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A Few Robots And A Lot Of Great Employees Key To Manufacturer's Success

Nine robots and almost 100 employees are fueling the growth of a Sturgeon Bay firm that is successfully competing with Pacific Rim manufacturers. WireTech Fabricators, located in the Sturgeon Bay industrial park, uses robots to remain competitive in a challenging market. According to WireTech executive vice-president Mike Baudhuin, a well-trained local work force is the primary advantage that makes WireTech competitive on a world-wide playing field. Baudhuin, speaking to the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay Thursday, said WireTech employees will win when competing with workers from anyplace in the world.

The company was founded in Milwaukee as the Economy Electric Lantern Company and moved to Sturgeon Bay in the mid 1940’s. The name was changed to Dorco Manufacturing when purchased by the Baudhuin family in 1963. In 1992 Dorco was purchased by Tom Lardinois and Mike Baudhuin and the name changed to WireTech Fabricators in 1998. The company moved to its current location in the industrial park in 2010.

The outdoor power industry makes up about 70% of WireTech total sales. Of that, 85% is producing products for the lawn care industry and 15% is for snow blowers. The other 30% of sales are generated primarily in the furniture industry. Baudhuin predicted significant sales growth in the stackable chair sector of the furniture business and also said the company is exploring entry into the automotive industry.

The history of WireTech includes making components of Weber outdoor grills, facemasks used by college and NFL football teams and household items including casserole dish stands, Lazy Susans and candelabras.

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