Plant and event news

Posted on Jan 11, 2019 :: Event News , Plant News
Posted by , Insight on Manufacturing Staff Writer

Plant news


Werner Electric Supply acquires Green Bay’s US Lamp

Werner Electric Supply, a business-to-business distributor of electrical supplies, solutions and services, has acquired US Lamp, a wholesale lighting distributor located in Green Bay.

“We are bringing together two companies who are committed to providing customers with top-of-the-line products, services and support,” said Scott Teerlinck, president of Werner Electric. “This is an exciting opportunity for Werner Electric as we continue to position ourselves in the electrical distribution market, to drive future growth.”

Werner Electric Supply, founded in 1948, is the largest electrical distributor in Wisconsin and operates 11 regional locations throughout Wisconsin and the upper Michigan region.

“This acquisition is an excellent fit for US Lamp since both companies share the same passion and philosophy to provide high performance, value-added solutions and technical expertise to customers,” said Randy Johnson, president of US Lamp.

Johnson will remain with Werner Electric to provide lighting design and project management support and to teach lighting technology classes for Werner Electric customers.


Waupaca Foundry to open Upper Peninsula plant

Waupaca Foundry, a Hitachi Metals company, is expanding operations into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and will open a new facility in Ironwood to process iron castings produced at its plants in Waupaca.

Waupaca Foundry plans to invest $4.3 million and acquire an existing 50,000-square-foot facility in Ironwood. The Michigan Business Development Program awarded Waupaca Foundry a $1.2 million performance-based grant. The new facility will create 61 new jobs.

The expansion addresses increasing customer demand and adds iron casting processing capabilities, including cleaning and finishing, in a location where there is sufficient labor supply, Waupaca Foundry Executive Vice President John Wiesbrock said in a release.

“The economy is strong, and Waupaca Foundry is growing due to increased customer demand for cast and machined iron castings. Opening a facility to handle cleaning and finishing of cast parts will allow us to meet customers’ expectations in quality and delivery of their parts,”
he said.

Prior to choosing a new location, Waupaca Foundry leaders conducted exploratory job fairs and identified a strong pool of motivated, talented workers in the Gogebic County region. In December, the Ojibway Correctional Facility closed, leaving many area
workers jobless.

Waupaca Foundry has already hired and on-boarded more than 35 new team members from the Upper Peninsula who are currently working full-time in Waupaca while the new facility is preparing for production.


New North Inc. receives award for supply chain tool

The Mid-America Economic Development Council presented New North Inc. with its Marketing Program award, large division for its Wisconsin Supply Chain Marketplace tool.

The awards recognize the creative use of quality marketing by economic development organizations throughout the 12-state Mid-America region in promoting their respective communities.

New North Inc. and other first-place winners were recognized in the January 2019 issue of Site Selection magazine. The four award categories are: Economic Impact Deal of the Year, Marketing Program, Workforce Development and Entrepreneurial Award.

Connie Loden, senior project manager at New North Inc., accepted the award at the 2018 Mid-America Competitiveness Conference & Site Selector Forum, held in Chicago in early December. Ron Starner, executive vice president of Conway Inc. (publisher of Site Selection), and Chris Strayer, 2018 Mid-America EDC president, presented the awards.


Mercury Marine opens new technical center

Eight months after breaking ground, Mercury Marine opened a new state-of-the-art expansion at its global headquarters in Fond du Lac. The two-story NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) Technical Center adds close to 20,000 additional square feet to the more than 2.5 million-square-foot campus.

This $10 million investment to Mercury’s headquarters gives the company the largest and most expansive testing facility in the marine industry. In total, Mercury has invested more than $1 billion globally in expansion and research and development since 2008.

NVH is the engineering practice of studying noise, vibration and harshness characteristics. These are integral to the boating experience, ensuring the quietest and most peaceful engine for the consumer. The new technical center houses two marine-specific hemi-anechoic chambers, structural dynamic testing bays, listening rooms, offices and workspaces.

The new facility is Mercury’s third major expansion in the last 20 months. In early 2017, it officially opened its $24 million electro-deposition paint plant and in April 2017, the company commissioned a 4,500-ton high-pressure die-cast machine, the largest in North America.


Oshkosh Corp. receives $1.69B Army order

The U.S. Army has placed a $1.69 billion order with Oshkosh Defense, LLC for 6,107 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles and associated installed and packaged kits.

The delivery order marks the 10th order under an August 2015 contract that was awarded to Oshkosh Defense, an Oshkosh Corp. company. The JLTV replaces older Army and U.S. Marine vehicles. To date, Oshkosh Defense has delivered 2,600 vehicles to the U.S. Army.

“This vehicle represents a technological leap forward that provides enhanced protection and extreme mobility both off-road and in dense urban terrain,” George Mansfield, vice president and general manager of Joint Programs at Oshkosh Defense, said in a press release. “The JLTV is engineered with industry-leading suspension and protection systems, as well as the ability to support a spectrum of mission kits and weapon systems required for the modern battlefield.”

In addition, the Department of Defense awarded the company a $30.4 million contract for the procurement of the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles series of tactical trucks.


BIW demolition project gets $500,000 grant

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. awarded the City of Brillion a $500,000 grant to help finance demolition work on the Brillion Iron Works site.

The site includes several buildings that have been home to numerous companies since the early 1900s. The city plans to redevelop the entire 145-acre parcel in two phases. The WEDC grant is for the first phase, a 70-acre parcel on the south side of the site that was acquired by Ariens Co. in October.

Ariens plans to renovate the Farm Implement Building (also known as Plant 3) into a new research and development facility for the company. The research and development facility will support Ariens’ operations, engineering and supply chain operations.

The City of Brillion is supporting the renovation of Plant 3 with the construction of a new roadway and bridge crossing, and the remaining structures on the site will be demolished. The first phase has a $10 million budget. Work is now underway and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

Officials expect phase one to be a catalyst for the second phase of the project, which is expected to consist of housing, commercial and retail development, as well as green space and a trail network along Spring and Mills creeks.


Event news


Manufacturing Matters to focus on ‘making it happen’

“Make it Happen” is the theme for Manufacturing Matters 2019, set for Feb. 21 at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee Atrium.

With manufacturers’ confidence running high and a strong economy, the conference will examine how the current climate “favors the bold, those who ‘Make it Happen’ now rather than sitting on the sidelines to see who will pass them by.”

The day includes a keynote by Dr. Bill Mitchell, president and CEO of Aguila, a Foxconn company, and 18 breakout sessions, with three sessions each devoted to six different tracks, including workforce, productivity, strategic growth and Industry 4.0/technology.

Visit to register or learn more.


Submit a nomination for Insight’s Innovation Awards

Insight is accepting nominations — and self-nominations are encouraged — for its 2019 Insight Innovation Awards.

Any company based in the 18-county region of the New North that’s been in business for at least one year as of Jan. 1, 2019, may apply. Companies may be headquartered outside the region, but applicants must have leadership in Northeast Wisconsin. Nominations are due by Jan. 31, and the deadline to apply is Feb. 15.

Nominating is easy — just fill in the form, providing the company name, contact information, website and a brief explanation about what makes the company an innovation leader. The Insight Innovation Awards are designed to encourage innovation among businesses in Northeast Wisconsin. Insight presents awards in the categories of People, Planet, Process, Product and Entrepreneurship/Startup. For more information, please visit