GNC acquires Illinois company, increases its capabilities
Great Northern Corp. has acquired Illinois-based retail solutions company United Displaycraft. Through the acquisition, Great Northern Instore increases its capabilities and creative expertise to include a full range of temporary, semi-permanent, permanent and interactive retail merchandising solutions.
Based in Des Plaines, Ill., United Displaycraft is dedicated to the design and manufacture of permanent point-of-purchase displays, greeting card display racks, store fixtures and custom in-store merchandising solutions.
Ariens Co., City of Brillion purchase BIW property
Ariens Co. plans to work with the Brillion Redevelopment Authority Commission to acquire the former Brillion Iron Works property on Park Avenue in the city of Brillion.
The company and the city signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work collectively to determine the feasibility of acquiring the property, explore financial grants and assistance and outline a long-term development plan for the property.
The BIW facility was shut down in September of 2016.
WMC, NAM debut digital Manufacturers Marketplace
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, the largest manufacturing trade association in the United States, debuted the Manufacturers Marketplace, a new and first-of-a-kind digital marketplace featuring interactive listings and detailed information on more than 300,000 leading U.S. manufacturers, including more than 9,000 in Wisconsin.
“Our goal is to empower manufacturers of all sizes to realize their potential, and this tool makes it easy to find potential supply chain partners that best fit a company’s unique needs,” WMC President/CEO Kurt R. Bauer said in a press release.
The Manufacturers Marketplace works by including both large and small businesses in the tool. As manufacturers access the Manufacturers Marketplace, they are prompted to search and then claim their listing. From there, registered users are prompted to expand their listings with detailed information, including additional locations, certifications, equipment, capacity and much more.
For more information on the Manufacturers Marketplace, visit www.wmc.org/ManufacturersMarketplace.
Oshkosh Corp. announces new Army contracts
Oshkosh Defense announced two new U.S. Army contracts. The U.S. Army placed a $100.1 million order for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program, to include 258 vehicles and associated installed and packaged kits. This is the seventh order for JLTVs since the contract was awarded in August 2015.
Intended to replace the aging up-armored HMMWV fleet, the JLTV program fills a critical capability gap in the U.S. military’s vehicle lineup. The program also anticipates a full rate production decision in fiscal year 2019, and both Army and Marine Corps Initial Operating Capability in early fiscal year 2020.
The company also was awarded a $40 million delivery order from the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command to recapitalize vehicles from the U.S. Army Reserves Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles fleet. Oshkosh will bring the Army’s fleet of Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks to their latest model configuration and the same zero-mile, zero-hour condition as new production vehicles.
Overall, the award is valued at more than $40 million for the recapitalization and production of over 90 units. All work performed under the contract will be completed in Oshkosh, with deliveries beginning in fiscal year 2019.
In addition, Oshkosh Corp. announced Performa Architects will lead design and architectural efforts, and Miron Construction Co. Inc. will serve as general contractor for the company’s new headquarters. The company announced in November its plans to build its headquarters in Oshkosh on 35 acres of Lakeshore Municipal Golf Course.
Plexus continues to expand its presence in Europe
Plexus is increasing investment in Europe with further expansion of its Oradea Design Center, located in Romania. This expansion enables Plexus to accommodate the continued growth in demand for its design and engineering services from customers in Europe.
Demand for Plexus’ design and engineering services, specifically test engineering solutions, has continued to increase within Romania since the design center was first opened in 2013. With the current expansion, Plexus’ total investment in Oradea is now over $50 million.
In the last fiscal year, Plexus’ EMEA revenue grew approximately 13 percent, and Oradea manufacturing revenue grew over 30 percent. The expansion of Oradea’s state-of-the-art design center, with direct links to onsite manufacturing, will meet the growing demand for services in the region.
Manufacturing Matters announces keynote
Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s Manufacturing Matters conference will feature keynote speaker Matt Fitzgerald, vice president of product for Rethink Robotics.
Fitzgerald will discuss collaborative robotics and describe current and future trends and how scalable automation can provide a solution to the increasingly challenging labor environment.
The event, slated for March 1 at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee, features 18 breakout sessions in six conference tracks: Growth & Innovation, Productivity, Workforce Engagement, C-Suite Essentials, Technology and Wisconsin Industry Focus.
To learn more or register, visit www.wmep.org/events/manufacturing-matters-conference.
Submit a nomination for Insight’s Innovation awards
Insight is accepting nominations — self-nominations encouraged — for its 2018 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, 2018 may apply. Companies may be headquartered outside the region, but applicants must have leadership in Northeast Wisconsin. The deadline to nominate is Jan. 20, and the dealine to apply is Feb. 16.
Nominating is easy — just fill in the form naming the company, contact information, the company’s 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 that lead to breakthrough technologies, processes and/or company cultures, and make an important, positive impact on companies, employees, customers, vendors, industries, communities and/or the environment. Insight presents awards in the categories of People, Planet, Process and Product.
For more information or to nominate a company, please visit www.insightonbusiness.com/thinc.