Green Bay Innovation Group

‘Stop Scaring Away Amazing Talent’ Webinar Recap

Attendees at the Green Bay Innovation Group (GBIG) webinar, “Stop Scaring Away Amazing Talent,” gained new insight into talent acquisition, employee selection, and job interview strategies. The labor-focused webinar was hosted by GBIG Executive Director Marty Ochs and GBIG Silver Sponsor Packerland Websites. The online event was a collaboration between GBIG and 15dots®. 15dot is a GBIG Silver Sponsor and a Neenah, Wisconsin-based company that trains HR leaders and organizational personnel to adopt a rigorous employee selection process that is repeatable, scalable, and teachable. 15dots refers to five ability tests and 10 behavior-based interview dimensions critical to employee selection.

15dots teammates Mike Quinn and Joe Nowlin shared interesting real-world stories from their years of working in Human Resources and employee selection, plus evidence-based hiring practices and expert advice. The audience got involved by sharing information about their organizations and asking questions.

Audience members also responded to polls – not always with the correct answers – which led to eye-opening revelations. The webinar polls pertained to abilities and skills. As a follow-up to the polls, Mike and Joe explained that an ability is established early (by age 16) and remains relatively stable. Thus, applicants need to have the abilities that a job requires in order to be successful. Abilities are the basis for picking up job skills. (Examples are mechanical or verbal ability.) Unlike abilities, which are static, skills wax and wane over time.

Other highlights of the “Stop Scaring Away Amazing Talent” webinar:

  • How to market your organization to a potential job seeker, even those not actively looking for work
  • How to control bias in hiring, so you don’t fall into the trap of hiring people because you “like them”
  • How to create a compelling Employee Value Proposition, so people want to join your team
  • What traits make an ideal job candidate
  • What are the right pre-employment tests (cognitive ability) and the wrong tests (personality tests)
  • Why a structured board interview outperforms a one-on-one interview
  • Why use a liberal screening process on the front-end of the hiring process
  • Why involve stakeholders, not just HR personnel, in hiring

Thank You to the Presenters

Mike Quinn

Mike Quinn

Mike Quinn,, has worked tirelessly internally as a Human Resources Manager and externally as a consultant for over three decades. As a 15dots partner, Mike helped to perfect the tools and precise methods to take the guesswork out of employee selection.

Joe Nowlin

Joe “Doc” Nowlin

Joe Nowlin,, earned his doctorate from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. A former business professor, Joe designed, tested, and installed proprietary employee selection procedures for manufacturing organizations, revolutionizing the way they do business. As a 15dots partner, Joe adapted these systems for medium-sized and smaller organizations of all types.

GBIG NEWS | 79 Stories and Links on the Internet 01/25/2023


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January 25th, 2023 Newsletter

Read the January 25th, 2023 Green Bay Innovation Group Newsletter here.

Dac Austin of Rabbit Hole Distillery discusses partnership with Independent 2, and benefits of Domino digital printing

Rabbit Hole Distillery, located in Louisville, KY, produces their own recipes of one-of-a-kind super premium American whiskey. Creating their extraordinary shipping cases with outstanding shelf appeal that helps sell this unique brand, is a fantastic collaboration with their partner Independent 2, a privately-owned and operated corrugated manufacturer.

Independent 2’s capabilities include designing, manufacturing, warehousing, and delivering corrugated and packaging that protect their customers’ products in transit and sells them on store shelves.

Dac Austin of Rabbit Hole Distillery holding menu

We caught up with Dac Austin, Creative Director of Rabbit Hole Distillery, to learn more about the business, the partnership with Independent 2, and the benefits of digital printing delivered by the Domino X630i digital aqueous inkjet corrugated press.

Highlights of our visit were captured in this quick 2-minute VIDEO: Dac Austin of Rabbit Hole Distillery

One-of-a-Kind Partnership

Austin begins, “We make one-of-a-kind original works of bourbon. Each one of our whiskeys has its own grain recipe that’s not like anything else on the market. One of the things that’s necessary for what I do, is having a partner that has the ability to do modifications quickly, efficiently, and in real time. One of the relationships that we’ve built is one with Independent 2, who is our ship case provider. Their responsivity that we receive from their team is excellent, and that really resonates with what we do with our ship cases, and what we’re able to produce.”

