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manufacturing2017

Stability returns to auto outlook

Written by | Sunday, 03 February 2013 22:33 |

After a half-decade on the roller coaster, U.S. automakers are preparing for a slow, steady ride that could yield strong profits for carmakers and their suppliers throughout the rest of the decade.

Studies show consumers shop for cars and trucks that match their style, their favorite color, and even the best fuel economy. Increasingly, though, experts say vehicle-buying decisions hinge on how well consumers’ smartphones connect to a car or trucks’ infotainment system. 

Good for gear heads (and the planet, too)

Written by | Sunday, 03 February 2013 22:01 |

It turns out that fun-to-drive cars, 500-horsepower engines and respectable fuel economy don’t have to be mutually exclusive. 

While the 189-mph, 560-horsepower Audi RS7 hatchback can power from a standstill to 60 mph in about 3.7 seconds, it’s a rare breed of car enthusiast that can afford to drop the expected $100,000 to buy one.

Denso continues bullish growth

Written by | Sunday, 27 January 2013 22:23 |

One large Tier I automotive supplier with a major presence in Battle Creek plans to get even larger.

As one local conveyor manufacturer looked to diversify, it ran into problems when one of its product’s main attributes also put it at a disadvantage in one key target industry: food processing.

Rather than try to serve every possible customer in the medical device industry, Rose Technologies Co. is happy to grow with customers in its niche.

The Michigan Manufacturers Association wants to tear down more barriers.

Driven by projected long-term growth in the global mining industry and strong demand for metals, one Southwest Michigan-based mining equipment supplier plans a major expansion of its capacity that could nearly double its workforce.

Automotive analyst Mike Wall at IHS Automotive thinks the industry will reach an inflection point in 2013 where it will hit steady growth driven by new launches, a recovering housing market and customers returning to the market.

IRN’s annual survey on auto industry sourcing dynamics shows for 2012 that component suppliers are holding up well in spite of the perpetual David versus Goliath mode that arises with customers who are limited in number and many times larger in size.

To paraphrase an old saying, keep your business associates close, but your competition closer. That’s what a West Michigan-based manufacturer found out on a recent foreign trade mission.

Two Midwest manufacturers believe they’ve fabricated a deal that will help the newly combined company be more competitive and grow after a private equity firm looked to exit.

Managers at busy manufacturing companies have to find a balance between the work they need to do and should do. For many, sustainable manufacturing practices often fall into the latter category.

Students in Western Michigan University's paper engineering program are finding out that paper pays.

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