With our scheduled speaker, Miss Wisconsin, a.k.a. McKenna Collins, failing to show for the Dec. 28 Waunakee Rotary meeting, the club President reverted to Plan B – President Jim Kattner’s talk on the workings of Nord Gear in Waunakee.
Jim joined Nord Gear in 2015, and he prepared the talk for the tour of the plant earlier this fall.
Nord Gear was founded in Germany in 1965 and has since grown to 36 countries where the gears manufactured in Germany are used to assemble motors. Sales and support offices are located in 60 countries. The company employs 3,300 workers worldwide, with Some 275 employed at the Waunakee plant.
In 1979, the U.S. subsidiary opened in Waunakee, and in 2014, that plant underwent its fourth expansion, with another planned in 2019.
The vision and mission is to be the most aggressive and innovative in the industry. On average, each motor ships within the first five days it is assembled.
The current Waunakee plant is over 200,000 square feet, and with the 2019 expansion, it’s expected to grow to $250,000 square feet.
The Waunakee plant assembles gear reducers and motors with frequency inverters that work to slow mechanisms. At the Waunakee plant, a number of different gear box sizes are assembled.
Those motors power conveyor belts in food plants, large doors in airport hangars, in mechanisms at material handling companies such as Amazon and UPS, and cranes and hoists at shipping yards, amusement park rides. One large gear box powers an elevator at a mining site in Canada. They’re also used at theaters to lift curtains, and even at sports stadiums to slide grass turf fields in and out and to open and close roofs.
Sales have steadily grown at Nord, Jim said, adding that the company is privately owned.
In recent years, the company has begun to support local community organizations, such as the Relay for Life and Schumacher Farm Park.
Other news:
It’s getting to be time to take down the Rotary in Lights displays. Dave Weishoff said the timing will depend on the weather. Let him know when you can help, either the weekend after New Year’s or the following weekend.
Guests: Linda Schmitz, guest of Jim Schmitz; Alex Arndt, guest of Mick Holm.
Visiting Rotarians: None.
Birthdays: Jan. 8, Randy Guttenberg; Jan. 9, Bob Pulvermacher; Jan. 10, Liz Diehs.
Anniversaries: None.
Greeters: Jan. 4, Jon Townley and Susan Vergeront; Jan. 11, Sean Wayne and David Weishoff; Jan. 18, Sara Whitley and Phil Willems; Jan. 25, Rich Wipperfurth and Jim Ableidinger.