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An investment in technology helped one West Michigan manufacturer cut down production times and increase product quality — a move that’s helped it carve a niche in high-end precision machining.

The automotive supplier of door handles and mirrors worked with the Zero Waste to Landfill User Group to gain outside insight on recycling its scrap plastic materials and has increased production quality as a result. Relationships made with other members allowed ADAC to tour other facilities and explore new options for its internal recycling program.

As more local companies look to drive profitability with Zero Waste to Landfill (ZWL) programs, many are finding the road to recycling ROI paved with troublesome materials.

A senior executive at the private equity-backed company that bought a piece of Johnson Controls Inc.’s automotive interiors business in June says it plans to invest at its base of operations in West Michigan.

Reaching for overdrive

Written by | Sunday, 06 July 2014 22:00 |

A revised IHS Automotive production forecast for 2014 suggests automotive suppliers could see more orders than originally expected.

Kent County’s most prevalent manufacturing industries are poised for stagnant employment growth over the next six years.

By investing in new products during tough times and engaging in succession planning well ahead of executive transitions, Nucraft Furniture Co. has made continuity a key priority of its business.

Q&A: John Viera, Ford Motor Co.

Written by | Sunday, 06 July 2014 22:00 |

For seven years, John Viera has worked to translate environmental and social sustainability practices into bottom line impacts at Ford Motor Co. As the automaker looks to spread its best sustainable business practices beyond its operations, companies in the automotive supply chain have been the beneficiary of Ford’s decades of research and institutional knowledge, he said. After a recent presentation to the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, Viera spoke with MiBiz about the impact of Ford’s sustainability practices across the supply chain and the future of sustainability in the automotive industry.

Executives at Steelcase Inc. and Herman Miller Inc. expect the office industry to grow through the rest of 2014, although they don’t see a significant increase in business after a slow start to the year.

As the office furniture sector heads toward midyear, executives say sales have begun to trend upward as an updated industry outlook still forecasts stronger growth ahead in 2015.

Given stagnant domestic growth, one West Michigan manufacturer plans to capitalize on export incentive programs as it looks to increase its business in the European market.

The Korean automotive supply base is taking a familiar approach to growing in the North American market.

Manufacturers in Battle Creek have new reasons to consider tapping into the Regional Manufacturing Technology Center when trying to hire new workers or developing skilled talent from within their organizations.

A little known tax credit can result in big savings for manufacturers that generate revenue from exporting.

For Grand Rapids-based coating applicator The DECC Company Inc., a strong focus on industry diversification and building a flexible corporate culture has positioned the 50-year-old contract manufacturer on a platform for growth.

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