ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Johnson Controls

107 S. Twelfth St


11 30       BASO ADDITION

In mid-July the 76,800 square foot addition at the Baso Facility of Johnson Controls, Inc., Penn Division, in Watertown, was started with a completion date scheduled for Dec. 1.  Baso will be moving into the new addition within the next week.  This addition will represent an increase of 86 per cent in its manufacturing space.  At this time the remaining products from the Milwaukee plant will be moved into the Watertown plant.  The complete line of automatic gas controls, including the sophisticated ignition controls, thermocouples, pilots and test kits can now be fabricated under one roof.  Also, aluminum die castings will continue to be furnished to the Penn Goshen and the Johnson Humboldt plants.  Several new products are soon to be released and will be coming to the Watertown plant.  The employment level of the Watertown facility now stands at 390, and after the moves are completed approximately 100 new jobs will be created for Watertown.   WDT



07 25       EARL W. HOULE

Earl W. Houle, manager of Tool and Plant Engineering at the Watertown plant of Johnson Controls Inc. Control Products Division, will be retiring effective Aug. 1.  Houle, who resides in Delafield, has been with the company since Nov. 18, 1946, in Milwaukee, when it was known as Milwaukee Gas Specialty.  He transferred to Watertown in 1957, when Vultel Inc., a division of Milwaukee Gas Specialty, started operations here.  Houle served as plant manager of the Watertown facility from 1957 to 1976, when the firm's Milwaukee and Watertown plants merged in Watertown.  Houle has worked specifically with plant engineering since 1976.   WDT




The decision to lay off 260 employees at various Johnson Controls Inc. plants throughout the nation will not have any direct impact upon the Watertown plant, according to company spokesmen. Johnson Controls announced the layoffs in its systems and services division, which employs 7,800 workers in 120 plants and offices nationwide.


The division installs and services devices in commercial buildings and industrial plants to control heating, air conditioning, fire safety and security. The Watertown plant, located at 1007 South Twelfth Street, is in the control products division, primarily manufacturing controls for the propane gas industry.   WDT




The future of the Johnson Controls plant in Watertown will be decided in a three-month study of the gas products manufacturing facility.  The in-house study will explore several options for the Watertown facility, located at 107 S. Twelfth St., including maintaining the status quo, moving to a smaller building in the Watertown area, transferring production to another Johnson Control facility or purchasing products from outside suppliers.  Denise M. Zutz, vice president of communications, said the local plant has been unable to remain competitive, despite efforts to improve productivity and reduce costs.  Some efforts include reducing inventory, introducing more efficient manufacturing techniques and reducing scrap and utility costs.




Sopko Hein Acquisition, LLC has purchased the Controls Group of Johnson Controls Inc., the pilot and gas valve manufacturing business in Watertown.  The new company will do business as BASO Gas Products LLC.  New owners, George Sopko and H. Michael Hein, took control of the business Monday.  The purchase price was not disclosed.  “This is a very exciting time for all of us here,” Sopko said.  Sopko Hein Acquisition LLC is a Wisconsin limited liability corporation.  Sopko has been the plant manager at the Watertown facility for the past 12 years.  He will serve as president and chief operating officer of the new company.  Hein will serve as vice president and chief financial officer.





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History of Watertown, Wisconsin