Opening of Engineered Exhaust System plant just fine with resident exec
After operating out of a 60-year-old facility on 163rd Street in New Berlin, Chief Operating Officer Randy Butler couldn’t be happier to see Engineered Exhaust Systems settling into its new quarters in Saukville’s Dekora Woods Business Park.
A ribbon-cutting last week marked the opening of the 62,000-square-foot building.
Butler jumped at the suggestion from company owners in Taiwan that Engineered Exhaust Systems relocate from Milwaukee’s west side to a new facility in Ozaukee County.
Butler found the idea especially appealing because he lives in Saukville.
For 31 years, Butler worked at Tecumseh Products in Grafton. When that plant shut down, he took a position with Engineered Exhaust Systems nine years ago.
That meant a lengthy daily commute.
“It was definitely a haul. Now that we have moved to Saukville, the roles have been reversed. I live in town and the employees are the ones who have to make the commute,” Butler said.
“I am kind of surprised, but we didn’t lose a single one.”
The company has 25 employees.
Few workers have to drive more than 30 minutes to get to the new facility, which Butler said is not unreasonable in a metropolitan area.
The company designs exhaust and muffler systems used by the power equipment industry.
Butler said the systems are used by such companies as Kohler Co., Briggs and Stratton, John Deere and Ariens.
Production is done at manufacturing plants in China, and finished components are shipped back for distribution to the equipment manufacturers.
The EES facility houses engineering, quality control and warehousing for the finished exhaust systems.
Although the building is 50% larger than the company’s New Berlin facility, Butler said, it was designed to accommodate future expansion.
When the company bought its nine-acre site from the Village of Saukville, it was with the idea of a possible 50,000-square-foot expansion within a couple of years.
“We are already looking at working with other companies,” he said.
The $3 million construction project was the first Butler had to oversee, and it was not without its challenges.
“We broke ground last October, just as we had hoped, but lost about three weeks because of heavy rains in spring,” he said.
“Still, the contractors managed to get the building done in September. As in any project of this size, there were cost-overruns of about 10%, but the building turned out great.”
Although the Saukville business park has a diverse roster of companies, Butler said the welcoming environment is a pleasant change.
“In New Berlin, you have to remember there are hundreds of companies in that area. Here, we are a kind-of big fish in a small pond,” Butler said.
He said a number of neighboring business owners have already introduced themselves, and he looks forward to taking part in the Village of Saukville’s annual business forum, from 7:45 to 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11.
The forum will be held at Rebel Converting, 700 N. Progress Dr.
The focus will be on introducing business owners to local, county and state resources.
Presenters will include Saukville Village President Barb Dickmann, Ozaukee Economic Development Executive Director Kathleen Schilling, Joe Knilans of the Wisconsin Office of Business Development and Liz Pusch of the Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards.
Reservations are requested by Oct. 3, and may be made by emailing
Image Information: A GRAND OPENING celebration was held Wednesday, Sept. 14, for the new Engineered Exhaust Systems plant in Saukville. Above, taking part in the ribbon cutting were local officials and members of the ownership team from Taiwan. Photos by Sam Arendt