Wisconsin Manufacturing News

Bankruptcy court approves sale of Grede Foundries; Bucyrus to acquire mining equipment business of Terex Corp.; Dickten Masch receives tax credits for job creation

Oshkosh reaches production milestone for MRAP military vehicle

Oshkosh Corp. announced last week that it reached a milestone production rate for the MRAP All Terrain Vehicle, producing 1,000 vehicles per month on Dec. 18.

December is the sixth consecutive month that Oshkosh has exceeded delivery requirements. Since June 30, Oshkosh has been steadily ramping up production and will continue at the rate of 1,000 vehicles per month through May 2010 to deliver the 6,619 vehicles currently under contract.

“Our employee gave a great effort to meet the aggressive production timeline for these urgently needed vehicles. These M-ATVs will help improve the safety and mobility of our soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan,” said Robert G. Bohn, chairman and chief executive officer. “Staying on or ahead of our delivery schedule goes beyond the M-ATV program. It is a core value with every order we receive and every high-quality vehicle we produce here at Oshkosh.”

Oshkosh reached the milestone by using production capacity at existing manufacturing facilities in Oshkosh and McConnellsburg, Pa. These and other Oshkosh Corporation manufacturing facilities have available production capacity for all current and pending military vehicle programs, including the M-ATV and the U.S. Army’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) program, as well as any surges in production.

Oshkosh uses an integrated assembly line to simultaneously produce as many as 10 vehicle models with 29 variations at its facilities. In addition to exceeding the M-ATV’s production requirements, Oshkosh has received orders to send its fully trained field service representatives (FSR) to Afghanistan and supply spare-parts kits to provide the full spectrum of life-cycle support that will help sustain the M-ATV program. Oshkosh has the experience and infrastructure in place in the theater of operation to provide the required level of support, from parts supply to remanufacturing.

Bankruptcy court approves sale of Grede Foundries

Milwaukee-based Grede Foundries’ agreement to sell its principal operating plants to an affiliate of Wayzata Investment Partners LLC of Minnesota has been approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.

The transaction includes Grede’s corporate headquarters in Milwaukee and foundries in Wauwatosa; Reedsburg; St. Cloud, Minn.; Wichita, Kan.; New Castle, Ind. and Iron Mountain/Kingsford, Mich.

The Grede facilities in Greenwood, S.C., and Vassar, Mich., were not part of the Wayzata sale package. The Greenwood foundry has been closed for several months, and Grede is selling the remaining real estate and equipment. The Vassar foundry, which continues to operate, was previously sold to Kentucky-based Revstone Industries.

Grede board chairman Richard Koenings said he anticipates the closing, which is subject to typical closing conditions, including antitrust review, will take place in late January or February of 2010. It is anticipated that almost all of Grede’s more than 1,600 employees associated with these facilities will be hired by Wayzata, according to Grede executives.

“The reorganization efforts we have undertaken over the past several months have strengthened our company and returned it to profitability, and we are confident that the business is positioned to grow and prosper with Wayzata’s strong financial backing,” Koenings said. “We have taken significant steps forward, and great credit must be given to all of our employees.  They have put forth exemplary effort under extremely challenging circumstances. Grede Foundries has a proud, 90-year history and an outstanding reputation that we expect will continue with Wayzata.  We believe this process, once completed, will be beneficial for our customers, our employees, our vendors and the communities in which we operate.”

Grede filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code in late June. In November, the company announced it had reached a purchase agreement with the Wayzata affiliate that would serve as the “stalking horse” or opening bid in an auction for the company.

Koenings said that while there were other interested parties, Wayzata’s offer was the best.

“Our goal throughout this process has been to get the best value possible, and this arrangement allows us to do just that,” he said.

Bucyrus to acquire mining equipment business of Terex Corp.

South Milwaukee-based Bucyrus International Inc. has reached terms to acquire the mining equipment business of Terex Corp. for $1.3 billion in cash.

The transaction, expected to close by the end of February, will create the world’s largest supplier of mining equipment, and is likely to create 400 to 500 new jobs in metro Milwaukee in the next several years. The company currently has about 1,500 employees in southeastern Wisconsin.

"We are extremely excited about acquiring Terex Mining and we believe that this is a unique opportunity to build an even stronger company for our customers, employees and shareholders," said Tim Sullivan, chief executive officer of Bucyrus. "Customers will reap benefits from this transaction as Bucyrus will be able to offer a broad, complementary product line that is driven by technology, quality, and first class service.”

With the acquisition of Terex’s mining equipment, Bucyrus will offer a comprehensive product portfolio comprised of walking draglines, electric rope shovels, hydraulic excavators, off-the-highway haul trucks, highwall miners, underground longwall, room and pillar and transport machinery and a full line of drills and belt systems for all mining applications.

"Like Bucyrus, the Terex mining assets have a proud history powered by hard-working, loyal employees who are passionate about mining,” Sullivan said. “This broad product line and our infrastructure around the world will be met with positive reaction by our customer base around the world. We have positioned ourselves to do business with some of the big multinationals as well as some of the smaller applications where Terex has had success in the last decade.”

Terex’s mining equipment business has 38 facilities around the world with approximately 2,150 employees. After the acquisition, Bucyrus will have approximately 10,000 employees in nearly 100 locations around the world.

The company will have also greatly increased its market share – from Bucyrus’ current addressable market of $15 billion to about $30 billion.

“This will (make) us the largest mining equipment supplier in the world today,” Sullivan said.

The global company will also achieve roughly $100 million in annual savings, to be worked in over the next year or two. It expects to save roughly $28 million on manufacturing and distribution, approximately $33 billion in the supply chain and $24 million in overhead.

While Bucyrus will achieve significant cost savings with the acquisition, it expects to add 400 to 500 employees in the Milwaukee area in the next two to three years, Sullivan said. About half of the new jobs will be in manufacturing, with the balance in engineering and management positions.

Bucyrus’ facility in South Milwaukee is the company’s global headquarters, and Terex’s mining division management will be housed there in the future, Sullivan said. The company is now negotiating to bring many of Terex’s managers to the metro area.

“We will go through the entire (negotiation and evaluation) process over the next few weeks,” he said. “We value the people at Terex. The people we have met there are top notch.”


Dickten Masch receives tax credits for job creation

Dickten Masch Plastics LLC in Nashotah has received $293,000 in Economic Development Tax Credits from the Department of Commerce for an expansion project that will create 75 jobs and retain 160 existing jobs in Waukesha County.

Wisconsin Department of Commerce Secretary Richard Leinenkugel made the announcement during a visit to the Dickten Masch facility last week. The company is installing a new production line at a cost of $2.8 million.

Dickten Masch Plastics produces plastic components for the power tool, electronics, small engine, construction, health care and food industries. The company specializes in thermoplastic processes using 40 to 725 ton presses and thermoset injection and compression/transfer presses from 55 to 800 tons.

The news about Dickten Masch’s growth plans was first reported in a BizTimes cover story in October.


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