Plant news

Posted on Jul 13, 2018 :: Event News , Plant News
Jessica Thiel
Posted by , Insight on Manufacturing Staff Writer

Green Bay Packaging to build new paper mill

Green Bay Packaging Inc. is investing more than $500 million into its Brown County operations, giving the United States its first new paper mill in 30 years.

The new mill will replace the company’s current facility, which is 71 years old. The project allows Green Bay Packaging to retain about 600 jobs and hire up to 200 more workers. The new plant would be the largest single business development project in Brown County’s history.

A new recycled containerboard machine is at the heart of the new facility and will increase the company’s recycled containerboard capacity by 50 percent. The move comes at a time when prices for recycled paperboard continue to rise. The new machine is capable of trimming paperboard up to 300 inches.

Art supplier Pacon sold to international firm

Pacon Corp., a manufacturer, converter and supplier of paper products, art and craft products and educational materials headquartered in Grand Chute, was sold to an international supplier of art materials and related products.

F.I.L.A. (Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini S.p.A) said it purchased the company for $340 million. Pacon was founded in 1951 by Jerry Van Hoof.  Since 2011, the once family-owned company has been owned by Mason Wells, a Milwaukee-based private equity firm.

The company employs 400 workers at its seven Grand Chute and Neenah facilities and another 100 at locations in Canada and the United Kingdom. F.I.L.A. indicated it plans to retain all employees. Current Pacon President and CEO Jim Schmitz will lead all North American F.I.L.A. businesses.

Ariens closes Nebraska plant, exits direct marketing

Ariens Co. will close its manufacturing plant located in Auburn, Neb., sometime between Aug. 17 and Oct. 15.

The facility had been manufacturing products the company’s Brillion plants did not originally have the capacity for. An upcoming plant redesign and productivity improvements implemented in the last 18 months made the Auburn facility economically impractical.

All employees are welcome to apply for positions at the Brillion facility with the assistance of a relocation bonus.

The Brillion-based company also announced it will leave the direct marketing business to focus on its core power equipment business.

The company has three brands that make up the division — Ben Meadows, AW Direct and Gempler’s. Ben Meadows supplies the forestry and natural resources market, AW Direct supplies the towing industry, and Gempler’s targets the landscape, agricultural and horticultural sectors.

Sales of Ben Meadows and AW Direct are pending, and Ariens continues to explore options to divest Gempler’s.

Waupaca Foundry earns professional excellence award

Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, a division of Toyota Industries North America, honored Waupaca Foundry for excellence in launching iron casting parts used on material handling equipment.

Waupaca Foundry earned one of just five professional excellence awards and is the first Tier II supplier to be recognized with this award.

To be considered for the award, Waupaca Foundry was required to fulfill all duties and obligations with excellence, continuously strive for improvement and growth, and go above and beyond expectations. Φ

Policy Day to be held Aug. 6 at Madison’s Monona Terrace

Policy Day 2018 will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. on Aug. 6 at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center in Madison.

This event will provide information about local, state and federal legislative updates and how potential policy changes could affect businesses. Policy Day 2018 features breakout tracks in tax, human resources and environmental policy so attendees can focus on what matters most to their businesses.

The event will include an opening session led by John Koskinen, chief economist of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, a forum featuring the U.S. Senate Republican candidates and a panel of Wisconsin state legislators.

Registration is $75 per person or $600 for a table of eight. Register online and learn more about Policy Day at

AgTech Venture Day set for Oct. 2 in Johnson Creek

AgTech Venture Day will be held Oct. 2 at the Comfort Suites Hotel & Conference Center in Johnson Creek.

This all-day event brings together AgTech startups and Midwest investors to explore funding opportunities in the industry. Attendees will hear pitches from two dozen AgTech startups, plus panel discussions from industry experts and venture investors on challenges that farmers face, new ideas in agriculture and ways to grow their business.

Golden Angels Investors, the event host, will have a fund committed for investment in presenting companies.

Registration is $79 per person. Register online, find more information or apply to present a startup at