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Jessica Young

Jessica Young

Hudsonville-based Banyan Tree Fabworks is turning distinctive historical machinery into statement-furniture. 

While the labor crisis lingers in West Michigan, manufacturers are spending millions of dollars on upskilling their incumbent employees to keep up with growth. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Laser cutting service Laser Access LLC is under new ownership and plans to expand its facility in Walker. 

Colleges and universities from coast to coast are moving rapidly to close campuses and transition to virtual classrooms in lieu of face-to-face meetings as the spread of COVID-19 has transformed into a global pandemic. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Tier 1 automotive supplier Gill Industries Inc. plans to hold a public auction of some of its manufacturing equipment next month, MiBiz has learned.

Wednesday, 04 March 2020 12:12

Haworth sales surpassed $2.2 billion in 2019

HOLLAND – Office furniture manufacturer Haworth Inc. reported an increase in sales for 2019.

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak in China is forcing West Michigan manufacturers to find creative solutions to avoid production disruptions.

Monday, 24 February 2020 10:30

Amway sales dip 5 percent in 2019

ADA — Direct-selling giant Amway Corp. generated $8.4 billion in sales for 2019, down 5 percent from 2018, according to an announcement today.

ADA — Global direct-selling giant Amway Corp. is eliminating approximately 50 marketing and R&D positions in West Michigan in the final wave of local layoffs that began in 2018.

West Michigan-based suppliers of aerospace giant Boeing Co. continue to weigh their ability to bear higher costs during the company’s temporary suspension of production. 

As one of the first students to graduate from a workforce development program funded by heavy metal band Metallica, Krista Steffens developed skills that sparked her creativity and fueled under her career.

new program aims to incentivize small manufacturers to take on energy efficiency projects and “jump-start” energy waste reduction, ultimately helping them reduce their energy use, lower costs and become more competitive.

In the coming decade, the connectivity of smart factories will rely on next-generation 5G wireless technology. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Tier 1 automotive supplier Gill Industries Inc. plans to close its Bond Avenue production facility in Grand Rapids by April 10, 2020, according to a notice filed with the state.

In the past decade, West Michigan has evolved as a hub for automation alongside — and perhaps powered by — JR Automation Technologies LLC. 

LUDINGTON — Through decades of growth by acquisitions around the world, foam products manufacturer FloraCraft Corp. remains dedicated to keeping jobs and growth in its home community. 

ADAC Automotive, a Grand Rapids-based Tier 1 automotive supplier, is working toward a new strategy that will bring supplier-initiated technological advances into the sector. 

The ongoing Industry 4.0 revolution has the potential to transform how companies organize, operate and profit. At the same time, manufacturers are struggling to pinpoint and extract value from this new ability to gather seemingly limitless amounts of data.

Monday, 13 January 2020 13:39

GRCC becomes free for Grand Rapids students

Students who attend high school in Grand Rapids will soon be able to continue their education for free at Grand Rapids Community College.

WYOMING — Precise CNC Routing Inc., a family-owned and operated manufacturer based in Wyoming, Mich., has been acquired by local investors.

Even as the state and national economy continues to eke out growth, manufacturers expect to reduce their capital spending in 2020.

The two largest office furniture companies in West Michigan posted mixed results in their most recent quarters. 

If the long-promised economic downturn is on the horizon, manufacturers will be the first to feel it in 2020. That’s according to economists and industry experts who say the U.S. economy has become virtually split as it’s powered by confident consumers but weakened by a cautious business sector that is reducing investments and bracing for a contraction.

The U.S. manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index from the Institute for Supply Management hit new lows in the past few months — a leading indicator that manufacturers must change their tactics in the coming year, said Bob Roth of RoMan Manufacturing Inc. Roth represents the second generation of leadership at RoMan and serves as a member of the board of directors and vice president of the American Welding Society.

Two months after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an unprecedented number of line-item vetoes to the state Legislature’s budget plan, $37.3 million for statewide workforce development programs remains unfunded. 

The Michigan Manufacturing and Technology Association (MMTA) launched last month to help the state’s smallest manufacturers become more competitive and prosperous. 

The collective outlook among automotive suppliers is moving deep into negative territory as trade tensions, declining volumes and weakness in the U.S. economy weigh on the minds of manufacturers. 

At a state-of-the-art machine tool laboratory in downtown Grand Rapids, a group of non-technical sales professionals learns about carbide, a compound made from carbon and metal, as well as takes in lessons about radial chip thinning, blueprinting and how tool cutting works.

Thursday, 21 November 2019 17:59

Gill reaches settlement with Benteler

GRAND RAPIDS — Tier 1 automotive supplier Gill Corp. has settled a lawsuit with Ann Arbor-based Benteler Automotive Corp. about payments Gill was demanding as it prepared to close its Bond Avenue production plant in Grand Rapids.

GRAND RAPIDS — A bombshell new lawsuit alleges that Grand Rapids-based Tier 1 automotive supplier Gill Corp. is demanding “ransom” from its customers as the metal stamper dissolves its operations. 

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