Northeast Wisconsin sweeps state manufacturer awards

Mercury Marine is awarded as 2019 Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year in the Mega size category (Photo provided by Mercury Marine)

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WBAY) - We're told it's the Oscars of the manufacturing sector. On Thursday night, the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year awards ceremony was held in Milwaukee, and the winner is... Northeast Wisconsin.

In the 31st year the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce has presented the awards, local companies swept the four size categories:

Small: J&R Machine, Shawano

This 27-year-old contract manufacturer produces custom, complex machined parts. Its website boasts customers in such diverse fields as defense, medical technology, oil and gas, and auto racing.

Medium: Winsert, Marinette

Winsert works with original equipment manufacturers to replace materials that have expensive cobalt and nickel content with its own proprietary -- and patented -- alloys that are resistant to high temperatures, wear and corrosion. They can be used in internal combustion engines, power generation, industrial valves and food processing.

Large: Robinson Metal, De Pere

Started 96 years ago by Al Robinson, the metal fabrication supplier has six divisions, including pipe and vessel, custom enclosures, and heating and cooling. The company employs about 400 people in De Pere and Manitowoc.

Mega: Mercury Marine, Fond du Lac

A division of Brunswick, the Fond du Lac company makes outboard engines and other marine propulsion systems, parts and accessories. Mercury Marine president John Pfeifer wrote in a statement after winning:

"We have invested more than $1B in expansion and R&D over the past 10 years and in 2018, we had the largest product launch in the history of our company. Although Mercury has unveiled many new innovations and has amassed many successes through the years, 2018 stands out as a particularly remarkable year of achievements that will help to shape the future of both Mercury Marine and the entire boating industry and it is gratifying to be recognized for this honor by the WMC."