Construction begins on new addition to Kinetic's plant
As the country watched the President and Congressional leaders meeting to face the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression Joseph, Cash and Jared Masters sat down looking at the quotations for Kinetic's much needed building addition. Kinetic had simply run out of space and had no room for additional machinery. The architectural design was done, the regulatory approvals in, and the quotations were on the table. The discussion was: should we proceed or should we put this on the shelf until the economy improves. The decision: go ahead and start construction. Due to Wisconsin weather constraints our General Contractor, Jerry Scherrer of Scherrer Construction told us that construction would get to the point of footings, foundation walls, underground utilities, structural steel and roof decking before construction ceased for winter. He knew how important the concrete floor is to our machines and simply said: "I wouldn't pour the floors in winter if it was my plant and I definitely will not pour it for your plant." Scherrer Construction has done 3 major additions for Kinetic and numerous remodeling projects and machine bases so we took their advice. Construction would resume in April 2009 with completion scheduled for June 2009.
Based on that we had a 5 minute Board Meeting - one of the luxuries of being a family owned business - and voted to get the contracts signed and have construction begin. When the worst of the financial crises is over Kinetic will be ready with new plant space and additional machines.
This is a 13,500+ square foot [1255 square mm] addition with a high bay for 2 - 15 ton cranes. It is being designed with special flooring for installation of our 2 - Mattison 400S Grinders. The cost of this addition is going to be $2million+ US Dollars.
October 16, 2008 - The General Contractor is mobilizing; soon all this prairie grass will become Kinetic's new addition.
October 23, 2008 - looking down from the roof of our 1975 heat treating shop you can see the roughed in drive to our reception area along with all the excavating equipment and gravel trucks bringing in fill to our project.
October 24, 2008 - We are finally getting a visitor's parking lot in front of our offices. It only took 38 years to shorten the walk people make to visit us!
October 24, 2008 - Stripping away the topsoil to get to good subsoil. An important start as the contractors begin to build our heavy duty industrial floor. In order for our huge grinders to hold tight tolerances the first requirement is a good base and floor.
October 31, 2008 - Digging and setting the footings on the south wall of our new addition
November 7, 2008 - The footings are complete on the north wall of our new addition and work has begun on the foundation walls.
November 7, 2008 - The footings are complete on the south wall of our new addition. Notice the several areas where the footing drastically widens. That is to give us a base for the crane columns to hold our 2 - 15 ton cranes. Why are they also widened on the outside of the new addition? Because we know that our next addition will also require large cranes and it is cheaper to widen the footings now rather then when we are building our next addition.
November 14, 2008 - The foundation wall are almost complete; digging begins inside the building for the sanitary and roof underground drain pipes.
December 8, 2008 - The structural steel arrives and the ironworkers from Custom Structural Inc. start putting up the building skeleton. This job will not appear on "Build it Bigger" but ironworkers always impress people with their ability to overcome a fear of heights and man-handle huge steel beams lifted by cranes and manipulated into place with ropes and their shear strength. Here they are erecting the north columns.
December 10, 2008 - Our ironworkers are quickly putting up the building and crane columns. It's too cold to socialize; they just want to get their work done and warm up. Note the interesting design element used by our structural engineer; he combined the building column and crane column into one unit by installing cross webbing. This strengthened the column design and made installation faster and less complex.
December 11, 2008 - Today's ironworker's doesn't "walk the beams" like their fathers and grandfathers did. Safety dictates working from a lift bucket. Here Roger Williams Jr. is manipulating one of the building beams into place.
December 12, 2008 - All the building beams and crane beams are in place. Now the ironworkers work to unload the building girders and joists.
December 12, 2008 - Wasting no time (the wind chill is below zero Fahrenheit) the ironworkers start putting up the girders working from the 1975 building going west. After several girders are in place they start welding the joists in between the girders.
December 12, 2008 - With the crane lifting a joist ironworkers in two separate lift buckets are manipulating the joist into place between the girders so that they can weld it into place
December 16, 2008 - Don't know what is better if you are an ironworker. Sunny and cold or overcast and damp? Today they got overcast and damp. They continue to "drop in" the girders and joists as they get closer to getting to the west end of our new addition
December 16, 2008 - After positioning the joists the ironworkers weld them into place.
December 17, 2008 - Another damp overcast day; but the ironworkers are almost to the west end of the building with the joists.
