Mitch Galloway

Mitch Galloway

Staff writer, covers manufacturing, automation and agribusiness. Twitter: @MitchSGalloway

Saturday, 21 July 2018 11:02

Betz Industries to add machining capabilities with new facility

WALKER — Citing increased demand from its automotive customer base, Betz Industries Inc. wants to expand its manufacturing capabilities at its sprawling West Michigan campus.

Saturday, 21 July 2018 10:48

Manufacturers invest in cybersecurity to protect intellectual property

By making a significant investment in cybersecurity, West Michigan manufacturers can avoid having their sensitive information getting into the wrong hands. 

Friday, 20 July 2018 17:34

STAYING PUT: Tariffs not likely to influence production decisions in short term, manufacturing execs say

New tariffs and an escalating global trade war in recent weeks have stoked fears that global manufacturers will move production outside of the United States to protect their margins. 

Friday, 20 July 2018 11:31

Grand Haven blueberry farmer sues South Dakota distributor for nonpayment

A West Michigan farm is suing a South Dakota-based wholesale operation for failing to pay for produce.

Saturday, 07 July 2018 13:24

Defense systems manufacturer’s investment ‘paying off’ in Walker

WALKER — Since relocating its headquarters to West Michigan in 2015, Plasan North America Inc. has moved closer to its customers, added hundreds of jobs and expanded its facilities.

Saturday, 07 July 2018 13:17

West Michigan manufacturers embrace apprenticeships to develop talent pipeline

Automotive supplier Benteler Automotive Corp. faces a grim reality: Two-thirds of the company’s maintenance technicians will “retire out” of the workforce over the next few years.

Friday, 06 July 2018 09:00

ProAct Services to be acquired by Pittsburgh-based firm for $132M

A Pittsburgh-based water solutions provider has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the ProAct Services Corp. for $132 million.

Sunday, 24 June 2018 14:00

Handling Headwinds: Office furniture execs brace for industry challenges

Industry headwinds such as steel and aluminum tariffs and new disruptors are forcing many West Michigan office furniture makers to deal with new challenges. 

Sunday, 24 June 2018 14:00

Good office design blends mix of settings, execs say

Inside Chicago’s Merchandise Mart at NeoCon earlier this month, office furniture manufacturers displayed new products that both showcased and contradicted the renewed shift to more private office spaces.

Sunday, 24 June 2018 14:00

OEMs, dealers embrace technology to accommodate furniture customers’ needs

 CHICAGO — These days, furniture purchasers likely are interacting with a product virtually before they ever see it in a showroom or store.

Friday, 22 June 2018 11:22

IFPTI launches national search for new top executive

The International Food Protection and Training Institute plans to launch a national search for a new top executive after Dr. Julia Bradsher stepped down as president and CEO of the organization this week.

Saturday, 09 June 2018 16:35

Q&A: Mike Wall, IHS Markit

With the automotive market performing slightly ahead of expectation for the year, IHS Markit analyst Mike Wall pinpoints trends that will keep projections positive for the rest of 2018. So far this year, Wall said news in the industry has been “interesting,” as some automakers phase out sedan nameplates to focus on trucks and crossovers, while others move “heaven and earth” to source components after a major supplier fire. In an interview with MiBiz, Wall shared his insights into the automotive industry.

Saturday, 09 June 2018 12:58

Acquisition of Woodways by Italian company merges cultures, custom product focus

ZEELAND — Every acquisition has its share of obstacles to clear, but the process becomes even more challenging when the buyer and seller speak different languages. 

Saturday, 09 June 2018 12:30

‘In a Pinch:’ Logistics companies struggle to find qualified truck drivers

To combat some of the truck driver shortages, large trucking companies are offering sign-on bonuses at rates as high as $5,000 to $10,000, according to Laidler. While Columbian Logistics doesn’t offer signing bonuses, the company is considering the incentive, he said, adding that firms need to “cater to the indirect desires of the driver.”

Despite interviews with countless possible candidates over a period of months, Columbian Logistics Network Inc. continues to struggle to find qualified truck drivers in West Michigan. 

