Monday, July 28, 2014
WCTC to offer water-focused CNC bootcamp
July 28, 2014 10:12 AM
The Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce Development Board’s Water Accelerator program will host a CNC operator bootcamp from August 20 to December 16 at Waukesha County Technical College.

The program is funded through the U.S. Department of Labor by a Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge Grant, and is free to participants. It was designed to prepare skilled workers for manufacturing careers in the water industry.

Participants must: be 18 or older; have or will earn a high school diploma, GED or HSED by fall 2014; eighth grade reading and math test scores; be able to pass a drug test; and have a valid driver’s license or the ability to get one.

Those who complete the bootcamp earn a CNC Operating certificate, job search assistance, career counseling and mentoring.

Information about the program is available at

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Johnson Controls adds chief procurement officer role
July 28, 2014 10:15 AM
Glendale-based multi-industrial firm Johnson Controls Inc. has created the position of chief procurement officer and named Michael Bartschat to the role.

Bartschat, who has also been named a corporate officer, will report to R. Bruce McDonald, executive vice president and chief financial officer. He will be responsible for the company’s global procurement, using economies of scale to get the best price and value on its purchased materials, products and services.

The chief procurement officer position will standardize the best practices for procurement, drive savings for Johnson Controls and increase shareholder value. Bartschat will help ensure operational and manufacturing excellence across the company.

Bartschat joined Johnson Controls in 2004 and most recently served as group vice president and general manager of the metals and mechanisms, automotive seating product group. He previously led an overhaul of the global purchasing organization for automotive seating, interiors and electronics, and the growth of the automotive fabrics business. He holds an MBA from Harvard, a master’s in mechanical engineering from MIT and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University.

"While procurement has always been a focus at our business-unit level, under Mike's leadership we are committing ourselves to building a world-class global procurement function to leverage our combined reach and spend," McDonald said. "This new role brings key strategic capabilities including global sourcing and procurement operations and will enable the introduction of common systems and processes across the organization."

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Sealed Air to move 300 jobs from Sturtevant to Charlotte
July 28, 2014 10:26 AM
Sealed Air Corp. announced that it will move its headquarters and 1,300 jobs, including all 300 from its Sturtevant office, to Charlotte, N.C.

The company, which is currently headquartered in Elmwood Park, N.J., acquired Sturtevant-based sanitation solutions firm Diversey Holdings Inc. in 2011. At the time, Diversey had 10,000 employees and net sales of $3.1 billion.

“There will be a number of relocations offered,” said Ken Aurichio, executive director of corporate communications for Sealed Air. “We’re still taking a look at some of the design, but there will be a large number of relocations that are offered.”

Employees that don’t want to relocate to Charlotte will have about a year to transition, he said.

“We will be beginning our move sometime in mid-2015,” Aurichio said. “We’re also going to see if there’s an opportunity to build a satellite office so employees can have a little more time.”

The other impacted locations are Elmwood Park, Saddle Brook, N.J., Danbury, Conn., and Duncan and Greenville, S.C. A “small number” of jobs will also be relocated from other locations. The Saddle Brook and Danbury manufacturing facilities will remain open, and certain operations will continue in Duncan.

“We are confident Charlotte will provide a great environment for us to operate and grow our business moving forward,” said Jerome Peribere, president and chief executive officer of Sealed Air. “This move will contribute to a stronger, one-company culture that will enable greater collaboration, efficiencies, and better use of our investments in people and new technologies.”

“We considered numerous criteria in making our decision,” Peribere said. “We believe Charlotte’s many attributes, including its solid economy and its reputation for business friendliness, technology and innovation, make it an ideal place for our employees to live and work.”

Sealed Air has 25,000 employees worldwide and reported $7.7 billion in revenue last year. The company develops food packaging, shipping, cleaning and hygiene solutions.

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Microbial Discovery Group expands facility
July 28, 2014 10:34 AM
Microbial Discovery Group LLC has expanded its Franklin facility and is in the process of hiring seven new employees to meet demand for microbial-based products and solutions.

The $500,000 expansion included a 3,500-square-foot addition of laboratory and office space and a renovation of 2,500 square feet of existing office space, said Michael King, chief executive officer. The facility also has another 14,000 square feet of space where fermentation production takes place, and is renting 4,000 square feet of space to handle product overflow.

The additional space and new equipment will allow the company to accelerate its rate of technology development in the fields of microbiology and molecular biology discovery.

MDG has added two microbiologists, an administrator and additional interns in the expanded space. It is also in the process of hiring two scientists, a production manager and a regulatory/international registration specialist. MDG plans to add 40 percent more staff over the next couple of years, according to King.

MDG was founded in 2007 at the current location, 5200 W. Ashland Way in Franklin. It isolates novel microbial strains that solve environmental concerns and completes large-scale manufacturing of environmentally-safe microbials for commercial applications.

“As MDG continues to scale-up to meet demand, the number of team members has grown from three to 20 employees, making this expansion an absolute necessity,” King said.

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Super Steel to hire 25 welders
July 28, 2014 10:22 AM
Milwaukee-based Super Steel LLC will hire 25 welders as it continues to grow to meet the demand of the construction and oil and gas industries.

Super Steel is growing in all areas of its business and has a strong backlog of work that President Dirk Smith expects will stretch into the first part of 2015.

