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BYRON CENTER — An Italian manufacturer of plastic injection molding components expects to capitalize on the growing market for lightweight composite materials as it begins production at its new North American headquarters.

GRAND RAPIDS — As the automotive industry continues to grow and becomes more globalized, suppliers will face a steady increase in vehicle production volumes and new product launches.

GREENVILLE — When Chinese auto supplier Citic Dicastal Co. Ltd. said last year that it would convert the former United Solar Ovonic LLC campus in Greenville into its North American headquarters, officials in the Montcalm County community breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Staying on top of new technology advancements is important to automotive suppliers in two ways: to detect potential threats to the business, and to be on the lookout for opportunities to gain a competitive advantage.

HOLLAND — Like many manufacturers of luxury products, S2 Yachts Inc. didn’t sell all that many of its high-end vessels during the recession years as consumers pulled back on their discretionary spending.

For the first time in company history, Japan-based DENSO Corp. has tapped a Michigan native to lead its operations in Battle Creek. Andris Staltmanis joined the company in processing engineering in 1986, the year it opened its facility in Battle Creek. Since then, he has worked his way through the ranks, rising through management roles to become president of the company’s Arkansas operation three years ago.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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