December 18, 2008 - The sun is out but that also brings bitter cold to the ironworkers working on the job. The good news is that all the girders are in place and they are finishing hanging the joists.
December 18, 2008 - After installing the girders and joists come the cross ties. With 2 - 15 ton cranes with no bumper restrictions our structural engineer made certain that the structural integrity of the building was beyond question. He does this with steel rods tying the girders and joists together. Once the concrete blocks go up x-braces will be added strengthening the columns and preventing them from failure when the cranes are moving with heavy loads. At the end of construction we have a tight structural envelope for our building.
December 18, 2008 -
It's starting to look like a factory. But everyone is starting to button up as the weather man (correctly) predicted a severe winter snow storm for December 19th with 8 inches [203mm] plus snow and very high winds and drifting. There will be no one on the jobsite December 19th.
December 29, 2008 - Christmas is over and its time to get back to work. While our offices and plants have been completely sprinkled for fire protection since 1970 during the planning stages of this addition we worked with our good friends at the Greendale Fire Department to ensure that they did not see any problems. They saw one "minor" issue; we had built our addition to a point where we were too far from the nearest fire hydrant for their equipment to properly fight a fire. So using our typical Kinetic problem solving logic we added several hundred feet of 8" underground fire line, two additional private fire hydrants, and several fire department connections. The only problem was for the plumbers digging the line in below freezing weather.
December 29, 2008 - our iron workers go inside to "beef up" our 1975 roof structure. A problem we face in Wisconsin in winter is blowing snow. And our new addition is approximately 8 foot [2438mm] higher then the adjacent 1975 factory roof. Creating what the structural engineers call a "parapet wall situation". Simply said: if we get a good snow storm with blowing snow the snow will blow off the 2008 roof and drift up on the 1975 roof next to the wall between the buildings adding a considerable snow load weight. How did our structural engineers solve this problem? Strengthen the 1975 roof structure. Easier said then done when the ceiling is filled with sprinkler pipes, water pipes, electrical conduits, and high voltage electrical buss bar and all the other "good stuff" that ends up in a factory ceiling area. Here one of the iron workers is adding gussets to the existing joists.
December 30, 2008 - the ironworkers continue strengthening the existing steel structure in the 1975 plant. It is easy to see how difficult the job is; look at all the existing piping they have to work around!
December 31, 2008 - Why does this plumber look so happy working 8 feet [2438mm] underground? Because his co-workers on the surface are facing 5°F
[-15°C] temperatures with a -20°F [-28°C] wind chill. It is really warmer working in the ditch than on ground level.
December 31, 2008 - No more easy work for the iron workers; they had to figure out how to lift several 300 pound [136 kilo] beams and place them against the existing perimeter roof beams and weld it into place. Iron worker Roger Williams Jr. and his fellow iron workers needed every bit of skill and training to persuade the beams to get into place. Along with several deleted expressions!
January 2, 2009 - The iron workers continue strengthening the 1975 ceiling; today they work on the south side of the deck positioning 4 beams in place and welding them between the existing beams ensuring they are tight to the ceiling deck. Here iron worker foreman Doug Lenz prepares the rigging to lift one of the beams into place.
January 2, 2009 - The four beams needed to handle the parapet load factor for the south west corner of our 1975 plant are in place. The two beams on the left side over the garage door caused more then a casual problem for our iron workers. As far as these iron workers are concerned "it's Miller Time" and after watching them manhandle these four beams into placed they all deserved a cold one - or two.
January 5, 2009 -
Everyone who has done a big construction job knows that there always comes a day when “it hits the fan.” January 5th was that day; you know things are not going well when a staffer comes into your office and says: “Do you know there is a lake outside our office?”
January 5, 2009 -
While preparing to connect our new 8” fire protection line to the existing line the contractor removed the "concrete buttress" from the end of the existing 8" tee a little prematurely. You do that combined with below freezing weather and excellent water pressure and the tee cap blows off and we had water pouring out all over the front of our lawn. Afterwards the Greendale Water Department did some calculations and determined that by the time the street valve was turned off over 635.000 gallons [2,403,725 liters] of water had poured out of the broken tee. At least the lawn was froze so it did not turn to a field of mud; and if it had happened over the weekend we would probably have been mopping water out of our offices.
January 20, 2009 -
After more then a week break caused by sub-zero temperatures and even worse wind chill our iron workers were able to get back to working outside. Our building is starting to look like a building as they begin nailing the roof deck to the roof structure.
