Plant News

November 2017

Posted on Nov 15, 2017 :: Plant News
Posted by , Insight on Manufacturing Staff Writer


Oshkosh Corp.’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle won the award for 2017 Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.

The Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest is a program run by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce to showcase the wide variety of products manufactured in the state.

Nearly 150 products made in Wisconsin were nominated. Top vote getters were placed in a bracket-style tournament called Manufacturing Madness, leading to the naming of four finalists. Other finalists included Generac’s XC Generator, Mercury Marine’s Joystick Piloting System and Ariens Co.’s Sno-Thro.

Oshkosh Defense announced new contracts. The U.S. Army Contracting Command-Warren placed two additional orders for a total of 148 Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles valued at more than $36 million.

The U.S. Army first awarded Oshkosh Defense the FMTV A1P2 requirements contract in 2009, which authorizes FMTV orders through August 2019. The orders were placed under Order Year 8 of the FMTV A1P2 contract and were in addition to an order for 1,065 FMTV vehicles at a value of $260.1 million.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. has provided state tax credits to Nestlé Dreyer’s Ice Cream Co. to support a distribution center expansion in Little Chute.

Construction is now complete on a 300,000-square-foot cold storage distribution facility that Nestlé will lease from Hickory Drive Holdings LLC. The new facility, located on County Highway N north of Interstate 41, is now operational.

WEDC authorized Nestlé Dreyer’s Ice Cream Co. to receive the business development tax credits over the next three years. The amount of credits to be received is contingent upon the actual number of jobs created and the amount of capital investment during that time.

The Village of Little Chute is also providing tax incentives for the project. In addition to the 100 jobs expected to be created by Nestlé, an economic modeling study estimates the project could indirectly generate 66 additional jobs in the region. Those 166 new jobs could generate up to $1.8 million in state income tax revenue over a five-year period.


U.S. Paper Converters announced plans to close its operations on Converters Drive in Grand Chute, resulting in the loss of 52 jobs. Company officials have notified the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development about the closure, which will take effect Dec. 31.


Little Rapids Corp. has completed its installation of a new state-of-the art tissue machine at its paper mill in Shawano. The new crescent forming tissue machine replaces an existing tissue machine and will significantly increase capacity and capability.

“We are very happy to be able to announce the successful completion of this project,” Little Rapids CEO Kirk Ryan said in a press release.

“The installation was completed in just 30 days and the machine was making quality product within the first 12 hours after startup.”

Little Rapids Corp. manufactures and markets products for the health care, beauty, packaging and specialty paper markets, with headquarters in Green Bay.

Ryan says the new tissue machine has increased the mill’s tissue output by about 40 percent. The new machine also expands the mill’s range of capabilities for product weight, fiber content, and pastel and deep dye colors.


The U.S. Navy awarded the Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine team a contract to build an additional littoral combat ship. The contract value is under the 2017 congressional cost cap of $584 million per ship. LCS 27 will be built at Fincantieri Marinette Marine and is the 14th Freedom-variant LCS ordered by the U.S. Navy.

Since the LCS program’s inception, Freedom-variant LCS production has injected hundreds of millions of dollars into local economies throughout the Midwest. The program supports thousands of direct and indirect jobs throughout the United States, including more than 7,500 in Michigan and Wisconsin alone.

The Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine team is in full-rate production of the Freedomvariant and has delivered five ships to the U.S. Navy, including the future USS Little Rock, which was delivered to the U.S. Navy in September.

Seven ships are in various stages of construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, with two more in long-lead production. The Freedom-variant LCS team is comprised of Lockheed Martin, shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, and more than 800 suppliers in 42 states.

The industry team invested over $100 million to modernize the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard, hire additional staff and train a new workforce. This private investment helped the shipyard achieve full-rate production and create new Midwest manufacturing jobs.