Broadwind Crane

MANITOWOC — After nearly 210,000 votes over multiple rounds, the 140 Ton Navy Crane from Broadwind Heavy Fabrications in Manitowoc was crowned the winner of the 2021 Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.

Nearly 70,000 votes were cast in the final round of the contest, hosted for the sixth year by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and Johnson Financial Group.

Other finalists included: Caterpillar Global Mining in South Milwaukee, Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac, and Kwik Trip in La Crosse. The winner was announced at the annual WMC Business Day held at the Ingleside Hotel in Pewaukee on Thursday.

“Wisconsin has a diverse and robust manufacturing industry as demonstrated by the products nominated for this year’s program,” said WMC President & CEO Kurt Bauer. “We are proud to once again highlight not only the cool things we make in Wisconsin, but the rewarding careers available in the industry.”

The Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin Contest was created to recognize the contribution manufacturers bring to the state’s economy and local communities. Roughly 8,000 manufacturers employ nearly 500,000 people in Wisconsin – or one in six workers. The winner is announced each year in October, which is Manufacturing Month.

Since its inception in 2016, nearly one million votes have been cast to determine the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.

Broadwind Heavy Fabrications President Dan Schueller said the company was "extremely honored" to have won the contest, noting the contribution of the company's Wisconsin-based suppliers and partner customer Konecranes.

“We appreciate WMC and Johnson Financial Group sponsoring this contest and the excitement it brought to all of the participating companies," Schueller said. "We look forward to participating in future contests because we believe what we manufacture in Manitowoc is essential to the Wisconsin and American economy.”  

About the winner: 

The 140 Ton Navy Crane was engineered, fabricated, machined, painted, assembled, tested, and delivered by the Broadwind Heavy Fabrications and Konecranes partnership. This 2.7 million pound crane shipped on Memorial Day weekend by barge, to Portsmouth, NH. About 5,000-6,000 Wisconsin residents watched the crane depart the Manitowoc River and enter into Lake Michigan to start its 2,100 mile journey through the Great Lakes Waterway and into the Atlantic.