Saturday, 09 June 2018 00:50

Prolonged pricing pressures dim outlook for many in Michigan’s dairy industry

Paul Pyle is no stranger to the turmoil facing Michigan dairy farmers.

So far in 2018, his Zeeland-based Pyle Dairy Farm Inc. is experiencing its worst year on record. With little funds available to replace dilapidated equipment, Pyle’s often left “duct-taping stuff together” to keep his farm operations afloat.

Saturday, 09 June 2018 00:34

Bayer to divest Muskegon facility to settle antitrust action

MUSKEGON — The path to closing the $66 billion mega-merger of Bayer AG and Monsanto Co. included the divestiture of chemical manufacturing operations in West Michigan.

Friday, 08 June 2018 12:56

Grand Haven nursery to close, lay off 300 people

Garden Alive Inc. will close its farm operations in Grand Haven and layoff of 300 full-time and seasonal employees.

Sunday, 03 June 2018 10:00

Automation firm Koops to invest $2.2 million in South Carolina

HOLLAND — A West Michigan manufacturer of factory automation systems plans to expand a satellite location in South Carolina.

Sunday, 27 May 2018 09:14

Scale Matters: Michigan hop growers face overcapacity challenges, stiff competition

With an oversupply of many hop varieties in the marketplace, growers might look to curb their growth until demand increases


Sunday, 27 May 2018 08:44

Brewery equipment suppliers embrace growth, diversification

With the craft brewing industry continuing to grow — albeit slower than just a few years ago — many West Michiganbased equipment suppliers are honing their product niches to get ahead of any future market corrections.

Saturday, 26 May 2018 14:11

Steelcase asks for relief from metal tariffs

GRAND RAPIDS — Facing the possibility of higher metal costs, the largest manufacturer in the office furniture industry has reached out to the federal government for relief. 

Sunday, 13 May 2018 19:20

To bring in talent, manufacturing ‘must sell itself’ to students

GRAND RAPIDS — Like many West Michigan-based manufacturers, Wolverine Coil Spring Co. has adopted an all-hands-on-deck approach to counter industry stereotypes and address talent-attraction challenges. 

Sunday, 13 May 2018 19:00

As tech reshapes industry, automation also shifts companies’ training needs

Dan Brookhouse can’t stress enough to his control engineering students that automation is the future for the manufacturing industry. 

Friday, 11 May 2018 14:48

Kayak maker to open new plant in Muskegon

A major kayak manufacturer plans to expand into newly added space at Muskegon’s Port City Industrial Park, MiBiz has learned.

Sunday, 13 May 2018 19:00

Paragon Die & Engineering invests in machinery, facility

GRAND RAPIDS — Driven by customers’ needs to lightweight large components, Paragon Die and Engineering Co. is adding new equipment and expanding its facility in West Michigan.

Sunday, 13 May 2018 19:00

Auto suppliers push into tech deals to mitigate disruption

Manufacturers in the automotive supply chain are scooping up acquisitions in emerging technologies to break into new markets before their competition. By moving into alternative powertrains, connected car technologies, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, suppliers want to position themselves to get ahead of disruptions as the industry shifts to the “car of the future,” according to Jeff Zaleski, U.S. automotive deals leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, a global consulting firm.

Sunday, 29 April 2018 15:36

Trade tariffs could take toll on West Michigan farmers

As a third-generation farmer at Hamilton-based Koeman Farms, Steve Koeman is monitoring how possible tariffs could affect the economics of his family business.

Sunday, 29 April 2018 15:17

Slowdown ahead? Tooling execs remain optimistic, but concerns emerge over auto plateau

While most economists still believe in the strength of the overall economy, some West Michigan manufacturers say their business has begun to soften, indicating a slowdown could be starting to emerge.

Sunday, 29 April 2018 14:00

Drones save cost, improve efficiency for West Michigan companies

Emerging drone technology is helping reduce costs and save time for a range of West Michigan businesses, from farmers to construction companies and beyond. 

Monday, 23 April 2018 19:09

JSJ Corp. to close office furniture manufacturer izzy+

JSJ Corp. plans to wind down office furniture company izzy+ after 17 years of operation.

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