The Racine InSinkErator plant will transition to an assembly-only plant over the next three years, and much of its motor production will move to other plants both inside and outside the U.S.
Company spokesperson Dave Baldridge confirmed for Racine County Eye Friday that an inability to expand the Racine plant on 21st Street plus an uptick in consumer demand prompted the plan.
“The current Racine layout leaves no room to expand, so this transfer of production will help free up space and support our continued growth,” he said in an email. “InSinkErator is continuing to grow. To meet customer demand for fast response, operational changes are being made at the company’s Racine manufacturing plant.”
City of Racine Mayor John Dickert was surprised by the news.
“I didn’t know and am not aware of any concerns regarding InSinkErator,” he said in a phone interview Saturday. “I haven’t even met the new president (Chad Severson).”
Suppliers will take on shaft machining and die casting, and Racine workers will transition into an assembly operation. Baldridge said the changes will be phased in gradually so Emerson – InSinkErator’s parent company – can reconfigure the Racine plant, but it’s too soon to tell whether or not any jobs will be added or lost as a result of the changes.
“As this production shift gets underway, InSinkErator will be investing at its Racine facility to reconfigure and optimize the plant layout for improved product flow to meet customer demand,” he added. “This will be a gradual process, and spread out in stages over the next three years, so it’s too early to say what the net effect on employment might be, if any.”
But, someone familiar with the situation told Racine County Eye that county officials are working on a deal that could mean some $4 million in incentives to keep the company here, even if that means InSinkErator moving out of the city.
The changes are expected to complete by the first quarter of 2019.