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Spring 2019 - Volume 13; Issue 1

Save the Date


THURSDAY, JUNE 13 Your choice of golf at Silver Spring Golf Club or charter fishing on Lake Michigan, all followed by dinner at Silver Spring Golf Club.

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In this issue Be a Tourist in Your Own City! Technology is Transforming Manufacturing. Get Ready or Get Beat. Every industry needs business technology leadership

President's Letter Consider Advertising in the

Surgeons of Steel

Reach readers who are directly connected to Wisconsin’s tool, die & machining industry 2019 Advertising Rates:


ne quarter in the books. It was an exciting quarter for our association and our industry. We started out 2019 with some outstanding events at STRATTEC Security and the Harley-Davidson Museum. While we are seeing a little slowing of the economy, companies manufacturing durable goods are still seeing good growth. Manufacturing job openings have increased to 452,000 openings. Everyone is having a tough time finding people. April is national stress awareness month. I read an interesting article that lists the manufacturing industry as the least stressful in the United Kingdom. I wonder what that study would show in America? Here is a link to the article. https://industrytoday. com/article/common-causes-of-workplace-stress/ In April TDMAW will be awarding Kurt Vices to WCTC, MATC, MPTC, Lakeshore Technical College and Gateway Technical College, and a cash donation to Germantown Middle School to support software and training for a milling machine. These donations were made possible by the Jerry Persik Memorial. A special thank you to the Persik family for being such wonderful supporters to the future of our industry. We have more great events coming up. MGS Manufacturing Group tour and breakfast on April 23rd and the Federated Insurance dinner on May 7th. Before you know it registration for the June 13 golf and fishing outing will be going out. Let’s get record attendance this year – plan to bring your co-workers, employees and customers! Kirk Kussman President, TDMAW 2018 kkussman@aztalan.com (920) 342-9455











(2.25” w x 3.125” h)

Medium (4.95” w x 3.125” h)

Large Horizontal (7.5” w x 3.125” h) Vertical (4.94” w x 4.8” h)

Advertisements are full color and require the following: 300 dpi, PDF or JPG format, CMYK (color conversion), Camera ready art

Editorial Calendar: Interested in submitting an article for the Surgeons of Steel? Email your 500-700 word, Microsoft Word document to TDMAW at ToolMaker@TDMAW.org. Deadlines to submit articles are: Winter Issue: January 1 Spring Issue: April 1 Summer Issue: July 1 Fall Issue: October 1

Scott Jordan | (414) 747-0100 www.junglogistics.com 2 | TDMAW HQ (262) 532-2440


Table of Contents

2019 Board of Directors

President’s Letter .................................................................... 2

President – Kirk Kussman Aztalan Engineering Inc. 920.648.3411 | kkussman@aztalan.com

Sponsorship Opportunities ..................................................... 6 TDMAW Tours STRATTEC Security Corp and On-Site GPS Education Partners Classroom ......................................... 7

Vice President – John Thomann W-Steel & Grinding, Inc. 262.252.3630 | john@wsteel.net

Federated Insurance Question of the Month: Remote Hires, I-9s, and Notaries? ........................................... 9

Treasurer – Brian Nuetzel Matzel Manufacturing, Inc., 414.466.3800 | Briann@mzmatzel.com

Be a Tourist in Your Own City!...........................................10-11

Secretary – Chris Ernster eTek Tool & Manufacturing 262.377.4150 | chris@etektool.com

Federated Insurance: Data Breach Management: Preparation is Key....................... 12 Technology is Transforming Manufacturing. Get Ready or Get Beat........................................................... 13

Chairman of the Board – Pete Kambouris Wisconsin Engraving Company 262.786.4521 | pckambouris@wi-engraving.com

Arrowhead Engineering Students Show Amazing Promise at Versevo ............................................14-15 Every industry needs business technology leadership ........... 16 Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Sues State for Overtaxing Manufacturers ...................................... 17

KYLE J. HAUG Vice President Business Banking 262-703-3726

Legislative Update: Business Day in Madison ........................ 18 TDMAW 2019 Partners and Sponsors.................................... 19

2019 Calendar of Events Tuesday, April 23


MFS Mfg Group Breakfast & Tour – Sold Out


Tuesday, May 7

Federated Insurance Dinner Meeting

Delafield Brewhaus

Thursday, June 13

June Outing

Silver Spring Golf Club or Charter Fishing on Lake Michigan

Monday, August 12

Summer Sporting Clays Outing

Member FDIC. ® and Huntington® are federally registered service marks of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated. Huntington.® Welcome.TM is a service mark of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated. ©2017 Huntington Bancshares Incorporated.

