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Manitowoc company acquires Clintonville factory
R.B.A. Inc., an industrial mechanical contractor in Manitowoc, has acquired another plant in Clintonville that will double the company’s manufacturing space and create about 40 new jobs. R.B.A. provides subcontract machining, fabrication, refurbishing, welding and assembly for several industries, including the manufacture of heavy steel components for cranes used in wind facility construction and turbine erection.  The new facility in Clintonville comprises approximately 60,000 square feet and covers nearly 20 acres. It previously was used for building special trailer modules for the U.S. military. R.B.A. is owned by Naperville, Ill.-based Broadwind Energy Inc.

"With this expansion, R.B.A. can further improve the service it has been providing the mining and crane-building industries," said Broadwind chief executive officer J. Cameron Drecoll. "Meanwhile, it contributes to the increased efficiency and value that Broadwind is building in terms of complementary and collaborating platforms of companies." R.B.A.’s founder, Raymond Brickner III, announced his retirement from his position as president of Tower Tech Systems Inc., a Broadwind-owned wind tower and off-shore wind tower manufacturer, which he also co-founded. Brickner also has resigned as president of Broadwind Energy.

In addition to R.B.A., the Clintonville facility will house the corporate offices of Badger Transport Inc., a heavy-haul trucking company. Broadwind previously announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Badger. Broadwind expects to complete the acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions, during the second quarter of 2008. "This is an extremely exciting time for Tower Tech, with a highly promising market and the financial backing of Broadwind to help the company take advantage of that market," Brickner said. "The company is in good hands with strong, experienced leaders who can take it to the next level. I’m proud of what my company has become and is becoming, but if there is an ideal time for me to step away, it is now." Brickner founded R.B.A. in 1985 and Tower Tech Systems in 2003. "Ray has been an inspiration to all of us, with his innovative ideas, never-say-die attitude and willingness to take calculated risks for the benefit of his companies," Drecoll said. "Broadwind Energy wishes him all the best in his retirement."

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