says, “I mean it’s really exciting that somebody internationally has now recognized a small company in Syracuse as being a topical expert and saying we need to work with that company because they’ve done this before.”
The company employs about 60 people right now but expects to add another dozen by the end of the year.