Waukesha Gun Club

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TDMAW Headquarters W175 N11117 Stonewood Drive, Suite 104, Germantown, WI 53022 262.532.2440 Phone | 262.532.2430 Fax | toolmaker@tdmaw.org | www.tdmaw.org

toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 3




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In the Know Welcome Two New TDMAW Sponsors! TDMAW sponsors are organizations that are not directly in the Tool & Die/ Manufacturing Industry but rather support our industry and want to see our member companies thrive. Their financial contributions to our association help TDMAW provide valuable educational and relationship-building social events throughout the year.


TDMAW is pleased to welcome two new Blue-Level Sponsors: 1. Jung Express – freight and logistics Contact: Scott Jordan, sjordan@jungexpress.com


2. Sadoff Iron & Metal – scrap metal and electronics recycling Contact: Nick Schrubbe, schrubben@sadoff.com

SINCE 1976


To learn more about the TDMAW Red, White & Blue Sponsorship Program visit: https://tdmaw.org/partners-sponsors. The sponsorship year runs from May 1 – April 30 annually, so if you know of an organization that may be interested in getting involved, this is a great time for them to consider it! See the sponsorship flyer on page 6 for more information.

Rockford, IL | P 815-226-8800 | 800-435-0717


Sponsorship Renewals are Due by May 1 for the upcoming sponsorship year. Sponsors, you should have received your renewal notices in the mail, if you did not please contact TDMAW headquarters for assistance: ToolMaker@TDMAW.org. TDMAW logo apparel now available for sale through the new TDMAW Lands’ End store. Show your pride of membership by ordering embroidered, logoed items through the store. The store link and a sample of the embroidered logo may be found on the TDMAW website, TDMAW.org. TDMAW does not receive proceeds from your purchases but encourages you to promote the association through the use of logoed apparel or other items. TDMAW Lands’ End store link: https://business.landsend.com/store/tdmaw/ TDMAW thrives in large part due to it’s fabulous volunteers! Consier getting more involved with your Tool & Die Association by serving on a committee. It is not a large time commitment and often the group is simply looking for new ideas and opinions from its committee members. If you are interested contact headquarters: ToolMaker@TDMAW.org.

North American Sales, Support, & Training Center for Logopress3 Software www.DieDesignSoftware.com (262) 938-9316


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We offer a broad scopeWe of Full Site Calibration andOn Site Calibration and offerOn a broad scope of Full repair services, reducing yourservices, need forreducing multiple your vendors! repair need for multiple vendors!

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TDMAW is now selling *Proud Member of The TDMAW* t-shirts for $15 each. Proceeds go towards workforce development initiatives. The shirts are black and 100% cotton. Contact TDMAW headquarters if you are interested in purchasing a super cool Surgeons of Steel T-shirt: ToolMaker@TDMAW.org.

Hand tool certification & repair labs at 3 locations! Hand tool certification & repair labs at 3 locations! (including on-site services available) (including on-site services available)

Electronic, Radio Frequency, Microwave, Temperature Electronic, Radio Frequency, Microwave, Temperature Control and Process Instrumentation calibration. Control and Process Instrumentation calibration. NEW complete foundryNEW calibration capabilities! complete foundry calibration capabilities! Most calibrations can be done on site at your facility. Most calibrations can be done on site at your facility. Schedule today by emailing: Schedule today by emailing: Marty@FoxValleyMetrology.com or Marty@FoxValleyMetrology.com or Jeremiah@FoxValleyMetrology.com. Jeremiah@FoxValleyMetrology.com.


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toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 5

Certificate Nos. ACT-1272, AC-1290, ACT-1277 Certificate Nos. ACT-1272, AC-1290, ACT-1277

TDMAW Sponsorship Opportunities HIGHLIGHT YOUR BUSINESS TO TDMAW MEMBERS With numerous brand activation opportunities throughout the year, the Tool, Die & Machining Association of Wisconsin provides your business with long-term promotion to keep your company top-of-mind to our member companies and the key decision makers behind them. Sponsorship Year: May 1—April 30 | Sponsorship Deadline: April 15 New TDMAW Sponsors are asked to make one TDMAW member referral as a condition of sponsorship.

