Oldenburg awarded $40 million in contracts

KINGSFORD – Oldenburg Group Inc. has been awarded more than $40 million in new defense contracts to provide equipment for U.S. Navy ships.

The equipment manufactured by Oldenburg for these orders includes mooring devices, aircraft elevator systems, boat handling equipment, cargo elevators, cranes and bulkhead closure systems.

These new orders add to Oldenburg Group’s existing major contracts for the Navy’s Destroyer, Amphibious, Littoral Combat and Aircraft Carrier classes. Oldenburg manufactures equipment for all of the Navy’s major supply and combatant ship building programs.

In the Navy’s 2014 proposed budget, there is a provision for 31 new surface ships to be constructed over the next five years. Oldenburg Group is the incumbent supplier of a variety of major equipment on every one of those ships.

An example of some of the products just ordered is the stern ramp, which is a bi-folding ramp that extends to about 75 feet long and 17 feet wide. It is designed to be folded as part of the stern of the ship when underway.

When the ship is stationary, the ramp deploys to allow military vehicles, from small trucks to large combat tanks, to embark and disembark on the Joint High Speed Vessel. The ramp has the unique capability to turn 45 degrees so it can work alongside a pier or with a platform directly behind the ship.

The Joint High Speed Vessel is a high speed catamaran whose mission is to quickly carry cargo, personnel, and vehicles long distances.

Oldenburg Group designed and built the first stern ramp and received follow-on orders. With the latest award, it now has a total of 10 shipsets under contract.

Austal USA builds the Joint High Speed Vessels. The Navy plans to order a total of 20 of these vessels.

Oldenburg has also designed and is now manufacturing a significant amount of the major equipment for the Littoral Combat Ships being built by Marinette Marine in Wisconsin and by Austal USA in Alabama.

The Navy has already released 14 of these ships for manufacture and plans to build 55 in total.

“Despite the challenging economic environment for defense contractors, Oldenburg Group continues to build up a record defense backlog,” said Wayne Oldenburg, founder and CEO of Oldenburg Group. “As these programs move through design and manufacturing, we will need to recruit additional skilled manufacturing, engineering and administrative personnel in our engineering and manufacturing facilities located in Milwaukee and Rhinelander, Wis. and in Iron River, Kingsford and Ontonagon, Mich.”

Another factor driving Oldenburg Group’s growth is the continuing expansion in the international markets for its underground mining machinery. Recent additions to its distribution network in Peru and a fourth location in Mexico will increase sales in these rapidly growing mining markets.

One of Oldenburg’s competitive advantages is its recent development and introduction of new technologies that permit its heavy mining vehicles and equipment to operate on battery power. This eliminates or minimizes the sound and exhaust issues experienced by underground miners that raise health concerns and are being increasingly regulated by governments.

Oldenburg Group Inc. is a Milwaukee-based supplier of performance-engineered products used in defense, mining, energy and architectural lighting industries worldwide.

Founded in 1981 by Wayne C. Oldenburg, Oldenburg Group’s manufacturing, engineering, and distribution facilities are located in Wisconsin, Michigan, Virginia, New Hampshire, Mexico and South America. Its technology center in Kingsford provides engineering and human resources support.