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Universal AET

Taking Quieter Industrial Machinery to a Global Market

Founded in 1959, Stoughton-based Universal AET specializes in designing and manufacturing equipment that quiets or muffles loud industrial machinery in various industries, including oil and gas, energy and aerospace. The company changed ownership a few times throughout the years before being acquired by manufacturing giant Cummins in 1998. Since Cummins was already a household name, Universal AET was able to grow its business and customer base by leveraging the existing presence of the Cummins brand all over the globe. A few years later, in 2007, Universal AET split off to become the privately held company it is today, and continued to expand its exporting program worldwide.

Building Upon an Existing Exporting Foundation

By building upon the existing global strategy of Cummins, Universal AET looked to many European and Asian markets, including India, when beginning to expand its products’ international presence. A majority of the company’s Indian operations include the manufacturing processes that allow its equipment to be shipped for sale to other destinations across Europe and Asia. In addition, Universal AET has an office located in India for sales within the country. After cultivating strong business relationships in those areas, the company’s export strategy evolved to focus on additional locations where its largest customers already sold to or had facilities overseas. Universal AET was then able to establish a presence in these markets to make distribution more cost and energy efficient. The company further refined its export strategy by tapping into the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC’s) resources and expertise. Universal AET joined WEDC on trade ventures to Canada and Mexico, and also worked with the organization on applying for tax credits and an International Market Access Grant (IMAG), which provides reimbursement for exhibiting at a trade show, participating in foreign business matchmaking services or taking part in a trade mission. After making the most of WEDC’s offerings, the company now exports to more than 40 countries, and is always looking for new opportunities to remain cost-effective for its customers.

(September 2016)

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