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Monday, July 21, 2014
Kapco purchases Grafton building for expansion
July 21, 2014 11:03 AM
Grafton-based Kapco Inc. recently purchased a building at 983 Badger Circle in Grafton, and has applied to the city to start production operations there.

The facility would host operations similar to the metal stamping, welding, fabrication, CNC and other services currently being performed at the Kapco headquarters, 1000 Badger Circle. The new facility would run three shifts totaling 30 to 70 employees at the facility.

Kapco applied for a conditional use permit to complete manufacturing operations in 11,711 square feet of space in the 24,271-square-foot building, with the remainder used for administration and management staff.

The building, which President Jim Kacmarcik’s family purchased June 30 for $1.75 million, formerly housed MPI Coin. It sits on four and a half acres. MPI Coin has moved its operations back to its previous location on Dakota Drive.

The company, which has been growing at a rate of about 20 percent per year, serves the lawn and garden, military, electrical motor, heavy industrial, medical and recreational vehicle markets. It has seven locations, six of which are in Wisconsin.

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Badger Meter records best quarter ever
July 21, 2014 10:17 AM
Brown Deer-based Badger Meter Inc. has reported its best quarter in company history.

The company, which manufactures water flow measurement and control products, recorded net sales of $95.7 million, the most ever in any quarter.

Badger Meter also reported net earnings of $4.8 million, the best second quarter in company history, and a 40.3 percent increase over the $6.3 million net earnings for the second quarter of 2013.

The company’s diluted earnings per share rose to a record 61 cents, up 38.6 percent from 44 cents in the same period a year earlier.

“Our strong second quarter performance was driven by higher sales of municipal water products. Sales of residential municipal water products were up substantially and commercial water product sales also increased. These increases more than offset a slight decline in industrial product sales for the quarter,” said Richard Meeusen, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Badger Meter.

Meeusen said the company is seeing significant increases in sales of two municipal water products that were introduced in 2013. Sales of ORION SE two-way fixed network meter reading systems and the new polymer version of the company’s E-Series line of ultrasonic meters for residential and commercial applications continue to ramp up as they gain acceptance in the market.

“In the municipal water industry, the process from product launch to customer adoption takes some time. As a result, we are also encouraged by the response to our newest product, the BEACON Advanced Metering Analytics (AMA) system, which was introduced in January. Badger Meter was the first major water meter company to release a cost-effective cellular-based metering solution to the market. There is considerable interest in starter kits that enable utilities to test BEACON AMA prior to purchasing a complete system and the feedback from utility managers at the recent American Water Works Association (AWWA) annual conference was very positive,” Meeusen said.

“Looking ahead, with two strong quarters behind us, we are cautiously optimistic about the second half of the year,” Meeusen said.

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HellermannTyton seeks $10 million MEDC loan for bigger expansion
July 21, 2014 10:50 AM
HellermannTyton Corp. is seeking a $10 million loan from the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. for the ongoing expansion of its facility at 6701-11 W. Good Hope Road in Milwaukee.

The loan request is under review by the MEDC’s loan and finance committe. The organization provides low-interest loans to support economic development in the city.

The company has increased its expansion plans from 50,000 square feet to 102,000 square feet. It still plans to add 125 jobs over the next five years, said Terry Tuttle, vice president of sales and marketing.

“We were very conservative in our initial projections and our sales above plan are driving the growth,” she said.

The total expansion project cost is $18.5 million, Tuttle said. HellermannTyton received a $2.75 million loan from the MEDC to finance the purchase of the 92,000-square-foot building in July 2012. It invested $6.7 million in the building, renovations and new equipment.

HellermannTyton, which has its North American headquarters at 7930 N. Faulkner Road, also has a third facility at 8475 N. 87th St. It has 153 employees at the Good Hope Road plant, 200 at the Faulkner Road facility and about 55 at its 87th Street offices.

The expansion will consolidate molding operations and allow the company to meet its projected growth needs in the next several years. Moving some molding work from its Faulkner Road headquarters will allow HellermannTyton to add a technical center for research and development and expand its mold manufacturing department and quality assurance lab at the headquarters.

HellermannTyton is in 34 countries and has 3,200 employees worldwide. There are about 600 HellermannTyton North America employees.

The company manufactures high performance cable management solutions used for fastening, identifying, protecting, organizing, routing and connecting components in the electrical, automotive and datacom markets.

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MATC to get $2.6 million from state for worker training
July 21, 2014 10:45 AM
Milwaukee Area Technical College will get $2.6 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward grant funds from the state to train up to 546 workers for in-demand fields, Gov. Scott Walker announced.

The funds are part of a $28 million grant package, announced earlier this week, for the state’s technical colleges to train up to 4,908 workers for jobs that employers need to fill.

