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

Wisconsin selected for inclusion in manufacturing academy

Wisconsin was selected to participate in the year-long Policy Academy on Strengthening Your State’s Manufacturers. Wisconsin will join Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Vermont for a collaborative, custom-built experience to assist manufacturers.

The Policy Academy on Strengthening Your State’s Manufacturers is a National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership program organized by the State Science and Technology Institute and the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness. It’s designed to help selected states collaborate to build on existing strategies, leverage resources and create new approaches to challenges and opportunities within the manufacturing sector.

The academy will guide state teams through a planning and implementation process based on state-specific needs and goals to identify relevant manufacturing-related practices, partnerships and policies to move their economic development strategies forward. Each team of four to 10 members will receive customized facilitation and additional assistance, with access to national experts, like-minded colleagues and other resources.

Wisconsin’s proposal was drafted in collaboration between WEDC and the Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing & Productivity. The state’s application, which was signed by Gov. Tony Evers, featured four major themes facing Wisconsin: economic growth, stronger supply chains, improved rural manufacturing and identification of opportunities to leverage limited resources.

Representatives from relevant Wisconsin state agencies, academia and private industry make up the Wisconsin team, which traveled in August to Washington, D.C., for a kickoff meeting.

Redline Plastics announces $12M expansion, will add 44 jobs

Redline Plastics LLC is expanding its Manitowoc operations with a $12 million project expected to create 44 jobs during the next three years.

Redline Plastics is a family-owned and -operated manufacturer of molded and vacuum-formed plastics, as well as leather and textile cut-and-sew products.

The project includes the construction of a new 117,500-square-foot manufacturing facility in Manitowoc, complete with a manufacturing warehouse on the ground level and 11,000 square feet of office space on a mezzanine. The facility will house rotational molding, vacuum forming and cut-and-sew operations for Redline Plastics and Dowco Powersports. The project is expected to be completed later this year.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is supporting the project by authorizing up to $150,000 in state income tax credits over the next three years. The actual amount of tax credits Redline Plastics will receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created and amount of capital investment.

In addition to the 44 jobs expected to be created by Redline Plastics, an economic modeling study estimates the project could indirectly generate 120 additional jobs in the region. Those 164 new jobs are expected to generate over $300,000 in state income tax revenue through the end of the project.

Gulfstream Aerospace opens Appleton maintenance facility

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. opened its new $40 million aircraft maintenance facility at the Appleton International Airport.

The new facility has increased Gulfstream’s local maintenance, repair and overhaul operations and created nearly 100 jobs, with the potential for more in the next few years.

The nearly 190,000-square-foot building, northeast of the airport terminal, includes 101,853 square feet of space, which will accommodate 12 Gulfstream G650ER or G650 aircraft. In addition to offices, back shops and general support space, the expansion adds a new sales and design center and increased customer access to Gulfstream’s design portfolio.

The facility boasts several sustainable features, including sensitive land protection, a rainwater management system, enhanced control systems for heating and cooling, optimized energy performance and electric vehicle charging stations. It is expected to receive U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

Ariens Co. investing $30M in plant upgrades, will hire 150

Ariens Co. is halfway through a $30 million plant transformation that will allow the Brillion company to meet growing demands for its zero-turn mowers.

Ariens has seen a five-year trend of double-digit growth, which is spurring the project.

The upgrade touches all areas of the 320,000-square-foot plant and includes a new $19 million paint system, lasers, robotic welders, steel delivery bay and shipping docks. The transformation also includes a focus on workplace enhancements in ergonomics, safety, air quality, automation to assist with heavy tasks and automated guided vehicles to move products.

While the change will increase the plant’s output, Ariens is also hiring another 150 employees for various manufacturing positions to meet the company’s continued growth.

Lakeland University announces industrial systems analytics degree

Lakeland University is launching a bachelor’s degree in industrial systems analytics.

Regional employers are seeking workers with this type of education, which is why Lakeland University decided to create the program that will immerse students across the fields of technology, programming, statistics, and data analysis and visualization.

Industrial systems analytics will prepare students to design, develop, implement and operate complex processes and systems in industry and elsewhere, says Brian Frink, dean of Lakeland’s School of Science, Technology & Education. He says input from employers led to the creation of the program.

The future for program graduates is bright. Wisconsin’s Workforce and Labor Market Information System notes that operations research analyst is the fastest- growing job market in the state and is growing faster in Wisconsin than nationally.

Waupaca Foundry recognized as business friend of environment

Waupaca Foundry Inc., a Hitachi Metals group company, received the 2019 Business Friend of the Environment award in the category of environmental innovation. The iron component supplier was honored for outstanding leadership in integrating sustainable business practices throughout its manufacturing operations.

Sponsored by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the annual Business Friend of the Environment Award recognizes small, medium and large businesses in three categories: sustainability, the use of innovative technology and environmental stewardship. Nominees were from industries throughout Wisconsin.

Waupaca Foundry operates three iron foundries and a machining operation based in Waupaca and Marinette. The award recognized Waupaca Foundry’s progress in reducing water use and wastewater treatment in key areas of manufacturing production.

In addition to reducing water use, the company recycles 555,000 tons of spent foundry sand and slag annually. Sand that can no longer be recycled is used in general construction, road construction, agriculture and geotechnical fill. Air pollution control uses bag house air filtration and filter leak detection to maintain the highest pollution controls in the foundry industry.

Fincantieri Marinette Marine names new president

Richard W. Hunt is the new president of Fincantieri Marinette Marine Corp. Jan Allman, who was previously president and CEO, remains CEO of the expanding Marinette shipyard.

In his new role, Hunt will focus on expanding the capabilities and capacity of the shipyard, as well as building common understanding with government customers. A retired Navy 3-star admiral, Hunt joined Fincantieri Marinette Marine in 2018 as chief strategy officer.

Hunt is a 1975 University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate who served nearly 38 years as a surface warfare officer in the Navy. During that time, Hunt deployed on numerous ships and with various commands.

After a tour as the commander of Third Fleet from 2009-11, he spent the next year as the commander of surface forces in the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and then became director of the Navy staff at the Pentagon, where he retired from in 2013. After his Navy career, Hunt worked for several years at Raytheon as the vice president of U.S. business development.