Ariens closing Nebraska plant; production to move to Brillion

Posted at 12:30 p.m. on June 15, 2018

The Brillion News

BRILLION – The Ariens production plant in Auburn, Nebraska, will be closed by October, according to reports from Nebraska. The announcement of the plant closing was made by the company’s corporate headquarters in Brillion on Thursday, June 14.

Ariens Company announced the closure of its Auburn manufacturing plant as it leverages its manufacturing footprint in Brillion. The shutdown is expected to be complete sometime between August 17 and October 15, 2018. The closure affects 193 employees. ​

The employees of the plant were told on Thursday afternoon.

“This was a difficult decision knowing the Auburn employee base and the Auburn community, but it just doesn’t make economic sense to keep this plant running in light of the significant productivity improvements that have been made elsewhere in the company,” says Larry Weyers, President, Ariens Power Equipment. “The main plants in Wisconsin have increased daily production by 64 percent compared to last year.”

Weyers said the Auburn facility had been manufacturing outdoor power equipment that the company’s Brillion facilities did not have the capacity for. In light of productivity improvements implemented in the Wisconsin plants over the last 18 months, along with an upcoming plant re-design, Weyers said operating the Auburn facility no longer made economic sense.

The details of changes planned for the Ariens Company’s footprint in Brillion have not been released.

Ariens has a 725,000 sq. ft. manufacturing footprint in Wisconsin with more than 1,000 employees. The company is continuing to implement practices that enable it to manufacture more units per day using a smaller footprint, according to Weyers.

In addition, Ariens also recently invested in a new, consolidated distribution center located in southeastern Wisconsin. The distribution center is over 550 miles from the Auburn plant, and only 140 miles from Brillion.

Company officials met with employees in Auburn to explain that all regular, full-time employees will be provided with a severance package based on the number of years they have worked at the facility. Employees are welcome to apply for positions at Brillion facility with the assistance of a relocation bonus.

In Wisconsin, Ariens has struggled to find workers – as have most manufacturers.

Ariens Company purchased the Auburn facility in November of 2007 from Auburn Consolidated Industries (ACI).

Ariens is working with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, hoping to find a buyer who will take over the Auburn plant and provide jobs. Ariens is the second largest employer in Nemaha County.

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