PEWAUKEE - As word of an
upcoming 20 million-square foot Foxconn liquid crystal display
factory sinks in for Wisconsinites, manufacturers and supply chain
managers in Waukesha County are hoping to land lucrative
partnerships with the Taiwan-based technology company in the future.
wasted no time showcasing some of their most high-tech products to
the public and hinting at major partnerships between Wisconsin
franchises like the Milwaukee Bucks and industry leaders like GE
Health and Rockwell Automation. But an equally big impact could be
made on smaller businesses.
Estimates show that Foxconn
will make $4.26 billion in supplier purchases annually, and about
one-third will be from Wisconsin companies, according to a statement
from Tim Casey, director of economic development for Waukesha County
Center for Growth.
Foxconn has requested
information on their supply-chain needs within 100 miles of the
proposed site, including Waukesha County.
"Many of our manufacturers
can supply the components Foxconn would need. Industries such as
plastics, thin-film technology, flexible printing, adhesives and
electronic components are abundant here and those companies are
ready to embrace any opportunities that partnership with Foxconn
could bring," Casey said in the statement.
Not only could a Foxconn
plant eventually create 13,000 jobs - partnerships with local
suppliers could literally transform those companies.
Prime Coatings, a
Pewaukee-based chemical coating company, had a two-hour
informational meeting with Foxconn representatives on Tuesday after
visiting the product display at Waukesha County Technical College in
the hopes of someday supplying painted display parts for the plant,
which could be online as soon as 2020.
Prime Coatings already
supplies water-based paint for display parts to a Foxconn
manufacturing plant in Mexico. President and Chief Executive Officer
Terry Welch is working to carry over that partnership to the
proposed factory in southeastern Wisconsin.
Welch said it's too early to
know what kind of painting will be done at the new plant, and that
the representatives were secretive about what they'd need. He said
during the tour of Prime Coatings they were interested in a specific
kind of ultraviolet light-cured coating made at the factory.
"We were trying to just offer
them our customer service and technical assistance," Welch said.
"And we promised free shipping on all their paint."
Welch said the economic
opportunity Foxconn is bringing to southeastern Wisconsin and
Waukesha County is "unbelievable."
"It could change our company
overnight, that's what's so exciting about them coming here," he
said. "They have the potential for changing a company our size