The Dynamic of Digital

Proudly holding a corrugated shipping case produced at Independent 2 for Rabbit Hole’s Dareringer Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Austin continues. “This is an example of some of the work that we’ve done. As you can see the clarity, the color, and the product is outstanding. You think about the digital application on a corrugated product. We are able to make edits with color, with typography… and see it within minutes. If we were to do this in a conventional manner, we would have had to shut down the press, take the plates off, remake the plates, reapply the ink, and wait for hours for this to happen.”

The Merger of Digital and Corrugated

Austin further explains benefits of digital printing. “All I had to do for this was create a new file, run it through the machine (Domino X630i digital aqueous inkjet corrugated press) and it’s instantaneous. There’s no mixing of inks, there’s no wipe-up or clean-up for the machinery. It’s just moving the board through, and it works effectively and efficiently. That is something that is magnificent in what we’re able to do. And it shows the merger of the digital and corrugated world.”

Domino is a leading manufacturer and distributor of digital printing and product identification solutions.

Celebrating its 45 th year in business, Domino is a global organization with world headquarters in the UK, and North America headquarters in Gurnee, IL. Domino has 25 subsidiaries, representation in over 120 countries, and over 3,000 employees worldwide. For more information on Domino digital printing, please visit

CMD Corporation: Defining Reliability and Profitability in Pouch Equipment

Defining Reliability

When it comes to total cost of ownership and profitability, all pouch equipment is not created equal.

Reliability is the number one desired machine attribute for pouch converters, but this deceptively simple statement can sometimes be misunderstood.

“Reliability isn’t only about the sturdiness of the machine,” says Scott Fuller, Pouch Equipment Product Line Manager for CMD. “It means that production will be reliable; that pouches will be of consistent quality; that downtime, especially unexpected stoppages, are minimized. It’s about product going out the door, on time, at the expected cost.”

Similar to how we expect our automobiles to be reliable; to consistently run and give us as little grief as possible, converters expect reliability in their equipment.

CMD logo

What are some gauges for reliability?

1. The machine should be well-made – designed to provide process stability for many years – and to do so without frequent operator intervention.

Obviously, to achieve optimal payback the equipment should last for years, even decades. But in that time, the stability of the process should not degrade. Some of this comes from the overall build quality of the machine, the raw materials and the workmanship. Some of this comes from the design of the machine.

Some converters have the good fortune of having in-house experts that keep lesser-quality machinery running. They fix and tinker, adjusting springs and settings, sometimes even rebuilding sections of machines to get them to operate to the converter’s needs and expectations. This is a vanishing skill set, and more often than not, converters are faced with a shrinking labor pool of skilled workers. Entry-level operators and frequent turnover require a reliable machine that runs efficiently and effectively, day in and day out, without the need for frequent maintenance or monitoring.

The CMD 760-SUP Stand-Up Pouch system sports a new, compact, space-saving design.

“The long-term stability and sustained operation of the machine needs to be considered at the design stage, says Fuller. “Our machine includes a simplified mechanical design, with fewer moving parts resulting in fewer opportunities for wear.”

Fewer maintenance touchpoints mean that you spend less time with preventive maintenance tasks.

Those maintenance touchpoints that do remain have been completely re-designed to make the tasks much easier and faster to complete. (i.e., guillotine knife blade replacements in 20-minutes, simplified nip-roll changes, fewer lubrication points, easier access to the various workspaces on the machine, etc.)

2. The machine should offer low total cost of ownership
A reliable pouch machine benefits your bottom line by offering truly shorter changeovers and a meaningful reduction in downtime associated with both preventive maintenance tasks, as well as unplanned downtime. The end result is that your machine will be producing sellable product for more of the time, resulting in a quicker payback and lower cost of ownership.
“Being in tune with our customers’ goals, which most often included optimizing machine uptime – (that time when the machine is producing sellable product) – allowed CMD to offer a machine with the best payback and lowest total cost of ownership in the industry,” says Fuller.

