The Rockwell Automation
building was constructed in Mequon’s industrial park in 1990.
The first workers moved into the building 25 years ago this
MEQUON - Twenty-five years ago this week,
the first employees moved into the Rockwell Automation
building, which was the first tenant in Mequon’s
sprawling industrial park.
The approximately 1,200 people who now work in
the massive building at 6400 W. Enterprise Drive will mark the
occasion with a campus-wide lunch on Thursday.
“I was here when we moved,” said Thomas Groose,
now the manufacturing engineering manager for Mequon Operations,
who is on a 10-person committee helping to plan the anniversary
That celebration will bring several top
executives of the company to Mequon. In addition to lunch, all
employees also will get a commemorative gift. Groose said he and
several other of the charter employees in Mequon are producing a
video with recollections of the early years. Several now-retired
employees who played key roles in opening the Mequon building
The building at 6400 W.
Enterprise Drive was expanded by about 100,000 square feet about
15 years ago. There are about 1,200 employees who work there
Initially, about 850 people worked in
Mequon, where the main task is designing and building
drives that are used to run motors. That number has
increased over the years, particularly when an addition
was built just before 2000 that increased the floor
space in the building from approximately 400,000 square
feet to about 500,000 square feet, partly to expand
engineering functions in Mequon.
Groose said when the Mequon facility opened, it
combined activities that were taking place at nine different
sites stretching from Brown Deer north to Cedarburg. He said he
worked in Plant 2, which was near where the Mequon Ice Arena is
now located. Plant 1 is now the home of Scot Pump at the corner
of Washington Avenue and Pioneer Road in Cedarburg.
As an engineer, Groose said it has been a
pleasure to work in Mequon and to see the facility expand.
“It’s nice to be able to collaborate in this
building,” he said, noting that the employees responsible for
all facets of drive production - development, prototypes,
manufacturing, service and repair - are all under one roof.
While the entire Mequon operation is focused on
producing drives, Groose noted that those operations have
expanded over the years to other sites in the United States as
well as outside the country. He said those drives are used to
power devices as diverse as draw bridges, wastewater pumps and
“The product here has pretty much stayed the same
the entire time,” he said.
Groose, who grew up in Menomonee Falls, said he
has enjoyed spending his entire career working for Rockwell and
all but the first five years of it in the Mequon facility, which
to this day remains the largest tenant in Mequon’s industrial
Gary Achterberg can be reached at