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Caterpillar to consolidate operations at plants in South Milwaukee, Aurora, Illinois

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SOUTH MILWAUKEE (WITI) — In an effort to optimize operations and drive efficiencies, Caterpillar Inc. has announced that it will transform its facilities in Aurora, Illinois, and South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to better position each for long-term success.

In Aurora, the company plans to consolidate its current operations by reducing more than one million square feet of manufacturing space and eliminating the use of one of the largest buildings on the Aurora campus. Aurora will continue to produce large and medium wheel loaders, compactors, and wheel dozers, as well as powertrain and tube components associated with those products.

In South Milwaukee, where the company makes electric rope shovels, hydraulic mining shovels and draglines, the company plans to redesign and retool the facility, removing the need for more than 260,000 square feet of production space in its manufacturing footprint.

“We continue to evaluate our operations for efficiency, to lower cost and to improve competitiveness. This decision allows us to more competitively position the products produced on these campuses, and it provides employees in these facilities clarity around our long-term plans for maintaining production,” said Ed Rapp, Caterpillar group president with responsibility for Resource Industries. “The significant reduction of floor space will enable us to increase efficiencies by updating our tooling and reducing material flow through the installation of single stream manufacturing concepts. In turn, we will be able to better optimize both of these locations. We are proud of our employees and the quality products they safely produce for our customers every day, and believe this decision will help better prepare us for the long term.”

The consolidation at each location will begin immediately.