MADISON, WI—A water dispenser made by contract manufacturer Plexus Corp. at its factory in Appleton, WI, was recently named the “Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.” It’s the second year in a row that an assembly plant in this city south of Green Bay has received the distinction.

In 2022, an electric fire truck made by Pierce Manufacturing Inc. won the accolade, which is sponsored by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), a combined state chamber and manufacturers association, and the Johnson Financial Group.

The Bevi Bottleless Water Dispenser is a touchless device marketed by Bevi, a company based in Charlestown, MA. It provides on-demand filtered, flavored and sparkling water.

“The Bevi Bottleless Water Dispenser combines sustainability and innovation to vastly reduce the carbon footprint of its end users, embodying our vision to help create the products that build a better world,” says Todd Kelsey, CEO of Plexus. “This product, manufactured at our facility in Appleton, is representative of our global team’s dedication and commitment in bringing that vision to life."

More than 100 products made in the Dairy State were nominated for the 2023 contest, representing dozens of manufacturing subsectors and each corner of the state. After an initial popular vote round and a bracket-style tournament known as “Manufacturing Madness,” four finalists competed for the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin trophy. More than 187,000 votes were cast to determine the ultimate winner.

“The Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest continues to showcase the best of Wisconsin manufacturing,” says Kurt Bauer, president and CEO of WMC. “Not only do our manufacturers produce a wide variety of products used all over the world, they provide high-paying jobs, invest in their communities and bolster our state’s economy.”