Milwaukee Mechanics Tools — New Ratchets, Sockets, and Breaker Bars


Milwaukee’s New Ratchet Set, Sockets and Breaker Bar: A Brief History

In the late 1960s, when Milwaukee was still known as a small manufacturer of furniture parts, it had no intention to become a maker of household appliances. However, with the advent of television advertising in 1969, Milwaukee began making its own kitchen appliances such as coffee makers and microwaves. These products were sold under various brand names including “Microwave Oven,” “Coffee Maker” and “Microwave.” By 1980, Milwaukee was selling over $1 billion worth of appliances annually.

The company’s growth continued through the 1990s. In 1997, Milwaukee acquired the appliance division of General Electric (GE) for $3.5 billion dollars. Since then, Milwaukee has been expanding into other areas such as automobiles and medical equipment. Today, Milwaukee manufactures more than 500 different products worldwide and generates revenues exceeding $6 billion dollars annually.

Milwaukee’s New Ratchet Set, Sockets and Breaker Bar: A Brief History

While the company’s success has allowed it to expand rapidly, there have been some challenges along the way. One of these problems was finding qualified employees. To meet this need, Milwaukee hired a number of former GE engineers and technicians in order to increase their workforce. Unfortunately, many of them left after only a few months because they found the work environment at Milwaukee too stressful. The company’s success also attracted the attention of organized labor.

Over the next few years, a series of bitter strikes crippled production and instilled fear among some workers.

However, by 2001, the company had recovered from these problems and continued to thrive. In fact, its success prompted several mergers and acquisitions in the early 2000s. For example, in 2001, Milwaukee merged with Group Industries, Inc. and acquired the Gardner Denver Company for $1.5 billion.

These mergers gave the company a dominant position in the North American market for pumps and compressors.

In 2003, the company acquired the assets of the Carrier Corporation’s evaporative cooling division for $900 million dollars. This deal gave the company a decade head start over its closest rival in the production of high-efficiency “swamp” coolers. In 2006, the company acquired the division of a small company called Envira-Cool that manufactured a high-efficiency “direct expansion” cooling system. This acquisition enabled the company to dominate the lucrative market for high-end ice rinks and meat lockers.

Later that same year, the company purchased several manufacturing assets from the bankrupt Vitro Company, including the naming rights of the famous Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. After an extensive renovation, the facility was renamed the “Milwaukee Events Center.”

These mergers and acquisitions have provided the company with a diverse and flexible workforce. In fact, the company’s only current challenge is finding enough skilled workers to fill all of its job openings. To overcome this potential problem, the company plans on recruiting at colleges and technical schools in the near future.

A Brief Note About Product Recalls

One problem that the company has had to deal with is the multitude of product recalls. In these cases, the products in question were either defective or hazardous to the user. These types of recalls are a fairly common occurrence in today’s marketplace and most companies have their own strategies for dealing with them.

Milwaukee Mechanics Tools — New Ratchets, Sockets, and Breaker Bars - Image

However, in some of these cases, the recalls were handled in an extremely inefficient manner. In others, the products were recalled too late.

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