Our adventure at Mathews, Inc. in Sparta, WI was very cool. Mathews is the largest grossing bow manufacturer in the world, right here in Sparta, that's sweet! Mathews produces lots of different compound bows and we even got to help put some bows together. We also found out that Mathews has sold over 1 million bows since 1992, when the company was started…seriously! And they spend a lot of time working to make their product better and better which is why their slogan, "catch us if you can" makes a lot of sense. We heard about how Matt McPherson, the owner of Mathews put the company on the map with single cam technology (Solocam) which makes their bows lighter, faster, quieter and very, very accurate. Very important stuff when you are taking a shot at a Whitetail out in the woods. Check out our archery skills out in the video, and check out Mathews at www.mathewsinc.com.
Those of you who have been visiting our Web site on a regular basis know that we have seen lots of different types of manufacturing, but Camp-Inn in Necedah is really different. They make tiny teardrop campers, little silver campers that you pull behind a car or truck. Camp-Inn has a unique product that is custom-made to order for each of their customers, and they are mostly sold through their Web site, or word-of-mouth from teardrop owners. They produce about 70 campers a year that are picked up or delivered to customers all over the US and internationally. They don’t have a lot of employees but they have inventors, engineers, designers, and craftsmen who build high-quality teardrops, like the ones from the 1930’s and 40’s…a long time ago. They are also working on a motorized wheel chair that goes about 25 – 30 miles an hour. That’s really fast if you are the one driving it (Check out our speed on the video).
For more information about Camp-Inn and to read their story, go to www.tinycamper.com.
S & S Cycle
S & S Cycle specializes in manufacturing v-twin engines. They produce high performance engines for many different customers from individuals putting together their own motorcycle to famous customers like Orange County Choppers and Arlen Ness Motorcycles. S &S Cycle has established numerous land speed records ever since the 1950’s, and their bikes and parts continue to win numerous speed and endurance races. Their proven performance parts are made by many employees doing many different jobs from engineering, machining, CNC, Computer-aided Designing (CAD), and product testing.
La Crosse Tribune
The La Crosse Tribune was founded in 1904. In 1905, the first press was purchased. In 1996, www.lacrossetribune.com was launched. During those 90 plus years the Tribune has gone through radical changes in the printing industry keeping up with the changes in technology. Who would have thought back in 1904 that we would one day be reading the newspaper on a small screen on a small telephone that fits in our pockets? That’s crazy! Most people probably wonder what kind of manufacturing goes on at the Tribune? Well, we found out that there are a number of manufacturing activities that take place starting with pre-press jobs, operating and maintenance of the press, and ending with packaging.
The La Crosse Tribune employs 230 people and their newspaper has a circulation of 34,000 daily and 40,000 on Sundays. But, they also produce many other publications including the Winona Daily News, Vernon County Broadcaster, Westby Times, Tomah Journal, Tomah Monitor Herald, Holmen-Onalaska Courier-Life, Jackson County Chronicle, Coulee News, Houston County News, Chippewa Herald, Dunn County News, Foxxy Shoppers, Big Buck Saver, and other niche specialty publications. However, many people get their news online at, www.lacrossetribune.com, which has over 300,000 unique visitors a month! That’s a lot of people!
D & S Manufacturing is a contract manufacturer that specializes in fabrication and welding. Some of their customers make trains, tractors and military vehicles. As a contract manufacturer they have a lot of different customers and they make lots of different things. So, D & S produces parts that go into making bigger things. They have laser, HD plasma, and oxy-fuel cutters so they can make things very precise. D & S also uses robotic welders, as well as MIG and TIG welding to complete complex projects.
Because they produce a variety of things, the people who work there don’t do the same thing every day. There are also a variety of jobs at D & S. Some of the people we talked to were welders, CNC operators, programmers, and designers using computer-aided design (CAD)…just to name a few.