All Sponsors Receive the following LOGO RECOGNITION, with acknowledgment of their sponsorship level, during the sponsorship year: On banner at TDMAW member meetings & events In a variety of printed pieces, including table top displays and the index of Surgeons of Steel quarterly magazine In all emailed meeting announcements On the TDMAW website On sponsor slideshow at meetings and events, where venue allows

Red Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


In addition to the above logo recognition, Red Level Sponsors receive the following:

One June Outing golf tee sponsor sign One Summer Outing station sponsor sign Featured in the “Company Spotlight” section of the NewsAlert for one month during the sponsorship year A complimentary large-sized ad in the Surgeons of Steel quarterly magazine Invitations to attend most TDMAW meetings and social events

White Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


In addition to the above logo recognition, White Level Sponsors receive the following:

Featured in the “Company Spotlight” section of the NewsAlert for one month during the sponsorship year A complimentary medium-sized ad in the Surgeons of Steel quarterly magazine Invitations to attend most TDMAW meetings and social events

Blue Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


In addition to the above logo recognition, Blue Level Sponsors receive the following:

A Complimentary small-sized ad in the Surgeons of Steel quarterly magazine Invitations to attend most TDMAW meetings and social events TDMAW | W175 N11117 Stonewood Drive, Suite 104, Germantown, WI 53022 | ToolMaker@TDMAW.org | (262) 532-2440 EXT 15

TDMAW Tours STRATTEC Security Corp and On-Site GPS Education Partners Classroom


n January 15 STRATTEC Security Corporation Corporate Headquarters

opened its doors for a breakfast and plant tour. STRATTEC is located on Good Hope Road in Milwaukee. The company was formerly a division of Briggs & Stratton and their heritage goes back over 100 years to the early days of the automobile. They specialize in automotive locks and keys and have grown to become a powerhouse in the automotive access control product marketplace. One of the things STRATTEC is doing to connect with the community and support our industry’s future workforce, is host a GPS Education Partners classroom right on their plant floor. STRATTEC is an official GPS Education Partners, Partner. STRATTEC employees work with the manufacturing students to mentor them and pass along technical knowledge, while the on-site GPS Education Partner instructor works with the students to develop and improve soft skills and teach the classroom curriculum. It is a great example of educators, business and communities working together to help solve the growing workforce gap. We thank STRATTEC for the great tour!

“Connections to Technology, Talent & Resources” • Wisconsin’s Largest Manufacturing Event • Special Networking Events, Main Stage Presentations, Technological Seminars • Student Competitions Provide a Platform for Solving Labor Problems • 200+ Exhibitors – 4600+ Attendees

Manufacturing’s Marketplace in the Midwest

OCTOBER 8–10, 2019 Exposition Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park • Milwaukee, WI Learn how to manufacture better, faster and smarter while gaining a competitive advantage

www.WIMTS.com toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 7

BELL WELL SALES CO S TOC KIN G DIS TRIBUTOR •Socket Screw Products- Featuring Unbrako and Holo Krome •Large inventory of non-standard items •Raymond Die Springs •Precision Ground Flat Stock and Drill Rod •Vlier Engineering Fixture Components •Miscellaneous Fasteners •Unified Screw Caps, Hollow Lock Screws, Eye Bolts, E-Z Lok Inserts, Hex Head Cap Screws, Nuts, Threaded Rod, Machine Screws and Washers


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Remote Hires, I-9s, and Notaries? QUESTION: We currently hire field the presented identification or not technicians all over the United States. We conduct interviews on the phone and via Skype and within the employees first 60-90 days they meet with their business unit manager in person. We are getting ready to head into a very busy recruiting season and need to know if the following option would work for verifying employee identity for I-9 purposes. If a member of HR or management is not able to meet the employee in person within their first 3 days of employment, can we have the employee take the documents they are presenting with their I-9 to a notary and have the notary verify they are indeed the person in the picture ID, make copies of each document they are presenting and notarize the copies and then have the employee send the notarized documents to us along with the signed I-9? If this is an option do you recommend we keep copies of

keep them?

