Plant and event news

Posted on May 14, 2021 :: Event News , Plant News
Posted by , Insight on Manufacturing Staff Writer

Plant news

Kohler Power Systems expands Sheboygan County facility

Kohler Power Systems, a business within the Kohler Co. Power Group, is adding 155,000 square feet to its manufacturing facility in the Sheboygan County town of Mosel.

The project, which is underway, includes a state-of-the-art production and testing space and additional warehousing as well as a world-class customer experience center.

The expansion will support Kohler’s continued growth in its key strategic markets — specifically in its mission-critical and data center segments.

“This strategic capital investment helps us achieve operational excellence in product development, manufacturing capabilities and supply chain efficiency to ensure we are positioned to meet increasing demand and grow market share for many years to come,” Brian Melka, group president of Kohler Power, said in a release.

Kohler Power Systems’ business continues to grow as demand increases for large industrial diesel generators — greater than 2,000 kilowatts — and integrated power systems being designed and built in the factory. This is the facility’s second major expansion in the last eight years, following a decade of sustained growth and successful product introductions.

Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry acquires Indiana castings maker

Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry purchased the assets of Wabash Castings Inc. of Wabash, Ind. “We are excited to grow our operations and expand on the success of Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry,” said WAF CEO Sachin Shivaram. “Wabash Castings is renowned for their ability to produce high-volume, complex castings. Their facility forms a perfect complement to our existing breadth of production lines. This acquisition will accelerate our growth in the electric vehicle and consumer goods markets, among other exciting opportunities.”

With the acquisition, WAF will expand 401(k) benefits and provide additional benefits for all Wabash Castings employees. It also will implement an immediate wage increase for many of the positions within the company. 

WAF will continue the Wabash Castings brand name. Additionally, Shivaram said WAF is looking forward to becoming a strong partner in the local Wabash community.

Oshkosh Defense selected to build cold-weather ATV prototype

The National Advanced Mobility Consortium selected Oshkosh Defense and partner ST Engineering to participate in the prototype phase for the U.S. Army’s cold-weather all-terrain vehicle.

The CATV is a new program for a tracked vehicle that operates in extreme cold weather or arctic conditions and is designed to replace the Small Unit Support Vehicles that have been in service since the early 1980s.

The Oshkosh CATV is derived from the Bronco 3, a member of the proven, highly effective and reliable Bronco family of vehicles by ST Engineering, which was been in service in various countries. The Bronco family of vehicles has undergone more than 1,860 miles of performance testing in arctic conditions as well as over 200,000 miles in a theater of operations on harsh desert terrain. The Oshkosh CATV prototypes will offer built-in mission modularity to accommodate a variety of configurations. 

Oshkosh Defense and ST Engineering will deliver two prototypes — one general-purpose and one cargo vehicle for testing and soldier evaluation in the third quarter of this year. The prototypes will be evaluated on payload, mobility, crush resistance, swimming and transportability. The U.S. Army has announced plans to issue a follow-on production contract for up to 200 CATVs in fiscal year 2022.

“We are confident that the Oshkosh CATV will enable soldiers to efficiently move personnel and supplies in the most extreme conditions, and we look forward to getting them into the hands of the end user for testing and evaluation,” said Pat Williams, vice president and general manager of U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps programs for Oshkosh Corp. 

Luxemburg-Casco district begins construction of diesel facility

Demolition and construction work is underway in preparation for Luxemburg-Casco School District’s new Ahnapee Diesel program, which begins with the start of the 2021-22 academic year. A portion of the district’s former middle-school facility in Casco is being converted into a diesel and fabrication lab, made up of classroom space and a fabrication area.

Ahnapee Diesel will be the state’s first diesel-only program at the high school level. While some high schools teach diesel within their automotive program, the Luxemburg-Casco educational initiative will be the inaugural one dedicated to the diesel specialty.

The diesel program is a consortium of area high schools — Luxemburg-Casco, Denmark and Kewaunee. Through a partnership with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, students in their junior and senior years have the opportunity to earn college credits while also receiving credit toward high school graduation.

With successful completion of NWTC’s Diesel Maintenance Technician curriculum while in high school, students earn a one-year technical diploma. Upon graduation from high school, students can choose to pursue an associate degree or an additional technical diploma in one of NWTC’s diesel programs. 

Diesel technicians are highly skilled positions that specialize in maintenance, diagnosis and repair of heavy equipment, including over-the-road trucks, off-road construction equipment and agricultural machinery. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increased need for diesel technicians due to a growing reliance on moving freight across the country.

More than 20 students already have registered for Ahnapee Diesel for the 2021-22 school year: 15 from Luxemburg-Casco, six from Kewaunee and two from Denmark.

Event News

Manufacturing First Expo set for Oct. 27 in Green Bay

The 2021 Manufacturing First Expo & Conference will be held Wednesday, Oct. 27 at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay. The event provides Wisconsin manufacturers with hands-on opportunities to grow their business, showcase industry advances, highlight successes, announce their latest developments and engage in premier networking opportunities.

The keynote speaker for the event has been secured and will be announced soon. In addition to the keynote, Manufacturing First features special presentations, breakout sessions and an expo hall with more than 200 exhibitors.

Speaker, sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are still available. Please contact Stephanie Crowe, [email protected], Steve Dreger, [email protected], or Brian Rasmussen, [email protected], for more information. Registration will open at a later date. Please visit manufacturingfirst.com for the latest information. 

Converters Expo returns to Lambeau Field in August

The 2021 Converters Expo will be held at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on Aug. 9-10. 

Converters Expo connects manufacturers of paper, film, plastics and nonwovens with industry buyers, specialists and suppliers. The event has seen great growth in the last 14 years, and more than 800 attendees are expected in 2021. 

Located in the nation’s top converting corridor, Converters Expo offers a chance to identify manufacturing partners, explore testing and prototyping equipment, meet with producers of disposables, and see the latest in flexographic printing and packaging. Visit packagingstrategies.com/converters-expo for more information or to register.

ExporTech new virtual session to run August through November

WMEP Manufacturing Solutions will run a new session of its ExporTech program beginning the week of Aug. 23.

ExporTech is a 12-week virtual program with group and customized personal coaching between sessions. The latest session will be offered Monday through Friday from 1-3:30 p.m. the weeks of Aug. 23, Sept. 27 and Nov. 8.

The program 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 are being accepted. The cost for ExporTech is $7,500 per company for up to three executive leaders. With an immediate $3,000 scholarship available from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the out-of-pocket cost can be as low as $4,500.

For more information, visit wmep.org/services/global-expansion/exportech.