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BIS Automation is quick to provide special parts

DE PERE – When the U. S. Coast Guard has a problem with a bow thruster on one of its cutters, it calls BIS Automation of De Pere.

It’s not alone.  Companies around the world look to BIS to design or fix the electronics that make their machines work.

“When they are down, they need the parts now.  They don’t care what it costs,” said Phil White, vice president of operations.  “That’s where we excel.  A lot of people don’t want to do that.”

BIS Automation, formerly Beemster Integrated Solutions, is a spin-off of Beemster Electric Inc., which still operates on Broadway in downtown Green Bay.  Beemster Electric was sold to a group of employees while the principals in the company stayed with BIS, which recently moved to 1725 Suburban Drive in the De Pere Industrial Park.

White said the company has about $10 million in annual sales, working in both the government and private sectors.

“We are growing.  We are really pushing for government work,” he said.

BIS has achieved Central Contractor Registration, which allows it do business with U. S. government agencies, including the Coast Guard, the Navy and NASA.

The company is well established in the private sector:


“The film and foil  industry has really taken off.

Paper is kind of steady.  Although we don’t do as much as we used to with that,”  White said.

BIS – and Beemster before it – has been “forever serving the paper and automotive industries,” he said.

The company works closely with original equipment manufacturers, such as Paper Converting Machine Co.

“We are the arm of support for their parts,” he said.  “We design custom (systems) for them that no one else carried.”

BIS has also acquired lines of work from other companies and picked up experienced engineers in the deal.  That experience, both home-grown and acquired, is in demand, White said. , because control systems, by their sheer number; provide a lot of maintenance work.

“One of our guys, Ray Susnik people from all over the world call and ask for him specifically,”  White said.

In addition to its staff, BIS contracts with engineers in other parts of the country to extend its reach.

White said the current business model is “out-of-the box” drive systems, a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t fit all.

“Anybody who wants a custom system has to find someone like us,” White said.

White said there are a few big players in the system integration and design industry, but not a lot, leaving room for Beemster to carve its niche.

The move to the former De Pere Machine Corp. building allowed BIS to consolidate and better organize its operations and storage, though overall it’s not bigger than the downtown Green Bay site.

Beemster Electric was founded by Henry Beemster. 

He was fascinated by electricity and was continually experimenting and inventing. 

White said Beemster, who died in 1986, worked on the Hoover Dam, designed a high-efficiency motor still in use today and drew up plans for heating the turf at Lambeau Field, among many other projects.

John White, Phil White’s father, joined Beemster in 1956, and bought the company in 1988.  The White family and Gerry Nelson are the current owners.

“He (John) really pushed the industrial more than the contracting side of the business,” White said.


BIS Automation

Address: 1725 Suburban Drive, De Pere

President : Gerry Nelson

Products and Services : control systems design and engineering, sales and service

Employees: 16 full , 4 part time

Founded : 1923

Telephone : (920) 337-9900

             Green Bay Press Gazette

‘We are growing.  We are really pushing for government work’

Contact BIS Automation @ 800-504-5982 Serving Industry for over 85 Years
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