“Agriculture is strong, transportation’s strong, industrial is very strong,” Smith said. “We’re picking up market share at our existing customers due to performance.”

The company is also picking up new customers, particularly in the booming construction and oil and gas sectors.

Super Steel is hosting two job fairs to fill the positions, on Saturday, Aug. 2, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and on Wednesday, Aug. 6, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at its headquarters, 7900 W. Tower Ave.

The jobs pay up to $25 per hour, and Super Steel is also offering up to $1,000 in signing bonuses.

Super Steel plans to add a total of 50 employees this year, bringing total employment to about 415, said Dirk Smith, president and chief executive officer.

The company has difficulty finding and retaining welders despite competitive wages because they are in such high demand in the area, Smith said. It has about a 50 percent retention rate for welders.

“Welders are somewhat nomadic,” he said. “We’ve created an environment here in Southeast Wisconsin where there’s high demand for welders— low supply, high demand.”

Super Steel is also hiring for engineering and project management positions to help it navigate an increasing workload.

“We’ve engaged quite a few recruiting agencies, and there just aren’t a lot of professional people in the manufacturing world right now as well,” Smith said. “I could add literally 65 people if they were out there, but we kind of augment it with overtime because we just know the candidates aren’t out there.”

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Sensient earnings down on restructuring charges
July 28, 2014 10:18 AM
Milwaukee-based Sensient Technologies Corp. reported second quarter net earnings of $29.1 million, or 59 cents per share, down from $32.3 million, or 65 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2013.

Revenue was $374.7 million, down from $378.8 million in the same period a year ago.

The flavorings, flavors and colors manufacturer put a restructuring plan into place at the beginning of 2013 to eliminate underperforming operations, consolidate manufacturing facilities and improve internal efficiencies. This resulted in $13 million of pre-tax restructuring and other costs in the second quarter.

Sensient’s board of directors also recently approved amending its articles of incorporation, by laws and corporate governance guidelines to include a majority voting standard in uncontested elections of directors. This replaces the company’s plurality voting standard and director resignation policy. Shareholders will vote on the amendments at the 2015 annual meeting.

“I am very pleased with the strong results reported by the company and each of the operating groups in the second quarter,” said Paul Manning, president and chief executive officer. ”Each of the Groups reported local currency operating profit growth of over five percent and significant margin improvement. We continue to see progress in the Flavors & Fragrances Group and we are optimistic about future opportunities across all of our businesses.”

The company avoided a board takeover attempt by Connecticut hedge fund FrontFour Capital Group LLC at its shareholder meeting in April.

Since FrontFour’s announcement of the intent to elect its own directors, the color, flavor and fragrance manufacturer has created a new independent lead director position, changed its long-term equity incentive compensation plan and announced the restructuring.

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Harley revenue up, shipments down
July 28, 2014 10:32 AM
Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. reported second quarter net income of $354.2 million, or $1.62 per share, up from $271.7 million, or $1.21 per share, in the second quarter of 2013.

Revenue was $1.8 billion, up from $1.6 billion in the same period a year ago.

Dealers sold 90,218 motorcycles worldwide in the second quarter, up from 90,193 in the second quarter of 2013. U.S dealer sales were 58,225, down from 58,241 in the same period a year prior, which the company attributed to a prolonged harsh winter. As a result, the company has lowered its new motorcycle shipment guidance for the full year. It previously planned to ship 279,000 to 284,000 motorcycles to dealers worldwide, but now plans to ship 270,000 to 275,000 bikes.

Higher motorcycle shipments and higher gross margin contributed to a 32.3 percent increase in operating income from motorcycles and related products, to $473.3 million. And revenue from motorcycles also grew, up 16.2 percent to $1.5 billion.

"Harley-Davidson's second-quarter results reflect the financial strength of the company and brand, including the benefits of continuous improvement throughout our operation," said Keith Wandell, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "As a customer-led organization, our employees, dealers in 90 countries and suppliers are focused every day on providing outstanding products and experiences for customers around the world."

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A.O. Smith reports record revenue
July 28, 2014 10:29 AM
Milwaukee-based A.O. Smith Corp. reported second quarter net earnings of $57.3 million, or 63 cents per share, up from $42.1 million, or 45 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2013.

Net sales were a record $595.4 million, up from $549.1 million a year prior.

The water technology company attributed the results to a robust sales increase in its China market. The Rest of the World segment, which includes China, India and Europe, was up 14 percent to $193.6 million in sales.

The North American segment also saw a sales increase, up 5 percent to $410.1 million on U.S. residential and commercial water heaters and Lochinvar products.

"A. O. Smith enjoyed excellent performance in the second quarter thanks to strong contributions from our China business, with sales up 17 percent and operating profit up significantly in the quarter," said Ajita Rajendra, chairman and chief executive officer. "Our U. S. water heater and boiler sales continue to drive our domestic growth."

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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 » The Paranet Group
» Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership
» MSOE's Business Excellence Consortium
» Center for Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) at the University of Wisconsin
» UW-Milwaukee Center for Continuing Engineering Education
Other resources » American Society for Quality
» Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce
» Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation
» Wisconsin Department of Commerce
» 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
» MATC's Energy Conservation and Advanced Manufacturing (ECAM) facility

Molly Newman This exclusive news bulletin is compiled by BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Molly Newman. This bulletin is published every Monday morning. Send manufacturing industry news and tips to or call her at (414) 336-7144.
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