Hydratight Expansion Already Underway

The expansion at Antigo’s Hydratight plant has already begun, Brad Schulz, manager of the facility, said.

As the company prepares for a ground-breaking for the 16,000 square foot addition, Schulz and Chris Kubacki, focus factory leader, hosted a tour of the longtime manufacturing facility for city officials and guests Friday.

The project has started, it’s underway, Schulz said, explaining that while work will likely begin a bit closer to spring, the scope extends far beyond to the importance it will have once it is here.

Hydratight, a division of Menomonee Falls-based Actuant, manufactures high-end torque and tension bolting equipment for industrial applications and the tour included a look at the facility from tip to tail, including some propriety equipment that officials said is key to the future.

There are certainly going to be some changes here, Schulz said, showing officials where the addition will extend from the current facility, located at the northwest corner of Clermont and Ackley streets.

The project will introduce a new manufacturing process in Antigo. That requires the relocation of specialized equipment from other Hydratight facilities, with the city agreeing to contribute $50,000 toward that process.

The project will retain the existing 43 existing jobs plus add an additional 10 to 12 well-paying positions.

We’re going to increase our workforce by 25 percent in a short amount of time, Schulz said, with interviewing already underway.

Schulz said Actuant’s strategy is to have a center of excellence in North America with one manufacturing center overseeing it and Hydratight will be the one. And a successful expansion could lead to further phases.

We’re certainly thinking of that as an option, he said.

Hydratight traces its roots to Sweeney, founded in 1901, and was known for many years as Hydratight Sweeney.

Plant Manager Brad Schulz leads Friday’s Hydratight tour. Also pictured are, from left, Mary Desotell, director of administrator services for the city, Chris Kubacki, focus factory leader for Hydratight, and downtown businessman Gordon Neve.

Source: Antigo Daily Journal