Staff writer, covers manufacturing, automation and agribusiness. Twitter: @MitchSGalloway
Anderson Technologies readies itself for Industry 4.0 technology
GRAND HAVEN — By investing in three new injection molding machines in 2018, Anderson Technologies Inc. is betting that Industry 4.0 technologies will counter the effects of a shrinking workforce locally and nationally.
Writing on the Wall? West Michigan auto suppliers react to expected slowdown
With 2018 shaping up as slower than expected for the automotive supply chain, West Michigan-based tool and die makers are embracing diversification to counter the cyclical industry.
Aiming Small? Orchard Creek Capital’s deal for Classic Die signals downmarket trend for private equity firm
GRAND RAPIDS — For its first acquisition, Northville-based Orchard Creek Capital LLC targeted an investment in an established, family-owned manufacturing company.
West Michigan manufacturers must plan ahead to avoid automation missteps, experts say
While many companies adopt automation to improve factory efficiency and equipment uptime, some West Michigan-based experts warn that improperly implemented technology can cost businesses in the long run.
Waiting Game: West Michigan defense suppliers wrestle with security clearance delays
WALKER — The federal government’s move to protect potential breaches in its supply chain is having an adverse effect for defense manufacturers in West Michigan and beyond.
‘Farming Revolution:’ Producer finishes first aquaponics harvest, advocates for more locally-grown food
CALEDONIA — As consumers’ interests shift to a more locally-focused food supply chain, companies like Revolution Farms LLC hope to change how that food is grown.
Proos Manufacturing acquired by company employee, plans to expand existing facility
GRAND RAPIDS — Proos Manufacturing Inc. has come under new ownership.
Magna Mirrors to invest $45M in Newaygo expansion
NEWAYGO — A West Michigan Tier I automotive supplier is investing $45 million into a 175,000-square-foot facility expansion designed to improve workflow and efficiency.
For manufacturers, raising wages, offering education no silver bullet to talent constraints
Manufacturers are pulling out all the stops in an attempt to build a pipeline of talent for the future.
West Michigan manufacturers accept risk by embracing new technology
COOPERSVILLE — Manufacturers used to years-long product cycles have been hesitant to embrace the frenetic pace of change that comes with the adoption of cutting-edge technologies on their factory floors.
Fox Motors to purchase pair of Grand Rapids-area dealerships
A West Michigan car dealership group plans to acquire a pair of stores located a mile apart on Plainfield Avenue north of Grand Rapids.
Lacks Enterprises acquires Kansas-based composite wheel manufacturer
A Grand Rapids-based automotive supplier has acquired Emergent Carbon Wheels, a Kansas City, Kan.-based manufacturer of carbon fiber composite wheels.
Yanfeng Automotive Interiors to relocate HQ from Holland to Southeast Michigan
Automotive supplier Yanfeng Automotive Interiors has permanently laid off 55 West Michigan employees as it plans to relocate its North American headquarters to Novi.
Q&A: Steve Kluting, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
National director of product recall for food and agribusiness, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Transparency drives results for Helminski, Auxo Investment Partners
The “secret sauce” that separates Auxo Investment Partners from other private equity firms comes down to hard work.
Deal for Lectro breathes new life into Midwest Timer
Faced with an industry sea change and the loss of a major customer, Benton Harbor-based Midwest Timer Services Inc. needed to take action to remain a growing business.
Quebec fruit beverage maker expands with deal for Old Orchard Brands
Acquiring Sparta-based Old Orchard Brands LLC in April allowed a Canadian beverage company to add a modern plant in Michigan to better access the Midwestern market.
Bucking the Trend: West Michigan leaders focus on career pathways for students
As more high school students eschew enrolling in college, West Michigan technical centers and higher education institutions are searching for ways to push them to different career pathways.
Chicago-based investment firm purchases Lakeshore Fittings facility
A Chicago-based investment firm has purchased a more than 90,000-square-foot industrial property in Ottawa County.
Optimism or Pessimism? Manufacturing execs express ‘caution’ for rest of 2018
As supply chains adjust to new realities in international trade, West Michigan manufacturers are entering the final months of 2018 with “caution.”
PE firm Auxo acquires SE Michigan stamping manufacturer
Private equity firm Auxo Investment Partners has completed its fifth acquisition in 13 months with a deal for a Warren-based stamping manufacturer.
Structural Concepts acquired by Milwaukee-based private equity firm
A Milwaukee-based private equity firm has acquired Structural Concepts Corp., a manufacturer of refrigerated display cases in Muskegon County.
Silicon Valley-based Arcanum Alloys to move operations to West Michigan
A Silicon Valley startup is relocating its operations to Kent County.
ZFS nears opening date for new Ithaca processing plant
Despite construction being “slightly behind” schedule, Zeeland Farm Services Inc. expects full operation of its new Ithaca soybean processing facility to come online in September 2019, according to President Cliff Meeuwsen.
Q&A: Christina Keller: President and CEO, Cascade Engineering
Cascade Engineering Inc. has tapped Christina Keller, daughter of founder and chair Fred Keller, to lead the family-owned plastic-injection molding manufacturer.
Smart Vision Lights plans new Norton Shores plant
Amid exponential growth, LED manufacturer Smart Vision Lights LLC plans to invest more than $3 million into a new site in Norton Shores.
Office furniture manufacturers weigh options in wake of tariffs
As the U.S. wades deeper into a trade war with countries including China, West Michigan-based office furniture manufacturers have been forced to raise prices and re-evaluate their supply chains to mitigate risks.
Growing Up: Food processors play ‘significant role’ in West Michigan economy
West Michigan’s growing food processing industry continues to develop, spurred on by the region’s strong agricultural supply chain, access to water and sufficient infrastructure capacity.
Amway to close two plants in Ada
Direct-selling giant Amway Corp. plans to close two plants in West Michigan as part of a restructuring of its manufacturing operations, MiBiz has learned.
West Michigan Whitecaps owners acquire Traverse City Beach Bums
An independent baseball team from Traverse City has sold to the ownership group of the West Michigan Whitecaps, the Detroit Tigers’ Class-A affiliate.