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Manufacturing (395)

The automotive industry is a natural environment for the adoption of automation, given the repetitive manufacturing and assembly process, high volumes, unwieldy components and other factors.

Long-time manufacturing executive Mark Allen learned firsthand that patience remains a key virtue for anyone looking to acquire a business.

Last year, John Essex confronted a decision he had never seriously considered at any other point in his career. Faced with scaling up his business to meet growing customer demand, the CEO of Muskegon-based Port City Group needed to invest millions of dollars in expanding the manufacturer’s capacity to make aluminum and zinc die castings, mechanical assemblies and injection-molded plastic parts.

Amid a period of intense volatility in the consolidating global drug industry, one Grand Rapids-based manufacturer of sterile injectable products has capitalized on the pharmaceutical sector’s push to outsource production to control costs.

West Michigan manufacturers need to identify new ways of processing hard-to-recycle materials so they can avoid sending the waste to a landfill.

While the economy — and the office furniture industry’s recovery — could always be doing better, executives say the industry is finally positioned for a period of stability.

As more companies focus on the sustainability of their operations, one Grand Rapids-based specialty chemical manufacturer has expanded its portfolio of environmentally friendly products to meet customers’ demand.

Manufacturing executives in West Michigan and nationwide worry that their computer networks could fall victim to security breaches similar to those that have plagued the retail sector in recent months.

Just as physical walls have come down in office spaces in recent years, so too have the informal barriers that have long prevented workplaces from being fun environments.

CHICAGO — Employee wellness initiatives are changing the way corporate America makes decisions about office furniture.

The concept of the open office with a mix of desks, couches, benches and recreational activities is making its way from nimble startups to the highest levels of corporate America. Walls and private offices are being replaced with long benches and sit-to-stand desks, as well as private areas where employees can get away to focus. These trends were on full display this week in Chicago at NeoCon trade show.

One West Michigan manufacturer of overhead crane systems wants to drive future growth by expanding its service offerings.

As new car sales continue to grow, automakers and their suppliers have shifted into investment mode to meet increasing production schedules, lifting their self-imposed moratorium on increasing capacity in the post-recession era.

As many Michigan employers continue to struggle to find the talent they need to operate their businesses, Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced the initial round of appointments to the board of directors for the state’s new Talent Investment Agency (TIA). Kenyatta Brame, executive vice president at Grand Rapids-based Cascade Engineering Inc., is among the handful of business executives, educators and professionals from across the state who were appointed to serve on the board. Brame spoke with MiBiz shortly after his appointment to discuss strategies the state can implement to more effectively recruit and retain the talent that Michigan companies need to grow.

It is not unusual for companies to find themselves wondering from time to time just how big of a market a given component has.

As global equipment manufacturers jockey to supply the $19.6 billion craft brewing industry, one West Michigan entrepreneur has positioned his company to serve amateur brewers who make beer in their garages and basements.

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