Riverdale Mills Corporation has received a Global Trade Award by the Associated Industries of Massachusetts International Business Council (AIM-IBC). The award recognizes Massachusetts’ companies that “demonstrate excellence in international trade and set the standard for global business.”

Founded in 1980, Riverdale Mills Corporation is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high quality engineered, galvanized and PVC coated wire mesh fabrics. Riverdale Mills produces over 3,500 configurations of superior welded wire mesh for the marine, aquaculture, security, farming and construction industries at the company’s sole manufacturing facility in Massachusetts.

“Riverdale Mills has made a significant contribution to the Massachusetts’s economy with the production of innovative products and through its strategic domestic and global initiatives,” said Richard Lord, President and CEO of AIM-IBC.”

Riverdale Mills revolutionized the lobster industry in 1980 when it created the modern, all-wire lobster trap. Riverdale’s marquee product, Aquamesh® is a durable, flexible, rust proof and corrosion resistant wire mesh product that is specifically designed for marine use and made to withstand the harshest subsea conditions. Aquamesh® is now used to build approximately 80% of all lobster and crab traps in North America and Europe.

Using the same galvanizing and PVC coating process used to manufacture Aquamesh, Riverdale created WireWall® high security fencing wire mesh. WireWall is a virtually impenetrable, high security fencing material that protects Kuwait’s border with Iraq, provides 23 miles of security fencing on the U.S./Mexican border, surrounds the MIT Nuclear Reactor Laboratory, the Port of San Francisco, Vancouver’s Transit System, Pago Pago International Airport and the US Embassy in Panama. WireWall is also used to secure numerous American prisons, military bases, oil refineries, universities, bridges, dams and airports. WireWall has all but replaced the chain link fence in Europe.

Riverdale Mills is also one of the world’s leading producers of specialty PVC powder coating compounds.

“For over 35 years, Riverdale Mills has produced technologically advanced and sustainable premium Products in the U.S. for industries across the globe,” said Riverdale Mills CEO James Knott Jr. “We are proud to be recognized as a key contributor to the global economy.”

Publisher/editor note; I had the privilege to tour the Riverdale Mills Complex this past August. This mill not only has made a significant contribution to the Massachusetts economy but to the Northeast and beyond as well. The mill was bustling with activity during my visit and nobody was looking around for something to do. At almost 400,000 square feet overall the complex is quite large, but apparently not large enough.Expansion plans are in the works and they are currently hiring. The operation runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and never shuts down completely.

 The company is not only contributing to the region economically, but environmentally as well. When Jim Knott, Sr. and Jim Knott, Jr. started the company in 1980 at its current location, it was an old mill building that sat empty for several years. Hard by the Blackstone River, it had a dam and a hydroelectric generator. Problem was, the dam was in disrepair, there wasn’t much of a waterway and the hydro unit didn’t work. After rebuilding the dam and waterway, the ecosystem above and below the dam have recovered to the point where there are now eagles nesting along the river’s edge. With the exception of this summers’ drought, the hydro-electric generator makes electricity on a regular basis, and the company is currently in the permitting process for a new combined heat and power (CHP) cogeneration system. In addition, Riverdale Mills has modified their wire drawing process to eliminate the use of acids for etching and has also recently patented a plant-based PVC coating. Nice to see a local manufacturer not only surviving, but thriving in the region.- Phil Cannon