HOLLAND — A West Michigan manufacturer of factory automation systems plans to expand a satellite location in South Carolina.
Michigan’s role in improving manufacturing efficiency has come a long way since the invention of the assembly line.
With availability of talent at a premium, many manufacturers are attempting to lure away key workers from their competitors.
The notion that a worker shortage is fueling the adoption of automation equipment discounts the role technology can play in helping companies compete.
HOLLAND — As robotic technology continues to improve, manufacturers of automation equipment are finding their customers demand larger, more complex systems.
Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Sept. 6, 2016:
• M&A: Lansing-based Eckhart Inc., a portfolio company of private equity firm LFM Capital of Nashville, Tenn., acquired Auto Craft Tool & Die Inc. and 3 D Sales Inc., both of Algonac, Mich., in a deal to add more controls, robotics, and automation-based solutions and distribution capabilities. Auto Craft operates facilities in Marine City, where it makes material handling systems and specialized tooling for industrial manufacturers. The company manufactures door and instrument panel carriers and automatic guided carts. The related 3 D Sales business distributes industrial ergonomic and work cell components. The deal, the terms for which were not disclosed, was the first for Eckhart, a manufacturer of ergonomic assembly line equipment that last year joined the LFM Capital portfolio. The Nashville-based private equity firm focuses on lower middle-market manufacturers and industrial services providers with enterprise values in the $15 million to $75 million range.
Koops Inc., a manufacturer of custom automation equipment, plans to invest $4.9 million into a new 40,000-square-foot facility adjacent to its headquarters in Holland.