3. The machine performs to expectations, which includes keeping scrap rates to a specified threshold. It must reliably produce consistently high-quality pouches
The machine is an asset, a tool, that needs to deliver a specific amount of product in a specified amount of time (throughput.) It must have speed capabilities that will maximize productivity. Meaning, speed is important as long as quality is assured, and waste is minimized (efficiency.) It is expected to make a quality pouch, and is relied upon to play its part in getting orders out the door on time.

CMD’s unwind web clamp is one of many features that
save waste and ensure precise web handling.

“CMD pouch machines have been designed with one goal in mind; to provide the most stable process available in the market today, requiring fewer operator interventions during a production run,” says Fuller, explaining that this results in less scrap during the run.

“Our proprietary registration averaging system means that fewer tooling adjustments are needed as the roll is consumed, and CMD’s patented Intelligent Sealing Technology provides the most consistent and repeatable sealing process available in the industry,” he adds. “In addition, our 3-D laser alignment step delivers the most consistent web-control available, while our proprietary web-tension management system allows the user to balance web tension from the roll to the cut-off, providing fewer instances of ‘feature-drift’,” says Fuller. All of these features contribute to a robust and reliable process that can be repeated from roll-to-roll and lot-to-lot.

4. The machine is reliably simple to operate and maintain

Keeping operation and maintenance simple is a sure way to cut costs and save money.

Quick seal die changes – most often in under 2 minutes – are one of
CMD’s fast-changeover design features.

Easy to operate touch screen controls and machine adjustments contribute to product quality, minimize downtime and support a reliable process control. Pouch equipment has come a long way, and quick-change features, like CMD’s easily accessible seal dies for under-2-minute changes, significantly reduced start-up and changeover time.

“Challenges with recruiting and retaining operators makes simple set-up and operation imperative,” says Fuller. “Machinery that is straightforward to operate, with recipes and adjustments that are easily repeated, help mitigate the challenges converters face with operator turnover.”

Affordable/accessible spare parts and reliable, responsive service are also an important component to simplified, reliable operation. Converters look for low cost and accessibility for common wear parts. The OEM that provides reliable, consultative service, including providing the tools for preventive maintenance to avoid unscheduled downtime, is a valuable partner.

“Our customers have been pleasantly surprised by our spare parts pricing, choosing to purchase easily sourced parts through us, rather than a third-party supplier. This strategy of pricing spare parts competitively was deliberately developed as we defined our identity as a true supplier partner; that partnership means that our customers can rely on CMD as their ‘one-stop-shop’. Maintenance managers tell us they appreciate that they don’t need to manage so many different suppliers.”

CMD designs and manufactures high-performance equipment for blown-film and flexible package converting, including patented high-speed rotary drawtape trash bag lines, pre-made pouch packaging equipment, film and bag folders and winders. CMD also designs and manufactures systems, and provides station monitoring, training and service for the CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) and RNG (Renewable Natural Gas) refueling markets.

Custom engineering and product development are available from the 45,000 sq. ft. Technology Center. Experienced CMD technical service representatives are available for field service, installation and extended process validation.

A professionally staffed parts department offers quick turn-around to minimize downtime. An established supplier with more than 30 years’ experience, CMD serves a global marketplace and manufactures all equipment to exacting standards at USA facilities.

CMD Corporation
By: Scott Fuller, Product Line Manager, Pouch and Intermittent-Motion Equipment

Robinson’s contract custom fabrication provides onshore options

Versatile in-house capabilities deliver Made in the USA solutions

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) rely on contract custom fabrication services from Robinson to minimize their own capital equipment outlays while leveraging the expertise of our Wisconsin workforce. As a single-source contract custom fabrication partner, we are able to control virtually every aspect of a project, provide regular project updates, and deliver orders on time.

“We see our role as an extension of our customers’ internal teams and capabilities,” explains Jeff Kroening, director of sales for Robinson. “Our contract custom fabrication services enable customers to focus on their core competencies while feeling confident in us as their supply partner.”

