Plant and event news

Posted on Sep 14, 2020 :: Event News , Plant News
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Posted by , Insight on Manufacturing Staff Writer

Rockline Industries announces new $20 million production line

Rockline Industries announced it is installing a new state-of-the-art $20 million disinfecting wipe production line that will nearly double the Sheboygan company’s production capacity. When completed, the new production line, known as the XC-105 Galaxy, will be one of the largest production lines for disinfecting wipes in the private brands wet wipes industry.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new level of awareness among the American people about the importance of proper surface disinfection,” said Randy Rudolph, president of Rockline Industries. “We are making a huge investment in the future by installing the Galaxy line to ensure that our customers will be able to meet consumers’ increasing demand for disinfecting wipes.”

Rockline’s Global Engineering Group is custom designing the Galaxy line, and several of the world’s leading converting equipment manufacturers are helping build it. It is expected to be fully operational at Rockline’s Sheboygan plant in mid-2021.

The size of the line will require the company to relocate several existing production lines within the facility to accommodate the Galaxy. Rockline anticipates it will increase its workforce as the line becomes operational and production volume increases, though exact job numbers were not immediately available.

Oshkosh Corp. in running for $6.3B USPS mail truck contract

Oshkosh Corp. is among five finalists in the running for a $6.3 billion, six-year U.S. Postal Service contract to produce a fleet of next-generation
mail delivery trucks.

The USPS website states the agency awarded $37.4 million in contracts in September 2016 to six suppliers, including Oshkosh Corp., to produce 50 prototype mail vehicles. The finalists can work with other suppliers to create models featuring new technology and hybrid and alternative fuel variants.

That contract also allows the winner to supply parts for the postal service for 20 years. Oshkosh Corp. is working with Ford Motor Co. on at least one prototype of the truck based on Ford’s Transit cargo van.

C3 Corp. opens new facility for warehousing, manufacturing

C3 Corp. opened a new location in Appleton, the Marshall facility, which offers over 100,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehousing and office space. C3 also invested in a new R&D production line as part of the manufacturing space in the new building to support innovation in the foam and mattress industry.

This new location operates under the direction of John Deitrich, vice president of operations, and serves two major purposes. First, the location streamlines C3’s supply chain and expands the storage capacity for consumables inventory. Second, it provides a dedicated space for research and development. C3 is hiring for a variety of manufacturing roles for the new facility.

M-B Companies breaks ground on expansion of Chilton plant

M-B Companies broke ground on an expansion that will increase capacity by 70,000 square feet for existing product lines as well as additional Aebi Schmidt products and office facilities.

The expansion will enhance advanced manufacturing capabilities and include line-of-sight improvements for safer operations. These include metal fabrication, finish coating and a heated material storage facility.

The facility will incorporate several employee amenities including a cafeteria, locker and training rooms. The offices will be updated to create a modern atmosphere.

The expansion will also be the home of M-B Airport Maintenance Products and North American corporate functions. The move is aimed at increasing Aebi Schmidt’s North American presence.

Aebi Schmidt Group acquired M-B Companies in 2018. It specializes in smart systems and services for the treatment of mission critical infrastructural and agricultural areas.

Werner Electric Supply acquires WESCO Sheboygan Falls branch

Werner Electric Supply acquired the Sheboygan Falls branch of WESCO International Inc.

WESCO provides business-to-business distribution, logistics services and supply chain solutions around the world. With this acquisition, Werner Electric Supply will become the authorized distributor of Rockwell Automation products in this market.

“This is an exciting opportunity for customers of both Werner Electric Supply and WESCO’s Sheboygan Falls branch,” said Craig Wiedemeier, president of Werner Electric Supply. “Our longstanding partnership with Rockwell Automation and our product expertise makes us a valuable partner and enhances the experience for our customers by supplying them what they need, where they need it.”

Port of Green Bay sees dip in cargo shipments in summer

After a strong start to its season, shipment tonnage at the Port of Green Bay has tapered off this summer. For the month of August, 153,168 tons of cargo moved through the port, bringing the year-to-date total to 1,606,865 tons, down 19 percent from the same time a year ago.

While imports of foreign salt remain strong, most other cargo categories are flat or down from a year ago, when the port saw its best numbers since 2007. So far in 2020, 93 vessels have visited the port, down 8 percent from the same time period a year ago.

August imports included more than 53,000 tons of cement and 50,000 tons of limestone (both domestic and foreign). Foreign salt imports totaled about 16,000 tons in August. For the 2020 shipping season, cement imports are up 22 percent, foreign salt imports are up 14 percent, and total limestone imports are down 19 percent.

