Wisconsin Manufacturing News

With news about declining employment in the manufacturing sector in Wisconsin, Quad/Graphics’ invesment in Poland, a new China facility for Actuant, and Manitowoc Co.’s sale of its marine division

Manufacturing employment drops in Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector dropped 13,276 industrial jobs, approximately 2.1 percent of its manufacturing employment from June 2007 to June 2008, according to the 2009 Wisconsin Manufacturers Register, published by Manufacturers’ News Inc. of Evanston, Ill.

The report states that about 631,000 workers are employed by the 12,439 manufacturing sector employers in the state. Earlier MNI reports showed that Wisconsin lost about 1.5 percent of its manufacturing jobs from June 2006 to June 2007 after the state’s manufacturing sector rose by about 3 percent in 2004 and 2005.

"Outsourcing, consolidation and automation have taken their toll on manufacturing employment," said Tom Dublin, president of Manufacturing News. "Ironically, the jobs that remain are so specialized and highly skilled that some manufacturers are having difficulty finding qualified applicants."

Wisconsin ranks 10th in the nation for its number of manufacturing jobs. The state’s losses in the sector are similar to those in neighboring states. From June 2007 to June 2008, Illinois lost about 1.5 percent of its manufacturing jobs, Minnesota lost 1.7 percent, Indiana lost 2.2 percent and Michigan lost 5 percent.

Quad/Graphics expands Polish venture
Sussex-based Quad/Graphics Inc. is investing $35 million in capital in its partnership in Poland to better serve magazine publishers, catalogers and retailers throughout Europe.

Quad/Graphics acquired a majority ownership in Poland-based Winkowski in December. The Warsaw venture will be rebranded QuadWinkowski to reflect the combined resources of the two companies. Quad/Graphics and Winkowski have been business partners for 10 years.

QuadWinkowski is investing in new equipment and facility upgrades. "Our company always has been about building meaningful business relationships, and that will continue with both clients and vendors," said Tadeusz Winkowski, founder of Winkowski, who has been named chairman of the renamed company’s supervisory board. "We will remain consistent in our approach to serving customers and working with vendors."

Joel Quadracci, president and chief executive officer of Quad/Graphics, said, "Quad/Graphics and Winkowski have enjoyed a successful partnership for a decade now, and we’re building on that success. We are committed to strengthening operations and our European presence for the benefit of clients."

Tom Frankowski, a 29-year member of Quad/Graphics’ U.S. manufacturing operations, has been named QuadWinkowski president and will oversee all day-to-day operations of the company.

Tim Ohnmacht, a Quad/Graphics sales executive with 14 years print-industry experience, has joined QuadWinkowski’s sales team as vice president of sales and marketing. Chuck DuPont, a Quad/Graphics financial and business analyst, has been named QuadWinkowski vice president of finance.

Actuant opens new China facility
Actuant Corp., a manufacturer of position and motion control systems, hydraulic and electrical tools and related supplies, recently opened a new 300,000-square-foot manufacturing and assembly facility in Taicang, China. The new facility has consolidated three former Actuant facilities into one center, and will serve Chinese and other global markets, the company said.

Dillman Equipment Inc. to be acquired by Astec Industries
Dillman Equipment Inc., a Prairie du Chien-based manufacturer of asphalt plant equipment, has agreed to be acquired by Astec Industries Inc., which has several manufacturing operations dedicated to infrastructure. Astec’s business units include asphalt production equipment, aggregate processing and mining equipment, mobile asphalt paving equipment, and underground boring. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Dillman will continue its Wisconsin operations as an operating unit of Astec Industries.

Manitowoc Company to sell marine division to Italian firm
The Manitowoc Company Inc. has agreed to sell its marine division to Fincantieri Marine Group Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Trieste, Italy-based Fincantieri – Cantieri Navali Italiani SpA, for $120 million. Lockheed Martin Corp. will be a minority investor with Fincantieri in the proposed acquisition.
The transaction is an all-cash deal that is anticipated to close at the end of this year.

The division, called Manitowoc Marine Group, is a full-service shipbuilding, ship repair, and ship conversion organization that operates facilities in Sturgeon Bay, Marinette and Cleveland, Ohio. The division serves a broad base of commercial, military, and government customers and has about 1,600 employees.

"As our legacy business, Marine led the way in establishing Manitowoc’s tradition of integrity, commitment to stakeholders, and passion for excellence — the values that have driven the success for all three of our segments," said Manitowoc president and chief executive officer Glen E. Tellock. "In addition, this transaction expands the opportunities for MMG (Manitowoc Marine Group) to continue its industry leadership in the future. More importantly, it will allow MMG to become part of a growing, global organization that is exclusively focused on commercial and military shipbuilding."

This transaction will allow Manitowoc to focus its financial assets and managerial resources on the growth of its increasingly global crane and foodservice businesses. It also will allow us to invest the proceeds from the sale to generate additional shareholder value."

The sale is expected to generate a per-share, after-tax gain of approximately 60 cents. The company said it intends to use the after-tax proceeds for general corporate purposes, which includes paying down debt anticipated as a result of the pending acquisition of Enodis.

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