Robinson’s contract custom fabrication services provide end-to-end solutions beginning with design for manufacturability (DFM) discussions and continuing through factory acceptance testing (FAT), transportation and installation. Our teams fulfill orders ranging from stand-alone projects such as solar energy storage to ongoing, consistent supply arrangements.

Contract custom fabrication excels behind a growing workforce

Robinson continues to invest in facilities, technology and people in our commitment to lead the contract fabrication market from the front. Powered by a highly trained, growing workforce of nearly 600, we are a regional employer of choice that attracts and retains talented individuals. This results in contract custom fabrication services that are dependable and ultimately profitable for our customers.

We have the unique ability to leverage nearly 500,000 square feet of flexible manufacturing space across four locations in northeastern Wisconsin. Few manufacturers offer the array of expertise that we are able to bring to contract custom fabrication projects through a vertical integration model. Our diversified service offerings include machining parts, fabrication of weldments, product assembly, electrical and automation skills, paint and coatings, plumbing, HVAC and more.

“Our customers appreciate the simplicity of working with an American-based supplier,” Kroening says. “Our approach to contract custom fabrication reduces the complexity of projects from the customer’s standpoint and helps them retain a greater sense of visibility and control.”

About Robinson, Inc.

Robinson, Inc., is a single-source metal solutions provider based in De Pere, Wisconsin. Robinson offers design, manufacturing and production fabrication for a wide range of industries. The company employs nearly 600 people at four Wisconsin locations comprising 500,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

For more information about Robinson’s capabilities or to request a quote, please call (920) 494-7411, or visit

Titletown Manufacturing: Large part machining simplifies the machine assembly process

Titletown Manufacturing is investing in enhanced machining capabilities

Titletown Manufacturing has invested in a powerful new Mazak vertical machining center that will ramp up our ability to complete large part machining operations. The new machine, which will be calibrated and ready to bring online by spring, is the latest step in our commitment to providing unsurpassed quality in northeast Wisconsin.

“Since it requires a good four weeks of lead time to receive raw materials, we are already accepting orders appropriate for this large part machining asset,” says Chris Fuss, co-owner of Titletown Manufacturing. “This machine will further differentiate us from other mid-size shops. Our expanded large part machining capabilities will now be as much as double that of other vertical machining centers.”

The new Mazak machine has 80 inches of x-axis travel and 60 inches of y-axis travel. Its speed of operation and ability to hold tolerances more accurately than older equipment delivers production benefits that result in exceptional outcomes. It is part of our comprehensive set of complete machine assembly services along with plumbing, electrical, small part machining, metal fabrication and more.

Large part machining takes a step up with new Mazak machine

The Mazak vertical machining center complements our boring bar in fulfilling large part machining projects. The vertical machining center is the machine of choice for face work on metal plates, while the boring bar offers the table size necessary to complete edge work.

Our large part machining work often centers on fabricating the side and base frames of large machines. This project segment includes components such as larger cross members, stabilizers, positioning pieces, and frames for multi-functional paper converting equipment and robotics equipment.

Titletown Manufacturing simplifies the machine assembly process for OEMs by serving as a collection point for components our team produces as well as specialty items shipped in from other suppliers. The large part machining, industrial precision grinding and other CNC operations position us as a hub to efficiently complete machine assemblies.

About Titletown Manufacturing LLC

Titletown Manufacturing LLC is a trusted metal machining and fabrication shop with over 60 years of experience in CNC machining, welding, grinding, assembly and reverse engineering for a wide range of industrial customers throughout the region. The company employs more than 30 people at its facility at 817 Marquis Way in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

For more information on Titletown Manufacturing or to request a quote, please go to or call 920-435-9074.

Rolls for EV manufacturing address multiple process points

PRS’s diverse capabilities provide a one-stop source for battery makers

The quickly growing electric vehicle (EV) market is creating opportunities for battery makers to expand their revenue streams. Precision Roll Solutions (PRS) contributes expertise in producing rolls for EV manufacturing that elevates battery factories to the levels of precision they need to succeed in this market.