January 20, 2009 -
You don’t have to hear iron worker foreman Doug Lenz answer the question: "How is the deck installation going?" His two thumbs up tells Kinetic that the deck is being installed in good order.
January 21, 2009 -
After nailing and screwing the deck to the roof structure we finally got our building 100% covered. And we are proud of the compliments we are hearing from Greendale about how nice our new addition is looking.
March 16, 2009 - after a planned winter construction halt of almost 2 months on a 50°F [10°C] day work resumes. The first order of business is setting up the automated scaffolding which will save the masons countless hours erecting and taking down old fashioned scaffolding.
March 18, 2009 - the first of the several thousand concrete masonry units (CMU’s) arrive and get positioned.
March 20, 2009 - Block by block the masonry works begins; 10” [254mm] CMU’s on the outside, then 2” [51mm] insulation, and finally a 6” [152mm] CMU on the inside. This building will be low cost to operate with the insulation in the walls and with the double block wall construction it will surely stand the test of time.
March 23, 2009 - Viewing the west exterior wall from the interior it is starting to look like a factory.
March 25, 2009 - The west exterior wall is being completed and work is well underway on the north exterior wall.
March 27, 2009 - This is the 3rd factory addition these masons have constructed for Kinetic. They know that Joseph Masters is the nicest client in the world - and the most demanding. They are not just building a factory; they are building a Kinetic addition and their best workmanship is required.
April 7, 2009 – The Scherrer masons are making good headway on the north exterior wall. The “jack up” scaffolding not only saves time but stress on the masons. With old style scaffolding the masons stood on the same level as the CMU’s; causing them to constantly bend to pick up the blocks. With the “jack up” scaffolding the masons are below the level of the blocks so bending, along with back strain, is eliminated.
April 13, 2009 – As the west and north walls near completion the size of this addition is becoming apparent.
April 15, 2009 – Scherrer mason Dan Binstock works on building up the CMU wall between our 1975 shop and our higher elevation 2009 addition. Dan Binstock is an old hand laying block and stone at Kinetic; he was on the masonry crew building our 1991 office addition.
April 15, 2009 – The roof is finally going down; insulation, rubber membrane and stone ballast. This means that several other trades can start installing conduit, sprinkler pipe, HVAC equipment, and plumbing pipes in the joist area and not worry that rain will damage their work.
April 16, 2009 – It’s never too early to learn how an industrial factory is built. Here experienced Scherrer mason Peter Jones teaches Clayton Masters some of the finer points of putting down mortar on CMU’s. Clayton has a bit to go to make apprentice mason!
April 16, 2009 -
When you want to learn construction methods you need to be taught by the best. Here Clayton Masters is with Scherrer Construction Job Superintendent Fred Lininger. Fred is a familiar face at Kinetic; he was the job superintendent for our 1985 plant addition, our 1994 plant addition, along with numerous remodeling projects and machine base constructions, plus with projects too numerous to mention at Joseph Masters' farm and Cash Masters' home.
Fred was planning on retiring in June of 2008 until Joseph Masters said that he would like Fred to postpone his retirement until after our addition was build. Fred and Joseph work well together and Kinetic was happy that Fred agreed to postpone his retirement to supervise this plant addition.
According to Scherrer Executive Vice-President Jerry Scherrer: "Fred started working for Scherrer in 1967. His brother Dave began work for us in 1966 as a superintendent. Fred's son is also working for Scherrer as a superintendent. Fred's father had a small construction company and the family grew up in the construction business.
"Fred became my right hand man when we were working together on a project at Nestle Chocolates in Burlington, WI. He became a job superintendent when Scherrer was doing a job for Gander Mountain in Wilmot, WI.
"He has been my right hand man ever since and I am having second thoughts about letting him retire and making me go back to work!
"Fred is a valued and trusted employee."
Clayton: you are learning from the best! Take notes and listen well.
April 23, 2009 – All that remains on the north wall is to complete the bond beam and do some clean up work. The east wall is also almost complete. If it stops raining the masons will soon finish the south wall. While April showers bring May flowers the rain also prevents the masons from working.
April 29, 2009 -
Against a grey sky the factory air conditioners are lifted and positioned in place.
May 4, 2009
- The Scherrer masons lifting concrete into place to fill in the bond beam on the south wall.
