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Manufacturing (630)

DETROIT — By offering diesel powertrains in their light-duty pickup trucks, the Detroit Three automakers are betting they can eke out even more sales in what’s been a red-hot market.

A growing number of automakers are adopting a new business model that could change how some customers get into the car market.

SPARTA — As automakers increasingly load their vehicles with new technology and complex infotainment systems, dealerships are fielding more questions from confused and often frustrated customers.

Office furniture manufacturers have been late adopters of automation, particularly inside their West Michigan-based factories.

CHARLOTTE — Specialty chassis designer and vehicle manufacturer Spartan Motors Inc. has partnered with a recreational vehicle maker on a new motorhome aimed at users just coming into the market. 

WYOMING — As more municipal fire truck fleets exceed their life expectancies, that’s good news for one West Michigan-based manufacturer of heavy duty truck chassis and fire apparatuses.

WALKER — One West Michigan manufacturer has embraced a “Wild West” approach to running its shop floor.

More automotive suppliers these days are finding it’s easier to buy cutting-edge technology companies than to develop the complex systems on their own.

GRAND RAPIDS — Hourly workers at Micron Manufacturing Co. are making an average of 7 percent more in wages than they were a year ago.

GRAND RAPIDS —  Daniel Chase started niche furniture maker Re.dwell LLC somewhat out of necessity.

GREENVILLE — The strategy for a Wisconsin-based milk processor that’s in talks to create a potential “dairy campus” in Greenville, Mich. is quite simple: Follow the milk.

With 177 new vehicle launches expected by 2020, tooling suppliers like Walker Tool & Die Inc. are bracing for another busy period in what’s been a string of good years for the industry.

GRAND RAPIDS — A deal to acquire a New Jersey firm positions Praxis Packaging Solutions Co. to expand on the East Coast and diversify from its stronghold with pharmaceutical customers. 

Manufacturers in West Michigan have turned to automation in recent years to get jobs done quicker and cheaper, and their investments in the technology shows no signs of slowing down.

NORTON SHORES — Manufacturer Seabrook Plastics Inc. is leveraging its investment in technology to improve process repeatability and reduce non-value added cost.

While countless manufacturers throughout West Michigan have lamented the lack of available talent, evidence shows the workforce constraint has finally affected the industry’s ability to grow.

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