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After a career in the automotive supply chain, Rich Achtenberg saw an unfilled niche for an integrated metals manufacturer in West Michigan.

The state’s senior automotive adviser has one simple request for industry and supply chain executives: “Bring a buddy back.”

One West Michigan institution is taking advantage of the growing aerospace industry to offer specialized training for engineers.

Gentex Corp. plans to look outside of the automotive industry for opportunities for its HomeLink technology.

Ineffective hiring processes can derail growth for even the best-managed companies.

Office furniture index remains strong

Written by | Thursday, 31 July 2014 12:01 |

Quarterly survey data indicates the office furniture remains in growth mode and executives feel good about business prospects in the near term.

Autocam brand to live on after acquisition

Written by | Wednesday, 23 July 2014 20:42 |

While Autocam Corp. will be acquired by a Tennessee-based public company in a deal that was announced in July, the automotive supplier does not expect the sale to have much impact on its West Michigan operations. 

Grand Rapids-based Autocam Corp. is being acquired by NN Inc. of Johnson City, Tenn. for $244.5 million in cash, $25 million in stock and the assumption of $30.5 million in debt, according to a statement.

Automotive pundits have already started to discuss where the industry is in its cycle and to guess when annual vehicle sales in the U.S. will crest and begin to decline.

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.

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