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Monday, August 25, 2014
Sprecher to launch second mobile beer garden
August 25, 2014 10:12 AM
Glendale-based Sprecher Brewing Co. on Wednesday will unveil its second traveling beer garden.

The “Traveling Beer Garden” concept was introduced by Sprecher and Milwaukee County Parks  in May, and the first beer garden, a converted fire truck, visited six different county parks in July and August for two weeks.

The second mobile beer garden, also a repurposed fire truck, will visit the Milwaukee Rally at Wisconsin Harley Davidson in Oconomowoc from Aug. 28-31.

The Milwaukee Rally will include two stages of live music and several special events for both riders and non-riders.

An ambulance has also been converted into a concession stand, to travel with the beer garden. It will serve pizzas, large pretzels, Sprecher popcorn, root beer-flavored popcorn, gourmet sodas, ice cream and floats.

“We couldn’t ask for a better venue to debut our second traveling beer garden,” said Jeff Hamilton, president of the craft brewery. “Harley Davidson has always been a sign of Milwaukee-based ingenuity; Sprecher Brewery has too. We’re proud to be affiliated with such a strong local brand. I also want people to know that we’re serving not just a wide variety of our beer and our malternatives, but many of our gourmet sodas and floats as well. For those who don’t want alcohol, we’ve got some awesome options.”

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MillerCoors to help revitalize South Shore Park
August 25, 2014 10:14 AM
MillerCoors will provide a major contribution to clean up South Shore Park on the shores of Lake Michigan, the company announced last week.

Chicago-based brewery MillerCoors manufactures much of its product in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee County parks and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences will also assist with the revitalization project.

The entities have formed a long-term plan for sustainable improvements to water and beach quality, preserving the park and offering a safe recreational space.

South Shore Park is in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood, and includes 47.4 acres of recreational areas, sand beaches, public boat launches and a public art display. It has frequently been closed in recent years because of E. Coli contamination.

An announcement will be made Wednesday with further details about the project.

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WCTC receives $1 million donation for Integrated Manufacturing Center
August 25, 2014 10:18 AM
Pewaukee-based Waukesha County Technical College has announced an anonymous donor has pledged $1 million toward its new Integrated Manufacturing Center.

The $1 million, however, is contingent on the college raising another $2 million in private funds for the project. It has so far raised about $200,000.

The total project cost for the IMC is expected to be $4.5 million. A state capital spending limit means WCTC can spend a maximum of $1.5 million of its funds on a building expansion product, unless the additional private funds are available as cash on hand when it seeks approval, said Kaylen Betzig, interim president of WCTC.

Since WCTC plans to seek approval for the project at the bi-monthly Wisconsin Technical College System Board meeting on Sept. 8, it would need to raise the additional funds very soon, Betzig said.

“I am very hopeful, I am very positive, and we’re doing everything we can,” she said. “We’re doing this not just for us to build a building. We’re doing this so we can help the manufacturers of Waukesha County and provide them with the skilled workforce that they’ve been asking for.”

The college began planning the IMC addition in January to meet growing demand for manufacturing courses and skilled workers. The WCTC Foundation has been fundraising in cooperation with the Waukesha County Business Alliance.

“It really for us is a matter of capacity,” she said. “I can offer all the sections I want, but I have to put five welders in one welding booth.”

The 24,000-square-foot Integrated Manufacturing Center would include be connected to the Industrial Building on campus, and house several School of Applied Technologies programs, including automated systems, electronics, welding, computer and numerical control, engineering, industrial machine technician, robotics and industrial maintenance.

The proposed building includes two Automated Systems Technology labs, an integrated manufacturing and engineering lab, an industrial maintenance technician lab, two electronics labs, an electronics fabrication lab, a technology lab, an engineering lecture hall, an AST classroom, two engineering classrooms and two conference rooms.

“Having targeted and cooperative experiences through the IMC will develop students’ skills to a higher level and prepare them for the types of systems they will use in the region’s manufacturing companies,” said Suzanne Kelley, president of the Waukesha County Business Alliance. “We’re thrilled to see such strong private-sector support for this project, as we think it will be a huge win for the region, and will only further enhance WCTC’s reputation for producing job-ready grads with the technical skills needed to support our manufacturers.”

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Lakefront Brewery plans expansion near its Commerce Street HQ
August 25, 2014 10:20 AM
Milwaukee-based craft brewer Lakefront Brewery Inc. announced that it plans to expand with a facility at 1890 N. Commerce St. in Milwaukee.

The brewery announced that it has an accepted offer to buy the vacant site, which was formerly slated for the second phase of The Edge condo development. The site is located on the east side of the Holton Street Bridge, adjacent to the existing Lakefront Brewery headquarters facility at 1872 N. Commerce St.

Last year Lakefront Brewery announced plans to build a second brewery in the Menomonee Valley in Milwaukee, but later dropped those plans.

Now, Lakefront Brewery Owner Russ Klisch said the company’s plans are to purchase the vacant Commerce Street site and build on it as soon as it is financially feasible for the brewery. The brewery plans to relocate its packaging lines and additional fermentation tanks to the new facility. The brew house would retain all of its existing fermentation tanks and would use the space vacated by packaging for barrel aging.

The expansion is being driven by increased demand, the company says. Lakefront now brews 40,000 barrels per year, with production having nearly doubled in the past two years alone. The second brewing location will provide Lakefront with the ability to expand its production and distribution and at capacity would result in the creation of an additional 40 full-time jobs.

The company has also begun expanding its warehouse facilities. Last week, Lakefront began work on an addition to its cold storage facility at 218 E. Keefe Ave., Milwaukee, which could add as many as 30 jobs, including 10 full-time jobs.

