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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.

HOLLAND — Like many manufacturers of luxury products, S2 Yachts Inc. didn’t sell all that many of its high-end vessels during the recession years as consumers pulled back on their discretionary spending.

For the first time in company history, Japan-based DENSO Corp. has tapped a Michigan native to lead its operations in Battle Creek. Andris Staltmanis joined the company in processing engineering in 1986, the year it opened its facility in Battle Creek. Since then, he has worked his way through the ranks, rising through management roles to become president of the company’s Arkansas operation three years ago.

The automotive industry is a natural environment for the adoption of automation, given the repetitive manufacturing and assembly process, high volumes, unwieldy components and other factors.

Long-time manufacturing executive Mark Allen learned firsthand that patience remains a key virtue for anyone looking to acquire a business.

Last year, John Essex confronted a decision he had never seriously considered at any other point in his career. Faced with scaling up his business to meet growing customer demand, the CEO of Muskegon-based Port City Group needed to invest millions of dollars in expanding the manufacturer’s capacity to make aluminum and zinc die castings, mechanical assemblies and injection-molded plastic parts.

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