“Most cargos have been impacted as the economy languishes due primarily to the impact of COVID-19 around the world,” said Port Director Dean Haen.

AmeriLux International acquires Menomonie manufacturer

AmeriLux International of De Pere has acquired Shape Products of Menomonie. Shape Products manufactures standard window wells, egress window wells and window well covers. The acquisition will add to AmeriLux’s focus on providing its customers with creative and cost-effective solutions customized for each unique opportunity.

“I’m a firm believer in the magic of momentum,” said AmeriLux CEO Kurt Voss. “The strategic acquisition of Shape Products continues our strong growth trajectory since starting from scratch in 2004. By integrating our teams and incorporating these products and services into our existing portfolio, we can bring even more value to our customers and continue to build a sustainable enterprise.”

In addition to its manufacturing capabilities, Shape Products is an expert in both thermoforming and compression molding.

Tweet/Garot acquires company, expands into northern Wisconsin

Tweet/Garot Mechanical has acquired Mechanical Incorporated, a mechanical contractor located in Tomahawk.

“This move strengthens our position as the leader of process piping, sheet metal, plumbing, HVAC and mechanical services in Wisconsin and diversifies our service offerings to customers throughout the state,” said Tweet/Garot CEO Christopher Howald.

The Mechanical Incorporated facility in Tomahawk will remain open and in operation, with two of the firm’s three owners, Mike Merryfield and Brian Smith, staying with the company. The company’s third owner, Rick Larson, has retired.

OnRamp Manufacturing to host virtual startup track

Startup accelerator gener8tor, in partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corp., will host the OnRamp Manufacturing Conference virtually on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

The conference will attract more than 400 startups to its “Startup Track” — curated, one-on-one pitch sessions between selected startups and corporate venture capital and innovation executives, venture capitalists, and accelerators — to discuss potential customer relationships, strategic partnerships and, if appropriate, investment opportunities.

The OnRamp conference series grew out of a desire to provide entrepreneurs at various stages of growth with access to high-level corporate leaders and investors. Established by gener8tor in 2013, OnRamp has evolved into seven vertical-specific events featuring conference programming and curated one-on-one pitch sessions between startups and corporate venture capital and innovation executives.

Originally scheduled to take place in-person at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, the conference has pivoted in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will offer a full day of virtual programming including pitches, speakers, thought leadership and deal making.

More than 100 corporations and top-tier venture capital firms are confirmed to take meetings with startups, including 3M, Airbus, Boston Scientific, Avery Dennison, GM, Honda, Kellogg’s, Kohler Co., Rockwell Automation and dozens of others.

The one-day, virtual conference will include a morning plenary session starting at 8 a.m., featuring a fireside chat with Jason Illian, managing director of Koch Disruptive Technologies, the corporate venture capital arm of Koch Industries.

For more information about OnRamp Manufacturing or to sign up, visit onrampmanufacturingconference.com.

WMEP offers webinars, virtual ExporTech sessions

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, WMEP Manufacturing Solutions has continued offering virtual programming. In an Oct. 7 webinar, Marquette University business and supply chain professor William Byrkit will share steps companies should take with their supply chains to ensure continuity of supply and create a more resilient future.

Throughout the global pandemic, 75 percent of U.S. businesses have reported supply chain disruptions. This has caused production shutdowns, temporary or permanent business shutdowns, shortfalls, outages, and an increased reliance on a remote workforce to stabilize supply chains.

In analyzing whether an organization’s supply chain can withstand a crisis, it’s important to assess it from not only an operational perspective but from the angles of capability, capacity, competency and transparency.

In addition, WMEP will offer a virtual version of its ExporTech program beginning Sept. 28. The 12-week program includes sessions the weeks of Sept. 28, Oct. 26 and Dec. 14, running daily those weeks from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

ExporTech guides businesses through exporting with a customized, action-oriented export expansion strategy. Past graduates have achieved sales increases averaging $900,000 within six to nine months after completing the program.

Scholarship applications will be accepted through Sept. 18. The cost for ExporTech is $7,500 per company, with pricing covering up to three executive leaders. An immediate $3,000 scholarship from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. brings the out-of-pocket cost down to $4,500.

To register for the Oct. 7 webinar and view other upcoming WMEP events, visit wmep.org/events/upcoming-events. To learn more about ExporTech, visit wmep.org/services/global-expansion/exportech.