PRS’s reputation as a leader in the design and production of vacuum tension rolls is a key differentiator among manufacturers of rolls for EV manufacturing. Vacuum tension rolls deliver much more precise tension control than is possible using traditional S wrap web configurations.

S wraps rely solely on friction to adjust tension levels on the web, but this configuration makes it difficult to isolate higher levels of tension. Vacuum tension rolls are a more effective choice as rolls for EV manufacturing because of their ability to isolate higher tension values at multiple points in the process without damaging delicate web substrates.

Vacuum tension rolls also help minimize dust in clean environments, particularly when it comes to the graphite coatings on anode and cathode layers of the battery. PRS engineers can calibrate mesh screens within a manufacturing window to better control the inevitable dust particles.

Fine mesh screens are also available to help prevent vacuum-induced damage to sensitive web substrates.

Vacuum tension rolls eliminate risk of damage from nip pressure

Isolating higher tension levels on a web can be a significant challenge that some manufacturers attempt to counter using nip pressure from two rolls. This technique creates safety issues for workers as well as the fragile web substrates they carry.

In the case of rolls for EV manufacturers, these assets are tasked with handling films and foils used in the production of anode and cathode layers of batteries. The amount of pressure necessary in nips to hold tension can damage sensitive webs and cause other web handling issues. Vacuum rollers are used to handle webs and isolate web tension while having the benefit of single-sided contact with the substrate.

PRS produces a variety of rolls for EV manufacturing including metering rolls, coating rolls, calendering rolls, slitters and rewinders, and other roll handling machines. Depending on the width of the base web, slitters trim the edges and rewinders prepare the substrate for further processing elsewhere in the battery making process.

For more information about Precision Roll Solutions’ design and manufacturing capabilities, please call (920) 336-7382, or visit

About Precision Roll Solutions

Precision Roll Solutions is a family of roll specialists, each with unique skills gained over years of experience serving the world’s most discerning brands. Together, we help leading manufacturers leverage texture and other process variables to make their products more effective and enhance their impact; from tissue, plastic films and nonwovens to heavy gauge embossed metal and everything in between.

Susan Stansbury: Rust to Tech Part 2

By Susan Stansbury, Industry Consultant
Reprinted with permission from

This is Part 2 in a 5-part series. It began with a look at the rust belt image, concentrating on mills making substrates and related converting. Part 2 is a snapshot of converting examples with associated suppliers and technologies. With the reminder that converting operations add value to roll goods substrates, here are some of the elements. Additionally, it’s notable that converting, from start to finished products often involves several steps at one or multiple companies.

Slitting & Winding

This would seem to be the most basic, simple aspect of converting. However, there is a range of capabilities with increasing precision among converters. Some companies can convert extra-wide mill rolls; some cut unusually small ones; diameters provided range from jumbo to tiny—all depending on customer requirements. Some converters who slit and wind rolls combine this step with others such as multiple layering or moving the material directly into other transformations such as flexo printing, coating, and laminating. Improved precision in slitting and winding cuts waste and increases productivity.

Throughout the converting processing world, there is increased automation for quality, reliability, and relief when it’s difficult to recruit workers. “Automation and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) are among the latest technology focus in converting,” says John Michaud, an owner at American Custom Converting (ACC), Green Bay, “where tagging and coding every plant location and piece of equipment allows us to scan and track raw materials and finished goods at every step. It lets us know how far along the job is, where waste is occurring and whether we made a profit on that shipment.”

ACC is investing in automated roll handling to increase speed of roll packaging and in small roll rewinding for customer needs of wide (130”) but small diameters (4” – 20” OD’s)/length as little as 20 feet, with/without a core.

Numerous companies support web handling upgrades at converters. Center surface winding specialists include Associated Machine Design; Atlas Converting’s slitter-winder technology supports the packaging industry; Chase Machine and Engineering touts its 3-D modeling for unwinds-rewinds-slitters while integrating ultrasonics, glue dispensing and thermal bonding.