RESPONSE: Generally speaking, within three days of hire the employer is obligated to physically review the original documents presented by an employee in connection with the Form I-9 (other than a birth certificate, for which a certified copy can be provided) to ensure that the document(s) presented establish the employee’s identity and authorization to work in the United States, and a member of the company’s management generally needs to sign the form to confirm and indicate that this is the case. When this is not feasible, such as in cases where an employee is hired remotely (or perhaps where the employer is onboarding a large number of new hires at once and seeks to utilize outside assistance for I-9 compliance), an employer can designate an authorized representative to fill out the form and review the documents. This includes contracting with another person or business to verify the employee’s identity and work eligibility. Remember, however, that the person doing this is the employer’s representative. If any such agent, representative or independent contractor fails to sufficiently complete the I-9 on behalf of the employer or accepts

inappropriate documents his or her actions and any violations or non-compliance are attributable to the employer. In some cases employers can, and do, utilize the services of a reliable third party, but ideally the employer will want to ensure that this person is well-versed in I-9 compliance and can properly be utilized to physically review the documents presented and complete the I-9 on the employer’s behalf. Again, the employer is ultimately responsible for ensuring the form is properly filled out, so the employer may wish to consider the propriety of having its field technicians find any notary they can for this purpose -- indeed such individuals may or may not be familiar with the requirements of the I-9 process. If you wish to go this route, one way to minimize the employer’s risk is by entering into a separate indemnification agreement with the person(s) who would review the documents (and/or prepare specific indemnification language in any independent contractor agreement -- but have local counsel draft to ensure it is enforceable) to protect the employer from any non-compliance violations, though as noted, the employer is generally responsible for compliance and ensuring that all of its employees are who they say they are (identity confirmation) and are legally authorized to work in the US (employment eligibility). toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 9

Be a Tourist in Your Own City!


DMAW hosted a dinner social and Behind-the-Scenes Tour at the HarleyDavidson Museum on March 5th.

After networking and sharing dinner together, attendees were given rare access to the archive room at the museum, along with a general guided tour of the museum. The incredibly knowledgeable tour guides were able to answer EVERY question about each bike’s history & capability. There were bikes used in movies, such as Captain America and the Terminator, there were bikes that had been owned by celebrities, there were many bikes that had won races, bikes that were used in wartime and by police and bikes that were just COOL! It wasn’t only the bikes themselves that were impressive, it was the demonstrations of Harley-Davidson innovation and culture. There were club patches, old photographs, design drawings and vintage dealership posters. The wall of gas tanks was an amazing visual presentation of how design styles have changed throughout the decades, and the wall of motors allowed attendees to hear the rumble of each engine.

TDMAW extends a huge THANK YOU to our sponsors, without whom this event would not have been possible:

BORN TO BE WILD SPONSORS: Federated Insurance and Morris Midwest

EASY RIDER TOUR SPONSOR: eTek Tool & Manufacturing, LLC

HOG DRINK TICKET SPONSORS: Citizens Bank and Wisconsin Engraving

Attendees left feeling impressed with all that Harley-Davidson has created and meant to the city of Milwaukee. Many left with a longing for warmer Wisconsin weather, ready to bring their own bikes out of storage and hit the road for another season of motorcycle riding! 10 | TDMAW HQ (262) 532-2440


toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 11

Federated Insurance

Data Breach Management: Preparation is Key


n the event of a data breach, your level of preparedness will make a significant difference in your ability to recover. Here are key components of data breach management to consider for your business.

Continually Analyze Your Risks Analyze your risk of a data breach from three perspectives: processes, technology, and people. This risk assessment will give you a clearer picture of potential holes in your security. Processes: Forty-eight percent of breaches were caused by malicious or criminal attacks by hackers or criminal insiders[1]. Evaluate the way you collect, store, or transmit sensitive financial or customer data. Take the time to confirm your vendors’ compliance with the latest cyber security recommendations. Technology: The use of encryption has been shown to help decrease overall data breach costs[1]. Consider encryption of all devices used by your employees, such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

