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Manufacturing

ALBION — Caster Concepts Inc., which designs and builds industrial casters and wheels for a variety of industries, has completed the acquisition of a Southern California company that expands it into the aerospace and defense contracting industries.

BATTLE CREEK — When Ken Sunden gets the itch to solve a problem, it’s nearly impossible for him to avoid scratching it. 

Talent gaps and workforce shortages are two issues that have dogged the manufacturing industry for years, pushing Michigan companies and their supporting organizations to develop a more robust talent pipeline in Michigan.

HOLLAND — Major Brands Oil Co. of Holland announced today that it has completed the acquisition of a Roseville-based distributor that specializes in industrial and commercial lubricants throughout Southeast Michigan and parts of Ohio.

GRAND RAPIDS — An active stretch of acquisitions for Grand Rapids-based wood products manufacturer UFP Industries Inc. continued this week as the company announced it has acquired three new businesses.

GRAND RAPIDS — A recent cyberattack caused global operations for office furniture manufacturer Steelcase Inc. to shut down for two weeks, according to new information the company submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Paramount Tool Co. Inc. in Holland has been in business since 1967, giving its team a front-row seat to the automation industry’s evolution over the last five decades.

GRAND RAPIDS — Wood products supplier UFP Industries Inc. has established a foothold in Europe with a recent deal.

Building products dealer and manufacturer Zeeland Lumber & Supply Co. has been acquired by one of the largest specialty building product distributors in the country.

Grand Rapids-based private equity firm Auxo Investment Partners continued its investment in cutting die manufacturers with a recent acquisition.

ALBION — Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged some segments of the manufacturing industry, Velocity Manufacturing LLC has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

After postponing and rescheduling this year’s show, organizers for popular commercial design trade show NeoCon have once again set new dates for the next installment.

New mandatory cybersecurity standards are poised to profoundly impact the over 300,000 manufacturers across the United States, including in West Michigan, that make up the country’s defense industrial base (DIB) supply chain.

Jeff Helminski’s private equity firm has an internal goal of sourcing 20 qualified deals each week.

Grand Rapids-based UFP Industries Inc. has released its best quarterly earnings report in the company’s 65-year history.

GRAND RAPIDS — A family-owned Grand Rapids manufacturer with 60 years of experience in polystyrene patterns and prototypes is changing ownership.

WALKER — Automotive parts manufacturer Viking Products Inc. is eyeing a larger headquarters in Walker with the planned construction of a 132,600-square-foot facility to accommodate the company’s recent growth. 

WALKER — Krieger Craftsmen Inc., a manufacturer of plastic injection molds for the automotive, medical, appliance and consumer products industries, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

MUSKEGON TWP. — Multinational chemical producer BASF announced this week that it’s closing its herbicide production facility in Muskegon Township by 2022.

As executive director of the Manufacturing Growth Alliance, Jennifer Deamud helps connect small and medium-size manufacturers across Michigan with necessary resources to conquer challenges in the marketplace.

ALTO — A key aspect of Industry 4.0 technology is finding a way to automate processes that are repetitive, dull, dirty or even dangerous.

Even at the age of 25, Andrew Nikolopoulos has 10 years of experience in the growing space. The journey started in a high school program, where he worked at a greenhouse building irrigation systems and then transitioned to stints for irrigation and construction companies. At the age of 21, he brought all of those skills together to grow cannabis, creating his own caregiver grow operation. He is now the grower and part owner for Summer House, a planned 1,500-plant cannabis grow and processing facility that will start its build out this fall in Muskegon Heights. He talked to MiBiz about how Industry 4.0 concepts and advanced technology have transformed growing.

A Grand Rapids-area manufacturer of air distribution products for both residential and commercial HVAC clients has changed ownership.

MARNE — Citing common values, philosophies and capabilities, DeWys Manufacturing Inc. of Marne announced that it has acquired Grand Haven-based metal fabricator ReFab LLC.

West Michigan’s industrial economic recovery remained on track through September, though some industries are clearly doing better than others, according to a new monthly activity index.

GRAND RAPIDS — Wood products company UFP Industries Inc. recently announced the acquisition of a business that specializes in developing and testing high-performance chemicals for wood preservation.

HOLLAND — TES America LLC, which has developed touch solutions for kiosk integrators across a variety of sectors, plans to add to its portfolio after acquiring assets from 3M subsidiary 3M Touch Systems. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing Inc. will produce a COVID-19 vaccine under development by a Belgian pharmaceutical company.

More than five years ago, Avio-Tech Ltd. quoted a project to produce control panels and components for industrial conglomerate Textron Inc.

GRAND RAPIDS — Office furniture manufacturer Steelcase Inc. continues to face headwinds related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as customers are slow to return to normal order patterns given the disruption the public health crisis has caused to traditional workspaces.

ZEELAND — With some lingering economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic weighing it down, Zeeland-based office furniture giant Herman Miller (NASDAQ: MLHR) still offered a better-than-expected earnings report late Wednesday.

LANSING — Enprotech Industrial Technologies, which specializes in metal forming and steel manufacturing equipment solutions, today announced an expansion at its existing Lansing facility.

HUDSONVILLE — Grand Rapids area beverage producer Proper Beverage Co. has a new home.

Jeff Brennan is hungry for new ideas and best practices that might help his manufacturing business slog its way through the COVID-19 pandemic.

GRAND RAPIDS — To better serve its nationwide client base, Grand Rapids automotive testing technology supplier Burke E. Porter Machinery Company has expanded its field service team.

Over the remaining months of 2020, worldwide office furniture manufacturer Haworth Inc. will undergo a major transition within its financial leadership team.

BYRON CENTER — A West Michigan producer of body-worn cameras and rear vision and video recording systems used worldwide has announced a new strategic acquisition.

GRAND RAPIDS — Continuing its growth over the past two years, Grand Rapids-based medical and biotechnology manufacturing firm Medbio LLC has acquired a western New York medical device manufacturer.

GRAND RAPIDS — Reduced demand brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant workforce reduction at Steelcase Inc.

In a business climate in which manufacturers are pressured to stay up on the latest technology, there is little wonder why Michigan-based companies might look to Israel for best practices.

BATTLE CREEK — Economic development organization Battle Creek Unlimited and St. Philip Roman Catholic Church in Battle Creek have come together for a project that embraces the identity of the Cereal City.

GRAND RAPIDS — Office furniture titan Steelcase Inc. recently achieved a significant carbon emission-reduction target while also announcing a new one for the coming decade.

Office furniture manufacturer Herman Miller Inc. (NASDAQ: MLHR) has voted to add an Amway Corp. executive to its board of directors.

The topic of the day at this year’s Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminars was predictable.

Over the last decade and a half, the average age of light vehicles on United States roads has slowly risen. 

The recent and sudden downturn in the automotive industry is likely to lead to a flurry of bankruptcies and sell-offs by distressed suppliers, not unlike what the industry witnessed on the heels of the Great Recession.

Many domestic manufacturers, including automakers, had started reevaluating their supply chains even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but the international health crisis has only accelerated those conversations.

Automotive industry professionals don’t see much reason for optimism in the near future, but their outlooks become more bullish as time moves on.