Local company shifts to hand sanitizer to help meet need

A local company is stepping in to help address the shortage of supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fusion Chemical, a metalworking fluids manufacturer located at 99 E. Joe St. in Huntington, reoriented parts of its production over the last few weeks to make hand sanitizer.

In doing so, co-owner Matt East said the focus is to work with other local companies to invest in and give back to the Huntington community as much as they are able.

“We are proud to call Huntington home,” East said.

East and business partner Karl Kuchta found they could access the raw materials to make hand sanitizer through supply chains they have developed over many years in the industry.

The company earlier this week donated a five-gallon pail – about 640 ounces – of hand sanitizer to the Huntington County Health Department, and that is just the start. Fusion Chemical will continue to make donations throughout the local community for as long as there is need.

The response has been “nothing but positive,” East said.

East and Kuchta also set a goal to keep the company’s employees on payroll during the pandemic, and Fusion Chemical will sell a portion of the hand sanitizer it produces to its base of manufacturing and machining facility customers.

“At the moment, we will probably move 3,000 to 6,000 gallons per week,” East said, “and we are capable of doing more.”

Fusion Chemical manufactures cutting fluids, industrial floor cleaners, general purpose cleaners, rust preventatives, hydraulic oils and engine oils among many other metalworking fluids. It has operated in Huntington since December 2018.

The company mostly sells its products in five-gallon pails, 55-gallon drum and 330-gallon totes. East said Fusion Chemicals is looking for partners to bottle its hand sanitizer.

“We welcome any local company that would want to partner with us to package into smaller containers,” East said.

Community agencies needing donations or local businesses interested in starting a partnership can contact Fusion Chemical Business Manager Jaryn Elwood at (260) 443-1154 or sales@fusion-chemical.com.

Metalloid Corporation, another metalworking fluid manufacturer, has begun to use its Huntington plant to fill and label bottles of sanitizer with a formula blended at its Sturgis, Mich., location, The Herald-Press reported Friday.

Metalloid will donate a total of 550 8-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer to Huntington County Emergency Management, the report said. Nearly half already has been distributed to various city and county agencies, including the Health Department, Courthouse, Sheriff Department and Police Department.

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