12 | TDMAW HQ (262) 532-2440

Additionally, install firewalls for servers and networks, or restrict access to suspicious websites. People: Phishing, or “social engineering,” scams are becoming more and more sophisticated. Educate your employees to “think before you click” on e-mails that seem suspicious, too good to be true, or uncharacteristic of the sender. Always double check accounts, and job or order numbers against your accounts payable. When in doubt, call the vendor to confirm a payment request. Establish a Crisis Management and Response Plan An established incident response team can help reduce your data breach costs[1]. When you experience a data breach, time is of the essence and you need to be prepared to respond quickly and appropriately per your legal or regulatory obligations. Determine when and how the breach

occurred, the type of information accessed, and how many individuals were affected. Work with qualified legal counsel to determine your legal obligations. Then assess the risks you and your customers face because of the data breach, and how you will mitigate those risks. When communicating with your employees and customers, be genuine and clear while letting them know what actions you are taking, but be cautious to not overshare. Companies that focus on improving future actions and how they can immediately assist employees or clients can do much to restore good faith and retain business. Work with your legal advisors and risk managers to create and refine your plan on a regular basis. Check with your insurance carrier to determine what resources are available for development and training.


Technology is Transforming Manufacturing. Get Ready or Get Beat. Article submitted by: Jela Trask, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)


rends including big data, automation, machine learning and wide-

spread use of sensors are converging to drive the evolution of manufacturing at an ever-increasing pace. Manufacturers must stay connected to innovation or risk getting left behind. As a state with a legacy of leadership in manufacturing technology advancement, Wisconsin continues to attract attention globally as a hub of innovation. With Foxconn Technology Group’s choice of Wisconsin as the location for a nextgeneration electronics campus, the pace of adopting new approaches and understanding new trends will only accelerate, and companies will need to keep up if they aim to achieve the operational excellence that is critical for future growth and competitiveness. For manufacturers seeking to embrace this transformation, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation can provide connections to statewide regional, academia and business partners, as well as resources including potential funding sources for capital improvements and introductions to the following strategic initiatives:

round reported a 38 percent increase in labor productivity, 14 percent increase in total factor productivity and 1.6 percent increase in profit margin.

Transformational Productivity Initiative The Transformational Productivity Initiative (TPI), a program of the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, offers a set of tools and delivery systems to help manufacturers assess and prioritize actions to increase their productivity via basic process improvements and management best practices as well as the integration of automation and digital technologies. In short, TPI helps manufacturers do more with existing resources, through technological advancements as well as eliminating waste and maximizing efficiencies. TPI connects manufacturers to experts and to one another so they can adopt the best practices of the industry. Participants in TPI’s pilot

Connected Systems Institute To help smart manufacturing reach its fullest potential and help Wisconsin manufacturers understand the value of integrating their operations and processes into a connected enterprise, UW-Milwaukee launched the Connected Systems Institute (CSI) as a multidisciplinary collaboration with Rockwell Automation, Microsoft, WEDC and other industry leaders. The institute combines the efforts of industry and academia to make discoveries that lead to greater productivity. With physical space that includes testing facilities for companies to perform simulations and emulation of end-to-end systems, CSI is a place where companies can come to test new concepts,

solve problems and share ideas. Wisconsin Supply Chain Marketplace The Wisconsin Supply Chain Marketplace is an online directory of Wisconsin manufacturers designed to connect buyers with suppliers. In addition to helping buyers find what they’re looking for and helping suppliers land new business, this database helps make the case for Wisconsin’s manufacturing strength by demonstrating the breadth and depth of the sector. By helping to attract new original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to Wisconsin, it creates new opportunities for the suppliers that exist here, further contributing to the strength of the sector. Jela Trask is the business and investment attraction director for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. She can be reached at jela.trask@wedc.org or 608.210.6759. toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 13

Arrowhead Engineering Students Show Amazing Promise at Versevo At von Briesen, we’ve transformed the traditional law firm into a modern platform for legal innovation. Combining our industry leading expertise with innovative technology, we take a collaborative and creative approach to problem-solving the most complex matters. The result? Game-changing advantages for our clients. To learn more about our law firm, visit vonbriesen.com or contact: Marc Loden at mloden@vonbriesen.com or 608.661.3962.


