fbpx
Jessica Young

Jessica Young

Opus Packaging Group Inc. is continuing the expansion of its packaging facilities portfolio with the acquisition of a fourth company, Wabash Container Corp. of Illinois.

West Michigan manufacturers have taken a disciplined approach to research and development spending throughout the sustained period of economic recovery and growth. 

After three generations of family ownership, Grand Rapids-based Amstore Corp. will permanently cease manufacturing operations at its headquarters, MiBiz has learned.

Medbio LLC, a West Michigan-based manufacturer of injection moldings, assemblies and packaging for medical device and biotech industry, has acquired AIM Plastics Inc.

Manufacturing holding company Andronaco Industries Inc. plans to relocate its Conley Composites LLC subsidiary from Oklahoma to a new location in Kent County.

After nine months of investigation, the U.S. Department of Commerce submitted a concealed national security report on Sunday that prompted an immediate backlash from the auto industry.

As the Trump administration prepares to roll back emissions regulations that push cars to be cleaner and more fuel efficient, it may also set the stage for a political battle that could create a rift in the U.S. auto industry. After several months of comment and a possible setback from the 35-day government shutdown last month, the newly finalized fuel economy rules are due from the administration by March 31. However, following the publication of the proposed changes, California and eighteen other states announced that if less-stringent fuel economy rules are enacted, they will sue the government — which may lead to a period of prolonged regulatory uncertainty.

Kendall Electric Inc. acquired an Ohio-based distributor of electrical equipment.

After nearly a century in Michigan, Harsco Corp. plans to permanently close its only manufacturing facility in the state, starting April 1.

Like more than half of Michigan’s manufacturers, business runs in the family at Grand Rapids-based Pridgeon & Clay Inc.

Despite a looming plateau in auto sales and automakers overwhelmingly betting on the same pieces of the market, savvy suppliers could still realize major opportunities in the coming years. Those opportunities come as automotive sales hit nearly 17.3 million units for 2018, with trucks and SUVs up 8 percent, accounting for around 11.8 million units. Meanwhile, passenger car sales dipped 13 percent to 5.5 million units.

With the final winter North American International Auto Show in the books, the century-old expo in Detroit and newer market-specific shows across the Midwest may start to change organically — but organizers aren’t planning on it.

NORTON SHORES — A company that moved out of Norton Shores before its tax abatements expired is now suing the lakeshore community and fighting the city’s demands for repayment of nearly $1 million.

Sunday, 20 January 2019 23:10

Tax cuts spur manufacturers’ investments

Most manufacturers can expect to fork over less in taxes for last year, and companies that monitor the shifting provisions could capitalize on greater investment in a few key areas. Although most of the tax cuts from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 became effective for manufacturers on Jan. 1, 2018, businesses in all industries have been left with questions and uncertainty about how the new laws need to be applied, said Joel Mitchell, a tax partner at Plante Moran PLLC in Grand Rapids.

Grand Haven-based GHSP Inc. is a global manufacturer “rooted into the West Michigan area,” according to Chief Technology Officer Marc Smeyers. In the past, GHSP was known for auto technology that combined electronics and mechanical engineering. Now, the company — a division of JSJ Corp. — is working across multiple industries for smart technology applications. At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, GHSP introduced a future concept vehicle, products that use ultraviolet C (UVC) light to disinfect themselves, and a kitchen backsplash that’s an edge-to-edge touchscreen. Smeyers spoke to MiBiz about crossover technology in an increasingly fast-paced environment.

As Larry Lewis advanced in his career as an engineer in the manufacturing, construction and telecommunications industries, he relied on computers as an essential tool for his everyday work. His aptitude grew alongside the technology, to which he was first exposed at Dartmouth College in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

NORTON SHORES — A lakeshore community is asking a manufacturer Wacker Neuson Corp. to pay back lost tax revenue after the company left town before fulfilling the obligations of its tax abatement. Wacker Neuson, a manufacturer of construction equipment that had been located in Norton Shores since 2007, closed its facility at 1300 E. Mount Garfield Road in August 2018, two and a half years before the expiration of one of six tax abatements it received.

A Southwest Michigan box manufacturer has agreed to pay $400,000 after it faced allegations of misconduct in connection to a multi-state subcontract with the federal government.

Now that all adults in Michigan can legally use marijuana, employers are weighing how the new law — and misunderstandings about it — could affect their workforces.

Whether the West Michigan manufacturing industry continues on an ongoing growth trend in 2019 or veers into a contraction remains uncertain. Economist Paul Isely, associate dean for undergraduate programs in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University, uses automotive, furniture, agriculture, and “amazingly nowadays” aerospace manufacturing to find the pulse of where the region’s economy is headed in the coming months and years. 

Cascade Die Casting Group Inc. is a manufacturer heavily concentrated in the automotive industry. Although the company recently lost business related to the closure of several General Motors plants, the industry shift from low price-point cars to higher-margin trucks and SUVs has President Patrick Greene cautiously optimistic about continued growth in 2019.

This year, unemployment rates have dropped to an 18-year low and local manufacturers are scrambling to find new and innovative ways to grow without gaps. As founder of the advisory firm 100X LLC and chair of Vistage Executive Peer Group, an executive coaching organization, former manufacturing exec Steve Johandes helps dozens of local organizations and companies position themselves for “what’s next” in the market. 

Women are critical to addressing the serious shortage of qualified applicants for skilled production positions, according to Kelly Springer, CEO of Metal Flow Corp., a Holland-based automotive supplier. Yet, relatively few women choose manufacturing careers. As chair of Inforum’s ManufacturingNext steering committee, Springer is helping to strengthen the talent pipeline of women who thrive in manufacturing professions. 

Grand Rapids Community College will receive $100,000 from heavy metal band Metallica to support new programming, the school announced today.

Global direct-selling giant Amway Corp. has eliminated 45 management-level positions across various areas of the company including HR, supply chain, legal, IT, strategic planning, and finance.

Page 5 of 5