While the Grand Rapids-based manufacturer of automation equipment has worked with automotive customers in the past, its new “multi-million” dollar project with Dicastal North America Inc. marks a significant step away from the company’s traditional customers in warehouse distribution and cold storage, said CEO Tom Tobin.
West Michigan automotive suppliers have started to adapt as parts of the North American supply chain move to new southern geographies.
A decade after shifting industry patterns and a global recession decimated the U.S. tool and die industry, one German entrepreneur believes current conditions in the automotive sector prove there’s now a need for more tooling capacity in West Michigan.
Between the downward pressure on prices and the general upward direction of costs, it can be tough for automotive suppliers to develop a budget, let alone adhere to one. Difficult choices are made every year about how and where to allocate financial resources to meet production obligations, prepare for the future and make a reasonable return on the effort.
While the office furniture industry continued to post strong shipment growth during the second quarter of 2015, industry forecasts show signs of the sector plateauing by the end of the year.
A startup manufacturer plans to capitalize on the growing market for flavored and gluten-free beers with a new product that offers brewers an alternative to using malted grain. Treeborn Inc. intends to supply chestnut chips — used either as a replacement for malted grain or added to the beer as a flavoring ingredient — to the growing number of craft breweries opening across the country.
GRAND RAPIDS — Backed by a new joint venture with a Chinese supplier, one West Michigan belting manufacturer hopes to shore up its supply chain and expand its footprint in the North American market.
Although fears over China’s stalling economy sent global stock markets reeling in late August, experts say the impact to West Michigan’s manufacturers will be complex — and not necessarily all negative.
ACME — While the automotive industry’s near-death experience shaped how it restructured to survive in the recession, its evolution during the recovery years is driving a different kind of change.
GRAND RAPIDS — After a new acquisition, Blackford Capital looks to create a platform to consolidate companies in the mature book printing industry.
ALLEGAN — Growth in the second quarter provides an example of why Chairman and CEO Joe Papa sees a bright future for Perrigo Co. plc and why directors have rejected overtures from Mylan N.V. in the lead up to a hostile takeover attempt.
BYRON CENTER — An Italian manufacturer of plastic injection molding components expects to capitalize on the growing market for lightweight composite materials as it begins production at its new North American headquarters.
GRAND RAPIDS — As the automotive industry continues to grow and becomes more globalized, suppliers will face a steady increase in vehicle production volumes and new product launches.
GREENVILLE — When Chinese auto supplier Citic Dicastal Co. Ltd. said last year that it would convert the former United Solar Ovonic LLC campus in Greenville into its North American headquarters, officials in the Montcalm County community breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Staying on top of new technology advancements is important to automotive suppliers in two ways: to detect potential threats to the business, and to be on the lookout for opportunities to gain a competitive advantage.