Article submitted by: TDMAW Member Company, Versevo, Inc.


magine being a high school student with a passion for engineering and getting to solve real-world manufacturing problems. For a group of Arrowhead High School juniors and

seniors, this isn’t just a dream. They were able to do so at Versevo, a Hartland, WIbased world-class design and build, die, mold, tooling, casting and machining company that is celebrating its 25th year of business in 2019. Like many manufacturers, Versevo’s leadership has found it challenging to find and hire talented people to work in its high-tech operation. Its partnership with Arrowhead is one of several initiatives it supports to educate young people about careers paths in manufacturing.

As a leader in supply chain solutions, we at MSC believe in local people solving local problems.



Pewaukee, WI


14 | TDMAW HQ (262) 532-2440

Anthony Christian, the technical education teacher at Arrowhead, devised a collegelevel capstone project to give aspiring engineers a sense for what’s involved in engineering and problem-solving in an industrial environment. Last year, he worked with Versevo to arrange a plant tour for 30 engineering students. At the end of the tour, the Versevo team presented the group with a set of 10 real problems and issues it’s trying to solve. “We covered everything from rotary degassing of aluminum and casting traceability to improving workflow and reclaiming aluminum from dross,” explains Versevo VP of Engineering Tim Kauffung. The group picked two challenges and divided into two groups of four students each. The challenges they selected were: Automated parts washing: After a part is cast, how can they automate the process www.TDMAW.org

of washing it to remove casting residue? Today, it’s a time-consuming manual brush and washing task. Autonomous casting conveyance: Currently, Versevo utilizes vertical lift storage systems in its operation. One forklift operator moves everything from raw materials for castings and fixtures to tools and kitted assemblies. How could this be replaced by an autonomous vehicle that could flexibly traverse the plant floor to deliver materials and parts where they’re needed? As part of their classroom work, the teams first needed to research existing solutions to these challenges and analyze their cost versus estimated return on investment. To Kauffung’s surprise, both teams discovered many of the same vendors and solutions as Versevo’s engineering team did. During their research and solution development process, they had access to Christian and to Lucas Weyenberg, who started his professional career as a mechanical engineering intern with Versevo while he was attending UW-Stout. “Lucas helped them stay on the right path, work through cost issues and redirect them toward practical solutions that really could work,” Kauffung explained. Each team documented its findings and presented them to the Versevo senior management team. They were expected to share the story of how they worked through failures and redirections to arrive at their final solutions. Each team then demonstrated a rough prototype of its proposed solution. “These were proofs of concept only. For example, you couldn’t expect students to program an artificial intelligence-powered material handling system,” Kauffung points out. “But the team did use an Erector set (metal pieces joined with nuts and bolts) to build a basic vehicle with sensors that could move under a part, raise its lift table and then move the part.” “Both teams did a great job of not only presenting the thinking and engineering behind their solutions, but they also provided very thorough ROI analyses,” he adds. He was quite pleased with the quality of thinking that went into their presentations and their prototypes.

“It’s a testimony to the teacher, the faculty of Arrowhead High School and the incredible quality of the students themselves. There’s no doubt in my mind that many of them will go on to do great things!”

What’s in it for Versevo? Kauffung says manufacturing is evolving rapidly, which means Versevo must seek out a higher level of candidate in the years ahead. At the same time, it’s getting harder

to find skilled people who want to choose manufacturing as a career. “Under the circumstances, it makes sense to step up our efforts to present Versevo as an attractive place to work and to build goodwill in our industry and our community. This type of high school partnership is one way we can do that,” he concludes.

toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 15

Every industry needs business technology leadership Article submitted by TDMAW Partner, SWICKtech


s technology is rapidly evolving, so are the essential roles of those in the

information technology field. The field desperately needs leaders who almost see the future, who can predict the possible outcomes based on emerging technology and help those in C-level positions make innovative decisions that help companies evolve into the next “new thing” before the competition. These soothsayers already exist. They’re already thinking of the imminent changes that will come with the pending revolutionary technological advancements. They may even have ideas of how their companies can mature with these advancements in the future. They certainly have already given lots of thought to how far behind their companies are, even with current technology. You may even be one of these prognosticators. If you are, every industry is in dire need of your leadership. Why? Consider this. Could Sears have been Amazon? If Sears could have predicted how the internet would change the retail landscape forever, could Sears have been Amazon before Amazon ever started selling books? Could Blockbuster have prevented the