“We are taking a very measured approach to expansion, and acquiring this land is an initial step,” said Klisch. “However, the craft beer market just continues to grow and we need to expand production or we won’t be able to keep up with demand.”

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Sharp Packaging to build new HQ facility in Sussex
August 25, 2014 10:25 AM
Sharp Packaging Systems LLC, a manufacturer of flexible packaging systems, plans to build a new 151,970-square-foot headquarters facility on a vacant 15.8-acre site on Silver Spring Drive in Sussex.

The site is located in Sussex Business Park, across Silver Spring Drive from Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church at N59 W22476 Silver Spring Drive.

Sharp Packaging Systems has been designing and manufacturing systems for flexible packaging that include the machines, plus polyethylene film and bags, since 1984. Headquartered in Sussex, the company has additional locations in Tempe, Ariz. and East Troy.

The company’s headquarters is currently located at N62 W22632 Village Drive in Sussex.

The new facility will replace Sharp's existing Sussex headquarters, said Gregg Thompson, president of Brookfield-based Briohn Building Corp., which is the design/builder for the project.

Sharp Packaging’s plans for the new building also include a 39,000-square-foot future second phase addition.

Sharp Packaging has 190 employees, most of which are at its Wisconsin facilities.

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Good Foods Group to expand in Pleasant Prairie
August 25, 2014 10:30 AM
Good Foods Group LLC, which moved its corporate headquarters and production operations last year from Chicago to Pleasant Prairie now plans to expand in the Kenosha County village.

The company has submitted plans to add a 39,166-square-foot addition to its 56,333-square-foot building at 10100 88th Ave., said Pleasant Prairie Community Development Director Jean Werbie-Harris.

“They have experienced a significant amount of growth,” she said.

Good Foods Group manufactures all natural food products including hummus, salsa, dips and guacamole.

The company had about 50 employees when it moved to Pleasant Prairie. It could expand to 150 employees with the expansion, Werbie-Harris said.

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Plymouth Tube to close East Troy mill
August 25, 2014 10:32 AM
Plymouth Tube Co. plans to close one of its East Troy mills and lay off 34 employees, according to a WARN notice filed with the state last week.

Warrenville, Ill.-based Plymouth Tube, which manufactures specialty tubing and extruded shapes, plans to discontinue its manufacturing process at the mill, which is located at 2061 Young St. in East Troy. The company has 10 other mills, including a second East Troy mill at 2056 Young St.

The positions will be eliminated in phases beginning on October 13, the filing says. Six of the employees are in salaried positions, while 28 are in hourly positions represented by United Steel Workers, Local 7076.

Among the eliminated job titles are: administrative manager, administrative support, maintenance tech, master scheduler/materials coordinator, production tech, safety and environment coordinator, senior process engineer, value stream manager and weld technician.

The company plans to conduct layoffs and pay all earned wages and agreed upon benefits as set forth in the collective bargaining agreement between the union and the company.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development will offer rapid response services in cooperation with the Southeast Wisconsin Workforce Development Board.

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Sensient names new board members
August 25, 2014 10:36 AM
Milwaukee-based Sensient Technologies Corp. has appointed both Deborah McKeithan-Gebhardt and Joseph Carleone to its board of directors.

McKeithan-Gebhardt is the president and chief operating officer of Milwaukee-based oil and gas exploration firm Tamarack Petroleum Co. Inc. and chief executive officer of Tamarack River Resources LLC. She has been at Tamarack since 1991, previously serving as general counsel. McKeithan-Gebhardt holds a bachelor’s in business administration from Cardinal Stritch University and a law degree from Marquette University Law School. She previously worked as an attorney in private practice.

Carleone is president and CEO of Las Vegas-based American Pacific Corp., a manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients, fine and specialty chemicals used in aerospace and fire-protection and electrochemical equipment used in water treatment. American Pacific merged with H.I.G. Capital in February. Carleone holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and master’s and doctorate degrees in applied mechanics from Drexel University.

Sensient manufactures colors, flavors and fragrances often used in the food and beverage, cosmetic and pharmaceutical and printing industries globally.

The company avoided a board takeover attempt by Connecticut hedge fund FrontFour Capital Group LLC at its shareholder meeting in April. Following FrontFour’s announcement of the intent to elect its own directors, Sensient created a new independent lead director position, changed its long-term equity incentive compensation plan and undertook a restructuring to eliminate underperforming operations, consolidate manufacturing facilities and improve internal efficiencies.

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ZBB to raise $14 million through public offering
August 25, 2014 10:38 AM
Menomonee Falls-based ZBB Energy Corp. has announced it plans to raise $14.8 million through a public offering of 11.5 million shares of its common stock.

The company, which develops renewable energy power platforms and hybrid vehicle control systems, has priced the stock at $1.12. The underwriter, Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC, has exercised its full overallotment option to purchase another 1.7 million shares.

The offering is expected to close on Aug. 27. The net proceeds for ZBB would be about $13.5 million, and the company plans to use the funds for general corporate and working capital.

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New hires and promotions
August 25, 2014 10:41 AM

Port Washington-based Modern Equipment Co. has hired Dan Fedel as electrical engineer and Al Lopez as electrical technician. Both will work out of the Port Washington offices of the metal casting company.

New Berlin-based ACS Group, a manufacturer of auxiliary equipment for the plastics industry, has hired Paul Grekowicz as vice president of marketing and product development. He will support the company’s efforts to meet customers’ growing needs in the AEC, Cumberland and Sterling brands. Grekowicz will work to enhance new product development processes and revitalize marketing efforts for the company’s products. He has more than 15 years of experience in process improvement and product management at companies including GE Power Systems, Cooper Power Systems and RF Technologies.

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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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