Ozaukee Economic Development Large Business of the Year: Wilo Machine, Scot Pump
Product used in everything from sports stadiums to Teslas

By Sheryl Popp - Special to Conley Media

Sept. 17, 2019

Ozaukee Economic Development Director Kathleen Cady Schilling, front left, and Cedarburg City Administrator Christy Mertes are pictured with officials from Wilo Machine and Scot Pump, as well as the city of Cedarburg.
News Graphic file photo

In 1957, businessman Russell Bratt founded Scot Pump in Ozaukee County. The business has manufactured pumps at its Cedarburg location for over 50 years.

In 1978, Karak Machine (now Wilo Machine), was acquired to machine parts for Scot Pump. In 1988, Bratt acquired Weil Pump and moved it to Cedarburg soon after. In 1995, Weil Pump experienced a devastating fire at one of its foundries. Many of both Scot and Weil pump patterns were lost.

“Bratt spent long hours every day retooling the patterns,” said Jeff Plaster, CEO and managing director of Wilo. “It took several years of designing and testing. The outcome is that he had a product line that is modular and efficient and carries forth until today.”

According to Dave Wilkerson, CEO/managing director for Wilo USA and Scot Pump, Wilo USA saw the potential synergy with Scot, Karak and Weil, and acquired the companies from Russell Bratt in 2017.

“Wilo has been extremely pleased with our team,” said Wilkerson. “Our companies and people share similar values, which helped make for a smooth transition.”

“Weil makes really heavy-duty parts,” said Plaster. “They have kept their castings robust with thick walls. This has led to high-quality parts with less than one half percent product returns. This is one of the reasons that Weil Pump in Cedarburg has doubled in size in four years.”

“You can attribute a lot to Jeff too,” said Tim Bade.

 Wilo Machine and Scot Pump CEO and Managing Director Dave Wilkerson is pictured with ne of the companies’ products. Wilkerson recently returned from an international conference in Moscow, where he was the only American in attendance.
Photo by Sheryl Popp

Bade is sales and technical manager for Weil Pump and has been with the company for 32 years. He has a great sense of how the company has grown in both its business and its stature.

“Bratt had moved to Florida and wasn’t very involved here. The business was successful, but did not grow. Salespeople were given factory training and we brought customers here to see how things worked. The sales force was excited and we had a new marketing plan.”

“Weil products are used in every major U.S. sports stadium,” said Plaster. “And in hospitals and universities, as well as at Microsoft, Tesla, Apple and Nike. Engineers choose the best products for their designs and they choose Weil.”

Product lines include pumps and plumbing accessories for HVAC, sewage systems, water management and groundwater systems, control panels and accessories. All castings are poured here and parts are machined and assembled here.

“Wilo invests in their facilities and the communities they’re in,” said Plaster. “ They want to be an employer of choice in the community and attract quality talent to work here.”

That’s one reason Wilo chose to support Cedarburg’s STEAM program (science technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education. They have made a $100,000 investment to date, and also support Summer Sounds and the Ozaukee County Fair.

“Wilo simply has the best people, customers and products,” Plaster said.