16 | TDMAW HQ (262) 532-2440

rise of Netflix by developing their own rental-by-mail - and eventually streamingservice while predicting the preferences of their users? Both companies had more background and experience in their fields. They had everything they needed, including a dedicated customer base (whom they had TONS of data on, by the way), except the technological foresight to predict the next evolution of their industries. Introducing the Next Tools of Disruption The world is getting really close to the arrival and adoption of 5G technology. This has implications for every industry. 5G will provide the technologically savvy companies a tool to disrupt just about every industry from manufacturing to healthcare. Many more Sears and Blockbusters will fall as the competition identifies ways to use this tech to improve customer experience and company efficiencies. Your company needs your persistent foresight and leadership. A Note to the C-Suite If your IT team is constantly knocking on your door, complaining of out-ofdate technology or warning you about impending doom to your company, we urge you to listen. They may not be exaggerating. We are on the doorstep of a new day. If 5G

Check out SWICKtech’s Leading Business Podcast sessions! https://www.swicktech. com/Podcasts/PodcastSessions-Leadershipin-Technology.htm

technology doesn’t disrupt your industry, it might be artificial intelligence; it could be blockchain technology; it could be all of the above. Changes are coming. If you don’t listen to your internal IT soothsayers, someone else in your industry will listen to their own. The consequences could be dire. We are not urging you to drop all of your budget on technology for your company. We are urging you to stop buying the most “cost-effective” tech options for your team, and instead consider investing in the right technology. Consider it an investment in your company’s future. What if you don’t have a technology fortune teller on staff? If you don’t have an IT team, or your IT team doesn’t have the time or resources to put this kind of thought into your company’s future, consider hiring an outside IT project consultant - one that applies a holistic approach to your business, rather than focusing simply on cutting costs. Cutting costs on technology today may be detrimental to your success tomorrow. Instead, find an IT partner that will help you consider the next five years. It may be the difference between being Sears or being Amazon. www.TDMAW.org

Legislative Update

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Sues State for Overtaxing Manufacturers

The implementation leads to a result where manufacturers would have to pay tax on machinery not involved in manufacturing at all, like a forklift used in a warehouse, but a grocery store using the same forklift for the same purpose would be exempt from paying the same tax.

Article submitted by: Cory Fish, Director of Tax, Transportation, and Legal Affairs at WMC

Beyond WDOR misinterpreting the statutory language, they also did not follow the correct process in implementing their interpretation. When an administrative agency adopts an interpretation of a statute and gives that interpretation the force of law it must do so through the administrative rulemaking process to ensure transparency and proper governmental oversight and stakeholder involvement. Instead of going through this process, WDOR simply amended the directions on both the Form M-P and Statement of Personal Property, thereby denying the Governor, Legislature, and regulated community their respective statutory rights to engage in the rulemaking process laid out in Wisconsin’s Administrative Procedures Act.


ate last year Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) filed suit against the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (WDOR) for denying manufacturers access to a personal property tax exemption for machinery not used in manufacturing. Specifically, WMC sued over WDOR’s interpretation of Wis. Stat. § 70.111(27), an exemption to the personal property tax for all machinery, tools, and patterns.

WMC helped lead a coalition that pushed for this exemption to be created in then-Governor Walker’s 2017-19 budget (2017 Act 59). We worked extensively with WDOR after the legislation was passed to try to ensure it was implemented in a lawful way and allowed manufacturers to receive the exemption. However, WDOR decided to arbitrarily interpret the provision so that manufacturers may not claim it, despite no such restriction being written into the statute. The consequence of WDOR’s interpretation is that Wisconsin manufacturers are forced to pay approximately $42 million in personal property taxes that they do not owe under the plain language of the law. The exemption for machinery, tools, and patterns is one item on a long list of exemptions from the personal property tax. The contested part of Wis. Stat. § 70.111(27) reads: (a) In this subsection, “machinery” means a structure or assemblage of parts that transmits force, motion, or energy from one part to another in a predetermined way by electrical, mechanical, or chemical means. “Machinery” does not include a building. (b) Beginning with the property tax assessments as of January 1, 2018, machinery, tools, and patterns, not including such items used in manufacturing. The language excludes “such items used in manufacturing” because machinery used in manufacturing is already exempt from the personal property tax by an earlier act of the Legislature. See Wis. Stat. § 70.11(27). However, WDOR is interpreting “such items used in manufacturing” as “such items owned by manufacturers.” WDOR is enforcing this interpretation by denying any business that fills out the Department’s Form M-P, Schedule M (i.e. manufacturers) the exemption while allowing it for anyone who fills out the Statement of Personal Property, Schedule C (i.e. commercial businesses).

