Monday, September 22, 2014
Waukesha Metal Products wins national Manufacturing Day video contest
September 22, 2014 09:05 AM
Sussex-based Waukesha Metal Products was named the grand prize winner for the first-ever Manufacturing Day video contest. Manufacturing Day, taking place on Friday, Oct. 3, is an annual celebration of manufacturing in North America, and its new video contest was a way for all organizations to share how they celebrate the day and why others should as well.

Waukesha Metal Products’ video was selected by a panel of judges from the Manufacturing Day co-producer organizations because of the way it illustrated the event’s values, including pride in manufacturing, the important role manufacturers play in their communities and a commitment to inspire the next generation of manufacturers in America.

“Waukesha Metal Products is honored to receive such an award,” said Amanda Lalley, sales and marketing specialist for the company. “As a manufacturer, the main reasons WMP chose to submit the video was to show the importance of manufacturing, provide ideas to others on what they can do for National Manufacturing Day, explain why celebrating National Manufacturing Day is important and encourage others to participate.”

Waukesha Metal Products also received the Upper Midwest regional prize in the video contest, which featured winners in the West, Southeast, Northeast and Lower Midwest in addition to the Upper Midwest. A total of 23 organizations submitted videos for the contest. (View the award-winning videos here.)

All five winners’ videos are featured on the Manufacturing Day website, Facebook page and YouTube channel. They also received a complimentary public showing license for the 2013 documentary “American Made Movie” and a choice of a Manufacturing Day banner or feather flag to use at their 2014 Manufacturing Day events.

As a grand prize winner, Waukesha Metal Products will also receive a visit to their “American Made Movie” screening by Mark Andol, the founder of the Made in America Store and the owner of General Welding & Fabricating Inc. in New York. He will introduce the movie and do a Q-and-A with the audience. Plus, Waukesha Metal Products will receive a $250 gift card to use in purchasing refreshments for the movie celebration and a scholarship in the company’s name based on a percentage of each licensed fee collected for scheduled screenings of “American Made Movie.”

“Manufacturing has a lot to offer, and it’s time our students, educators and communities see the great opportunities it can provide,” Lalley said. “Open your doors for National Manufacturing Day so people can experience manufacturing first-hand.”

Waukesha Metal Products is an international full-service provider of metal forming services, including custom metal stampings, sheet metal fabrications and in-house precision tooling. The company operates out of manufacturing facilities in Sussex, Grafton and San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

Click here for a listing of local Manufacturing Day events.

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Governor Walker visits PreventaMed Technologies
September 22, 2014 09:14 AM
Gov. Scott Walker kicked off his new jobs plan for Wisconsin last week at PreventaMed Technologies Inc., a Waukesha-based manufacturer of medical products, including contamination assist trays and heat stress safety devices.

“PreventaMed is an excellent example of a company that’s bringing good jobs and high-tech manufacturing to Wisconsin,” Walker said. “We’ve worked hard to create an environment that encourages companies like PreventaMed to expand and invest in our state.”

PreventaMed Technologies chief executive officer Jeff Veenhuis said, “We’re honored to welcome Governor Walker and appreciate his recognition of our company and the positive things we’re doing in Wisconsin and around the globe. Wisconsin is a great place to do business based on the abundance of talent and economic resources we have access to – we’re proud to call Wisconsin home.”

PreventaMed recently announced a new partnership with Naperville, Ill.-based Surfacide to manufacture and distribute a UV-C, hard surface disinfection system to hospitals worldwide.

As a result of the partnership, PreventaMed moved into a larger, 16,260-square-foot facility in Waukesha and is expecting to add 10 to 15 jobs over the next 12 months. The new facility will manufacture a UV-C disinfection system called the Helios, which eradicates multi-drug resistant organisms, including C. Diff, MRSA, VRE, CRE and Acinetobacter from hard surface areas.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly one in every 20 hospitalized patients acquires an infection during the course of receiving treatment for another condition. Hospital- acquired illnesses create significant health risks and cost the healthcare industry billions each year.

To help combat these illnesses, the Surfacide Helios system uses three UV-C emitters to clean all areas of a patient environment, including the bathroom and other hard-to-reach areas. This process is said to significantly reduce the risk of hospital-acquired illnesses, which are a major threat to outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities and other healthcare environments in addition to hospitals.