May 5, 2009 -
The interior south wall is almost complete; only 2 wall sections to go! Then just several exterior sections until the masonry work is complete
May 7, 2009 -
Looking towards our offices along the completed north wall of our factory addition.
May 12, 2009 -
Nick Martorano from PieperPower is busy putting up conduit and pulling wire in the ceiling area. He has a lot more to pull before his job is done!
May 14, 2009 -
All that remains is the fascia, paint, and landscaping and our new addition is ready.
May 15, 2009 Scherrer carpenter Bruce Brenner
is finishing up the blocking behind the fascia. The exterior is nearing completion.
May 21, 2009 - Kinetic's 400S Mattison Grinder is getting a proper base. Here Scherrer cement finishers are pouring the base for this huge grinder. Just how much concrete was used for the base? 25-1/2 yards [19.4 cubic meters] weighing approximately 84,150 pounds [31,408 kilos]. This 3 foot [.91 meter] thick base will ensure the stability of our Mattison 400S grinder; our customers will appreciate its ability to hold tight tolerances and give a good finish.
May 22, 2009 - It's not exactly the same as when the Berlin Wall was torn down in 1989 but today the wall between our 1975 plant and our 2008 addition came down giving us a large doorway between the two buildings. Our employees are looking forward to working in the new addition and now can look though the doorway and watch the progress of the construction.
May 29, 2009 - Things are moving quickly on the south wall. While the sheet metal worker is putting up the fascia the painters are right behind him giving the wall a second coat of paint
June 3, 2009 - Work continues inside the plant as the first coat of block filler is applied to the north interior wall. The very large pipe mid-wall between the floor and crane rail is a 3 inch [76mm] compressed air pipe which circles the building to provide compressed air to both the machines and machine operators.
June 4, 2009 - The north face of the plant is starting to get finished; and we are very proud of the many compliments we are receiving from our Greendale neighbors about what how nice our expansion looks and is for the community.
June 4, 2009 - In the rear of the building we are adding a 6000 square foot [560 square meter] concrete storage area. We will need this area to store steel awaiting processing.
June 6, 2009 - The Scherrer crew is getting the 8 inch [200mm] steel bollards ready for installation at the south garage door stoop. Concrete finisher Scott Bower is making sure that the Bollard is plumb. It is too late to make corrections after it is filled with concrete and with its base several feet into concrete!
June 10, 2009 - Scherrer job superintendent Fred Lininger has the honor of removing the Kinetic sign that has been on the face of our building since 1975. Prior to that it was on our shop in Milwaukee. Fred is treating the letters with kid gloves as he knows that Kinetic Vice President of Operations Cash Masters will be putting them into storage so that they can be used on our next addition.
June 12, 2009 - Our outside concrete storage area is getting finalized. The rebar has been laid and today the cement finishers are pouring and finishing the slab so we will have a large area to store steel awaiting production.
June 23, 2009 - A heavy duty industrial floor requires a lot of rebar for strength. Our floor has a double layer of #4 rebar; the rebar will strengthen our 8 inch [203mm] concrete floor.
June 23, 2009 - When we built our 1992 office addition we used what was known as phenolic insulation; unfortunately just after it was installed the roofing industry learned of its problems. What happened is that the phenolic insulation caused a degrading of the steel decking weakening it and causing leaks. It got to the point at Kinetic that a decision was made to remove the rubber membrane and phenolic insulation and replace it. The problem is on a flat rubber membrane roof you have round stones serving as ballast which have to be removed first. How do you do that? Use a big vacuum cleaner! It sucks up 2 inch [50mm] round stones just like your home vacuum cleaner - only a lot noisier.
June 24, 2009 - The finishing touches begin arriving as trees and shrubs are installed in the front of the addition.
June 25, 2009 - The east ½ of our floor is becoming a reality. But the Scherrer cement finishers have a hard job made worse by 90°F [32°C] ambient temperature with extremely high humidity. They poured 14 loads of concrete and earned every penny of their pay.
June 25, 2009 - Once the concrete is in place the job of finishing begins. Along the walls and in corners the concrete finishers work as they have for years; on their knees using hand trowels. But when finishing large spaces today's concrete finisher relies on a "ride on concrete power trowel". Here Scherrer concrete finisher Lee Kirkham is riding the power trowel smoothing out the floor ensuring a good hard finish. For those with experience finishing concrete when you start getting a deep brown color you know that the job of finishing the floor is being done correctly.