“The Wisconsin Fast Forward program makes targeted investments in worker training, which will strengthen the workforce and ensure we have workers to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow,” Walker said.

MATC will receive: $687,960 to train 125 students in early childhood education, $652,113 to train 66 students in truck driving, $546,945 to train 307 students in health care to be certified nursing assistants, and $703,500 to train 48 students in CNC manufacturing.

“This grant will provide MATC the opportunity to prepare area residents for employment in high-demand fields in southeastern Wisconsin,” said MATC President Dr. Vicki J. Martin. “These programs are among our most popular and the funds will allow us to educate, train, and prepare more students for careers that are essential to Wisconsin’s economic vitality.”

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Johnson Controls earnings down on restructuring charges
July 21, 2014 10:43 AM
Glendale-based Johnson Controls Inc. reported fiscal third quarter net income of $196 million, or 26 cents per share, down significantly from $572 million, or 80 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2013.

Net sales were $10.8 billion, up from $10.5 billion in the same period a year ago.

The global industrial firm attributed the earnings dip to restructuring and non-recurring items including: 3Q 2014 pre-tax restructuring charges of $162 million related to the sale of the headliner and sun visor portion of its Automotive Interiors business, 3Q 2014 pre-tax losses of $140 million from divested businesses and other transaction-related costs, 3Q2013 non-recurring tax benefits of $140 million and 3Q2013 pre-tax restructuring charges of $143 million.

"Our performance was consistent with the expectations we disclosed in our second quarter earnings call, with strong overall performance by our automotive and power businesses and margin improvement in Building Efficiency," said Alex Molinaroli, chairman and chief executive officer. "The overall non-residential HVAC markets remain challenged, but we are starting to see some increased demand in certain vertical markets. While orders are still lower than last year, the institutional building sector started showing some improvement as we exited the quarter."

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Organic sales drive higher Snap-on earnings
July 21, 2014 10:47 AM
Kenosha-based Snap-on Inc. reported second quarter net earnings of $108.8 million, or $1.80 per share, up from $90.7 million, or $1.50 per share, in the second quarter of 2013.

Net sales were $826.5 million, up from $764.1 million in the same period a year ago.

Snap-on, which manufactures and markets tools, equipment, diagnostics, repair information and systems solutions for professional users, attributed the sales increase to 6.6 percent growth in organic sales, $10.5 million in acquisition-related sales and $1.4 million in favorable foreign currency translation.

Sales were up 13.1 percent in the repair systems and information group, 7.9 percent in the commercial and industrial group and 6.6 percent in the tools group.

“Our second quarter results include broad-based organic sales growth, which we believe affirms Snap-on’s unique capabilities in providing repeatability and reliability to a wide range of professional customers performing critical tasks in workplaces of consequence,” said Nick Pinchuk, Snap-on chairman and chief executive officer. “At the same time, we remain committed to realizing ongoing benefits from our Snap-on value creation processes, as evidenced by this quarter’s 130 basis point improvement in operating margin before financial services and 20 percent growth in earnings per share. Finally, this continued progress along our defined runways for coherent growth and operating improvement would not be possible without the capability and commitment so evident across Snap-on, and I thank our franchisees and associates worldwide for their significant contributions and extraordinary efforts.”

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WCBA promotes Baer, increases education focus
July 21, 2014 10:57 AM
The Waukesha County Business Alliance has increased its focus on strengthening the county's business and education partnerships.

The WCBA has promoted Mary Baer to vice president of community engagement to lead these efforts. She previously served as director of membership development, but will now be responsible for identifying and developing community partnerships that will address Alliance members’ needs and drive economic growth in Waukesha County.

“The position reflects Mary’s great work in growing the Manufacturing Alliance, building our current business and education partnerships, and leading the Alliance’s outreach with nonprofits, workforce development groups, economic development organizations and other community partners,” said Suzanne Kelley, president of the Alliance.

Baer recently helped launch the Waukesha MADE Action Committee, a group that works to facilitate communication between the manufacturing community and the school district. It is chaired by Nick Kroll, president and chief executive officer of Aries Industries, and members include representatives from DUECO Inc., Husco International, Hydro-Thermal Corp., MetalTek International and Weldall. Waukesha’s three high schools, Waukesha School District Superintendent Todd Gray, the Waukesha Career & Tech Ed Coordinator Amy Lange and several WCBA Education Policy Committee members are involved in the effort.

The Action Committee has five subcommittees: Beyond High School Nights, which exposes high school students and their parents to manufacturing careers; Manufacturing Businesses in the Classroom, which brings real world manufacturing problems into the classroom; Student-to-Student Interactions, which allows students participating in a manufacturing program to share their experiences with other students; Mentoring Connections, which connects students with manufacturing mentors; and MADE Calendar, which supplements school calendars with manufacturing opportunities.

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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 » 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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