The Surfacide Helios UV-C hard surface disinfection system is currently available in the U.S. and European markets. PreventaMed is also working with officials in Sierra Leone to help with the recent Ebola outbreak.

“This product – which is made right here in Wisconsin – has the ability to improve patient outcomes and save lives around the world,” Veenhuis said. “I think it’s a great example of the good things happening in our state.”

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Northwoods Web Solutions to offer web strategy workshop for manufacturers
September 22, 2014 09:29 AM
Shorewood-based Northwoods Web Solutions is offering a free web strategy workshop for manufacturers on Wednesday, Oct. 1. Called “Successful Manufacturing Websites & Online Catalogs,” the workshop will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Badger Meter, 8635 Washington Ave. in Racine.

The workshop will help attendees improve their websites and increase conversions using online catalogs, product detail pages, dealer/rep locators, search engine optimization, product information management, mobile and social media.
“This workshop provides website and digital marketing best practices for manufacturers that we have developed through our work with major companies such as Briggs & Stratton, ABB and Snap-on Tools,” said Patrick Bieser, Northwood’s chief executive officer and seminar presenter. “Mid-sized firms cannot succeed on name and brand recognition alone – they must have a strong and effective website, using the right online tools and strategy. Your website needs to be your best salesperson.”

Admission is free with advance registration. For more information or to register, click here.

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S.C. Johnson forms partnership to create Racine neighborhood garden
September 22, 2014 09:37 AM
In response to a 2014 University of Wisconsin Population Health study that scored Racine County as among the state's 10 least-healthy counties, Racine-based S.C. Johnson is partnering with Zoe Outreach Ministries and the Racine Urban Garden Network to give residents in an area neighborhood greater access to healthy, fresh food.

S.C. Johnson is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care.

Called the Zoe Garden For Life, the garden will be constructed at the southeast corner of 21st and Racine streets on two vacant lots owned by Mt. Pleasant-based Zoe Outreach Ministries. It will contain 33 individual planting plots, and will be managed by Zoe Outreach Ministries and the Racine Urban Garden Network. The first planting is planned for next spring.

A Garden Build Event celebrating the launch of construction will take place at the garden on Saturday, Oct. 4 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  For more information on volunteering or to register, contact Ben Lehner from the Racine Urban Garden Network at  

"Access to healthy and fresh foods is critical to creating great neighborhoods for families. S.C. Johnson is excited to support the urban garden project as an important ingredient in the area's revitalization efforts," said Kelly Semrau, senior vice president of global corporate affairs, communication and sustainability. "The Zoe Garden For Life can serve as a new 'retail' anchor along Racine Street, creating a vibrant place for families to come together to grow fresh foods and further create ownership in their neighborhood."

The neighborhood in which the new urban garden is located has been labeled a "food desert" – a term used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to designate areas that do not have ready access to nutritious foods. The urban garden project will provide area residents with the space to grow their own foods and the education they need to eat healthier.

In other S.C .Johnson news, Working Mother magazine has named it one of the 2014 "Working Mother 100 Best Companies" for its leadership in establishing programs that support working parents, including child care, paid family leave and advancement of women. This is the 26th time S.C. Johnson has been recognized by the publication.  

"I am proud of our long-standing placement on this list because it reinforces our values and unique culture that have been so important to the success of the company and the people who work here," said Fisk Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer.

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Wixon names new director of procurement
September 22, 2014 09:43 AM
St. Francis-based Wixon Inc., a manufacturer of seasonings, flavors and technologies for the food and beverage industry, has announced Kay Aaseby as director of procurement.

In her new role, Aaseby will oversee the company’s purchasing team and assume responsibility of procurement strategies for goods and services for Wixon’s three divisions, including packaging, ingredients and third-party manufacturing.

Aaseby has more than 20 years of experience in purchasing across the food industry and has served in procurement, inventory management and supply chain leadership roles at companies, including Plover-based Golden County Foods Inc. and Kansas City, Mo.-based Dairy Farmers of America.

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New Berlin manufacturer to move to larger building
September 22, 2014 09:48 AM
RHH Foam Systems Inc. and A&B Filling will move next year from a 17,000-square-foot space at 17100 W. Victor Road in New Berlin to a 37,440-square-foot building at 5500 S. Westridge Dr. in New Berlin.

