GRAND HAVEN — A West Michigan automotive supplier GHSP Inc. is planning to move into an advanced tech hub in Grand Haven.
The manufacturer of electronic vehicle shifting systems and pumps for the automotive industry said it will open the 7,000-square-foot office in Grand Haven, where 20 employees will be tasked with developing new technologies in the automotive and appliance industries.
Some of those technologies include touch screens, connected controls, new auto shifters and high-tech interfaces, or “a little bit of everything,” CEO Tom Rizzi told MiBiz.
Headquartered in Grand Haven with additional plants in Michigan, Mexico, China, Japan and Germany, GHSP’s new office will be located on Sherman Road, where the city of Grand Haven once had a water pump station.
“It’s about taking the technologies that exist today, searching for the technologies of tomorrow, and then figuring out how to find solutions for our customers,” Rizzi said. “That’s really what our innovation group is focused on, and that’s one of the reasons we want to keep that team separate from the main office in Grand Haven, so that they don’t get caught up in current technology. (Now), they have the freedom and the ability to focus on the future.”
Prior to this announcement, GHSP — a division of Grand Haven-based JSJ Corp. — made a $3 million investment in UVAngel, a startup medical device company that disinfects computer keyboards, touchscreens and equipment using safe, low doses of ultraviolet light.
“This has clearly been an investment for GHSP to focus on dedicated team members that are purely focused on innovation,” Rizzi said. “We’ve entered into a manufacturing agreement and a licensing agreement with UVAngel, and some of the technologies that will come to GHSP through those agreements will be part of what this new innovation team will be able to look at and work on (at the tech hub).”
While at capacity, GHSP team members were working temporarily in a “converted garage at the company’s headquarters,” according to a statement.
With the new office, “we (can) continue to grow,” Rizzi said, adding the company will “look for additional space as some point in … the next year or two.”
According to statement, GHSP’s annual sales have quadrupled in the past decade, as the company’s evolved from a manufacturer of mechanical components to electronic systems and products.
“Ten years ago, we were primarily manufacturing mechanical components for auto makers,” Marc Smeyers, GHSP’s chief technology officer, said in a statement. “Today, we’re creating the next generation of control systems — touch screens, connected controls, new auto shifters and high-tech interfaces. Our new Grand Haven location will serve as an incubator for the types of technology-driven offerings that consumers will come to love and rely on in the vehicles, appliances and devices of the future.”