WMC filed suit in Ozaukee County Circuit Court requesting the court declare WDOR’s interpretation invalid under Wis. Stat. § 227.40(4)(a) because it did not go through the correct rulemaking process and because the interpretation conflicts with the plain language of the statute. WMC will fight to make sure manufacturers are not required by WDOR to overpay $42 million in taxes they do not owe. WMC continues to engage the Governor, Legislature, administrative state, and the courts to ensure that Wisconsin stays open for business. Cory Fish is WMC’s Director of Tax, Transportation, and Legal Affairs. WMC is the state’s chamber of commerce and represents over 3,800 member businesses of all sizes and from every sector of Wisconsin’s economy.

toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 17

Legislative Update


DMAW sent representatives to WMC’s annual Business Day in Madison

Event, in early March at Monona Terrace and Conference Center. The event, which was emceed by former Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (currently the Executive Director of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission in Washington DC), hosted speakers who spoke about a variety of political and business-related topics. Speakers included: Curt Kubiak, CEO, Orthopedic & Sports Institute and Founder/CEO NOVO Health, Ed Henry, award-winning political jour-

nalist, Dennis Prager, author, columnist and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, Travis Mills, retired United States Army Staff Sergeant & motivational speaker, Wisconsin Secretaries: Peter Barca (Department of Revenue), Joel Brennan (Department of Administration) and Preston D Cole (Department of Natural Resources) and Colonel Jon Kalberer, 22-year Air Force Veteran. The highlight was Travis Mills, who while serving in Afghanistan lost portions of all four limbs when he set his backpack down on an IED. Travis now refers to himself as

a “recalibrated warrior” and is currently an advocate for veterans and amputees. He spoke about a very heavy subject with humor and wisdom, leaving everyone feeling inspired by his (and everyone’s) capacity to overcome adversity with determination and mental toughness, and questioning what they might consider a *bad day*. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mill’s story can be viewed on Netflix in the movie: Travis: A Soldier’s Story. Next year’s Business Day in Madison event will be held on February 26, 2020.

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Computer Services for Business

Supplies/Full Line

Swick Technologies Gary Swick | (414) 257-9266 www.swicktech.com

Heat Treating ThermTech of Waukesha, Inc. Kirk Springer | (262) 549-1878 www.thermtech.net

E.L Simeth - Milwaukee Steve Simeth | (414)771-9270 www.elsimeth.com

MSC Industrial Supply Sales | (262) 703-4000 www.metalworking. mscdirect.com

Insurance — Property & Casualty and Workers Compensation Federated Insurance www.federatedinsurance.com

Sponsors Red Level Sponsors

von Briesen & Roper, S. C. Marcus Loden | (608) 661-3962 www.vonbriesen.com

White Level Sponsors Morris Midwest Eric Grob | (414) 586-0450 www.morrismidwest.com Tushaus & Associates LLC Jared Knoke | (414) 774-1031 Ex 245 www.tushauscpa.com

Blue Level Sponsors Alro Specialty Metals Inside Sales | (800) 365-4140 www.alro.com

Fox Valley Metrology Kit Krabel | (920) 426-5894 www.foxvalleymetrology.com

Bell-Well Sales Co. Tom Schoenecker (262) 781-3670 www.bellwellsales.com

Huntington Bank Kyle Haug | (262) 703-3726 www.huntingtonbank.com

Cincinnati Tool Steel Co. Ronald Cincinnati (800) 435-0717 www.cintool.com Citizens Bank John Schmitz | (262) 548-0208 www.citizenbank.com

Jung Express Scott Jordan | (414) 747-0100 www.junglogistics.com Lindner & Marsack, S.C. Sally Piefer | (414) 273-3910 www.lindner-marsack.com Sadoff Iron & Metal Nick Schrubbe (920) 921-1283 www.sadoff.com toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 19

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May 7, 2019 Delafield Brewhaus | 6:00 to 8:30 P.M. Visit https://tdmaw.org/Programs for details.

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