Bringing new technologies to converting, even when retrofitting equipment are companies like Midwest Engineered Systems where they build new and update converting systems. Retrofitted automation systems, integrated motors and controls are a focus of Quad Plus. Modular Web Solutions offers flexibility; Motion Controls Robotics brings the latest automation that connects production to the front office interfacing with ERP solutions.


The evolution of paper, substrates and converting into higher technologies improves everything from throughput to energy reduction. Processes often use dryer ovens or infrared drying. Today, many have gone from decades-old traditional equipment to technologies such as a fresh new look at infrared drying. According to Dave Wurtz, CEM, a Milwaukee area consulting engineer, “drying solutions include precision design and manufacture of IR lamps that emit IR in a very narrow bandwidth of the IR spectrum, namely in the 1.35-to-2.5-micron range. This precise range of IR penetrates deep into the sheet creating a positive vapor pressure causing rapid drying. In fact, this drying is so rapid that the evaporation causes a cooling effect with the substrate being cooler leaving the dryer than it was before entering, thus protecting often heat sensitive substrates.”

The dryers Wurtz describes remove twice the water per installed KW when compared to traditional IR, using half the energy and needing less real estate on the machine which is often at a premium. Compact dryers are designed around machine speed and width, with modular options. It’s a technology that’s well suited for paper, nonwovens, coating, laminating, flexible packaging, cold seal and other adhesives and flexographic printing.”

Adhesives and Laminates

Part of technology upgrades involves looking at other competing options. For example, Patrick Kellogg of Savare Specialty Adhesives North America has explained that switching from water-based adhesives to hot melt in assembly lines cuts waste and has better turnaround times. “There is no drying or cure time,” he says, “and for layered materials, it’s an ideal approach.” Applications also include foam-to- foam bonding, tapes, and pressure-sensitive labels.

Companies like Sierra Coating Technologies work with coatings and laminating expertise using paper, poly, and nonwovens to produce “Super Material ™”. Mid South Extrusion produces polyethylene films in mono and multi-layered structures for printing and converting. Eight-color printing, plus laminating for roll stock, bags and pouches requires converting complexity by Fredman Bag Company.

Next: Part 3 will cover some of the latest converting technologies with an emphasis on their associated markets.(Note: this article was edited slightly from the original.)

Pixelle to Restart Paper Machine in Chillicothe, Ohio

Paper Machine #24 to produce food packaging papers

October 4, 2022

SPRING GROVE, PA — Pixelle Specialty Solutions LLC (“Pixelle”), a leading manufacturer of specialty papers in North America, has announced plans to restart a paper machine in the Chillicothe, Ohio facility. The company is investing $21 million to upgrade and restart the #24 paper machine (PM24) and plans to hire 52 full-time employees to operate and maintain it. Pixelle will also fill 50 temporary positions to support construction and engineering
requirements related to the restart.

“The current supply-demand balance in the market and our Ohio facility’s competitive, integrated cost structure has afforded us the opportunity to restart paper machine #24 (PM24) at the Chillicothe mill. This rebuilt machine will add 75,000 tons per year of capacity to serve our customers in the food packaging, commercial inkjet and other specialty paper segments. These are growing attractive markets where Pixelle has leading positions,” said Timothy R. Hess, Pixelle’s President and CEO.

Tim added, “We would also like to acknowledge JobsOhio for an economic development grant that will support an employee training program to provide workers with the skillsets required to operate the paper machine safely and efficiently.” PM24 was originally built as a coated printing papers machine, upgraded most recently in the 1990’s. Pixelle idled the machine in 2017 based on declining supply-demand market dynamics at the time. Several upgrades in the current rebuild will enable Pixelle to produce an attractive product mix for its customers. Pixelle expects the machine to be fully online shipping quality specialty papers in early first quarter 2023.

About Pixelle Specialty Solutions

Headquartered in Spring Grove, PA, Pixelle Specialty Solutions is a leading manufacturer of specialty papers in North America with one of the most comprehensive portfolios in the industry. Through innovation, quality and expertise, Pixelle delivers high-performance solutions that help customers boost brand appeal and improve customer experience while supporting sustainability goals. For more information, visit

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