June 30, 2009 - The rod-busters are working hard to install balance of the #4 rebar needed on the west end of our shop. These guys have a permanent backache as most of their work is done bending over tying the rebar in place.
July 1, 2009 - There is an expression in the concrete business that "time and concrete wait for no man" and the concrete finishers from Scherrer learned that expression years ago. Using a combination of tools and brawn they are getting the concrete floor set up for the "ride on concrete trowel" to finish the floor to our exacting requirements.
July 1, 2009 - While the concrete finishers are hard at work inside finishing the floor our landscaper is working on adding some bushes, shrubs, and trees to eliminate the mess made by our construction project and make the front of our new factory an attractive addition to the Village of Greendale.
July 13, 2009 - Our old sign was only removed June 10th but that is too long for our building to be without identification. Working with our good friends at Poblocki Signs, who made our original sign for our Milwaukee plant, we had a new sign ready and waiting for installation. We have already gotten numerous comments for how this sign tastefully identifies our plant.
July 13, 2009 - On July 23rd we showed the start of the roof remediation project caused by the use of phenolic insulation. In case you have phenolic insulation and are concerned about its effect on your roof deck here is a good example. The damage to our roof deck was disastrous and without question because of the rusting the integrity of the roof deck was in question. If you have phenolic insulation on your roof use this as an example to immediately remove it and take the established protocol to correct the problem. If you would like to see additional photos of this project please email
and he will be happy to forward you a CD showing the complete amount of phenolic insulation damage to our roof.
July 16, 2009 - The front exterior finishing touches continue as the landscapers start adding sod around the new shrubs and bushes.
July 21, 2009 - It only took 39 years but with some help from Poblocki Signs we finally got our address posted. Just don't ask why the address sign of 6775 West Loomis Road is located on South 68th Street; that is too long of a story to tell here. The sign needs a little cleaning up around it, sod added, electricity brought to it for night time illumination and it will be ready - finally!
July 28, 2009 - After 39 years our guests will finally get to drive up to our reception area. It was a hot afternoon but the asphalt pavers from Black Diamond are used to these working conditions and our visitors finally have their own parking area.
August 3, 2009 - When you lay sod on a hot muggy August day in Wisconsin you have to turn the irrigation immediately or the sod will go bad. We increased the size of our irrigation system to take care of our larger "front yard".
August 7, 2009 - Pieper Electric has gotten the high bay fluorescent lamps installed and energized. Our employees are all commenting about how good the light is in the new addition and how they will like working in it.
August 20, 2009 - We turned on the lights and had everyone in Greendale talking about how attractive the exterior lighting and KINETIC sign makes our new addition look. When we saw the final exterior lightening effect all we could say is: "this looks better than we thought!" And we had our employees saying how proud they felt when friends complimented them on working at a company that cares about how it looks to Greendale and the world.
September 11, 2009 - It isn't the end but it is the beginning of the end. Our two 15 ton [13,600kg] cranes are being installed and it required a mobile crane in the middle and two riggers at each end "trying" to drop the crane wheels on the crane rails. The most common heard expression was: "how come we didn't call for more clear space to install this sucker."
September 11, 2009 - This rigger earned his pay wrestling the crane end to a position where he was able to drop the crane wheels on the crane rails. And yes there were many "expletives deleted" in accomplishing his task. But the cranes were installed in good order.
September 18, 2009 - Just because the sign on the crane says 15 ton [13,600kg] Kinetic VP of Operations Cash Masters is a "show me" type of guy. So he had the cranes tested and ran them to a 37,500 lbs [17,000kg] load which is 125% of guaranteed load. The cranes passed the test and the structural steel didn't make any funny noises so we are comfortable that Kinetic's new building and cranes are ready to go to work.
September 21, 2009 - There is an old opera expression that "it ain't over till the fat lady sings". When an industrial building in the United States has an overhead crane "it ain't finished" until you proudly hang the American flag on the cranes. Our flags remind everyone at Kinetic that every shipment from our Greendale plant, whether going across the state or across the ocean, proudly has a sticker on it that says: "Made in America". We are now starting to bring equipment into our "2008 addition". We hope you have enjoyed watching Kinetic transform a green field into a building which is an addition to the most modern and advanced factory in the world for the manufacturing of industrial knives. We enjoyed designing and building it.