Richard Heitzer, the co-owner and president of RHH Foam Systems Inc. and co-owner and vice president of A&B Filling, recently purchased the Westridge Drive building for $2.35 million, according to state records.

The building was sold by an affiliate of Global Fastener & Supply Inc., a distributor of industrial fasteners, which will move next summer to another location in the area. Global Fastener & Supply's future location, which has not been finalized, will be "slightly smaller" but more efficient, said general manager Jeff Kempka.

"We're actually going to have more capacity in a smaller space," he said.

A&B Filling is a manufacturer of polyurethane spray foam insulation systems that are sold by RHH Foam Systems.

The companies need to move to the larger building on Westridge Drive to expand, said Peter J. Bartell, co-owner and president of A&B Filling and vice president of RHH Foam Systems.

“We are just flat out of room,” Bartell said. “We’re leasing space in a building down the road until we get into the new location (next year). We need the (additional) room to put a second production line in.”

RHH Foam Systems and A&B Filling have 18 full-time employees and plan to add four more, Bartell said.

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K&S Tool changes name
September 22, 2014 09:59 AM
Ixonia-based K&S Tool, Die and Manufacturing has changed its name to K&S Manufacturing Inc.

The company started as a tool and die maker 40 years ago, but business has shifted over time to about 90 percent vertically integrated contract metals manufacturing and 10 percent tool and die, said Jay Eschrich, executive vice president and chief operating officer.

“It better reflects who we are and what we do here,” Eschrich said. “It’s very confusing to people when your name is tool and die and you’re really in the manufacturing sector.”

K&S has 110 employees and serves major original equipment manufacturers. It has two buildings totaling 145,000 square feet at its campus in Ixonia.

The company changed ownership from founder Thomas Klusken to his four children, led by president Krista Galbraith, in 2012. It has doubled its revenue since 2009, he said.

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Lavelle Industries to expand Whitewater factory
September 22, 2014 10:04 AM
Burlington-based Lavelle Industries Inc. announced that it plans to expand its Whitewater production facility by purchasing 2.5 acres of land adjacent to the 25,000-square-foot existing facility at 1215 E. Universal Boulevard.

Lavelle, a manufacturer of toilet repair products, plans to build a 12,600-square-foot addition to that facility. The plans were recently approved during a joint meeting of the Whitewater Community Development Authority and the city’s Plan and Architectural Review Commission.

Construction is expected to be completed by early summer 2015. The construction project follows a similarly-sized expansion less than two years ago.

“We are pleased to be experiencing continuing growth in our Korky brand of toilet repair products,” said Deborah Scheffler, chief financial officer.

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Hilary Dickinson This exclusive news bulletin is compiled by BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Hilary Dickinson. This bulletin is published every Monday morning. Send manufacturing industry news and tips to or call her at (414) 336-7123.

Manufacturing resources
Manufacturer Associations » Association of Equipment Manufacturers
» The Association for High Technology Distribution
» APICS – the Association for Operations Management
» Fabricators and Manufacturers International
» National Fluid Power Association
» Polyeurethane Manufacturers Association
» Precision Metalforming Association, Wisconsin District
» Society of Manufacturing Engineers - Chapter 4
» Society of Plastics Engineers - Greater Wisconsin
» Tool, Die and Machining Association of Wisconsin
» Wisconsin Truss Manufacturers Association
» Wisconsin Biotechnology and Medical Device Association
» Wisconsin Sign Association
» Wisconsin Electrical Machines and Power Electronics Consortium
» Water Quality Association of Wisconsin
Manufacturing Advocacy, Leadership Training and Continuing Education » Center for Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) at the University of Wisconsin
» Independent Business Association of Wisconsin ((BAW)
» MSOE's Business Excellence Consortium
» The Paranet Group
» TEC Midwest
» UW-Milwaukee Center for Continuing Engineering Education
» Waukesha County Business Alliance-Manufacturing Alliance
» Waukesha County Technical College Center for Business Performance Solutions
» Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership
Other resources » American Society for Quality
» Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation
» MATC's Energy Conservation and Advanced Manufacturing (ECAM) facility
» Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
» Milwaukee Export Assistance Center – U.S. Commercial Service
» Milwaukee World Trade Association
» MSOE's Applied Technology Center
» MSOE's Rapid Prototyping Center
» Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
» Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce
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