Manufacturing

While many companies adopt automation to improve factory efficiency and equipment uptime, some West Michigan-based experts warn that improperly implemented technology can cost businesses in the long run.

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WALKER — The federal government’s move to protect potential breaches in its supply chain is having an adverse effect for defense manufacturers in West Michigan and beyond.

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GRAND RAPIDS — A West Michigan-based energy developer is acquiring an Iowa ethanol plant from DuPont Industrial Biosciences.

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ALLEGAN — Perrigo Co. plc’s new CEO promised to return the company to “its winning ways” following a dismal quarterly earnings report.

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ZEELAND — Novo Building Products has acquired L.J. Smith Inc., a 133-year-old producer of parts for stairs that’s based in Bowerston, Ohio. 

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Five Michigan-based businesses in the fire and safety equipment industry sold last month to St. Paul, Minn.-based Summit Companies.

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GRAND RAPIDS — GNAP LLC, a distributor of abrasive products, equipment, specialty ceramics and ancillary services, completed a majority recapitalization with Dallas, Texas-based private equity firm CenterOak Partners LLC.

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GRAND RAPIDS — Proos Manufacturing Inc. has come under new ownership.

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NEWAYGO — A West Michigan Tier I automotive supplier is investing $45 million into a 175,000-square-foot facility expansion designed to improve workflow and efficiency. 

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Manufacturers are pulling out all the stops in an attempt to build a pipeline of talent for the future. 

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COOPERSVILLE — Manufacturers used to years-long product cycles have been hesitant to embrace the frenetic pace of change that comes with the adoption of cutting-edge technologies on their factory floors. 

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Air compressor manufacturer Gast Manufacturing Inc. plans to invest $6 million into its existing facility in Berrien County.

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A Grand Rapids-based automotive supplier has acquired Emergent Carbon Wheels, a Kansas City, Kan.-based manufacturer of carbon fiber composite wheels.

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Automotive supplier Yanfeng Automotive Interiors has permanently laid off 55 West Michigan employees as it plans to relocate its North American headquarters to Novi.

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Private equity firm Auxo Investment Partners has completed its fifth acquisition in 13 months with a deal for a Warren-based stamping manufacturer.

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As supply chains adjust to new realities in international trade, West Michigan manufacturers are entering the final months of 2018 with “caution.”

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A group of investors plans to open a commercial-scale malting and grain-processing facility about an hour east of Kalamazoo to serve the region’s growing craft beverage industry.

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Direct-selling giant Amway Corp. has hired a new outside CEO.

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Automotive supplier Spectrum Industries Inc. is relocating two West Michigan manufacturing operations to Kentucky.

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A Milwaukee-based private equity firm has acquired Structural Concepts Corp., a manufacturer of refrigerated display cases in Muskegon County.

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A Grand Rapids-based energy distribution company has added the Novi-based Harris Oil Corp. to its portfolio of businesses.

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Perrigo Co. plc named a former tobacco company executive as president and CEO.

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A Silicon Valley startup is relocating its operations to Kent County.

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In response to increased demand, West Michigan Compounding LLC is investing $6 million into its existing facility in Montcalm County.

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A West Michigan-based private equity-backed HVAC equipment manufacturer has been sold to privately-held Madison Industries of Chicago.

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Stryker Corp. acquired Durham, N.C.-based HyperBranch Medical Technology Inc. for $220 million.

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A Mid-Michigan metal heat treater has acquired Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Al-Fe Heat Treating Inc.

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West Michigan’s growing food processing industry continues to develop, spurred on by the region’s strong agricultural supply chain, access to water and sufficient infrastructure capacity.

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As the U.S. wades deeper into a trade war with countries including China, West Michigan-based office furniture manufacturers have been forced to raise prices and re-evaluate their supply chains to mitigate risks.

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Amid exponential growth, LED manufacturer Smart Vision Lights LLC plans to invest more than $3 million into a new site in Norton Shores.

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Cascade Engineering Inc. has tapped Christina Keller, daughter of founder and chair Fred Keller, to lead the family-owned plastic-injection molding manufacturer. 

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A turbulent period full of major disruptions for the automotive industry has translated into business doubling for Conway MacKenzie Inc., a Birmingham, Mich.-based turnaround firm.

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As the new owner of Blough Inc., Sean Larkin plans to maintain the company’s roots as a metal finisher in the middle of “farming country.”  

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A Haworth Inc. policy to avoid sending waste to landfills has put the company in a bind as the recycling industry struggles to react to a glut of materials flooding the market.

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JENISON — The changing automotive industry is forcing West Michigan manufacturer Dienetics to adjust how it does business.

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ACME — As automakers race to incorporate more technology in their vehicles, automotive industry suppliers are starting to rethink their operations in West Michigan and beyond.

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ACME — Amid a period of technological upheaval in the automotive industry, West Michigan-based supplier Mann + Hummel USA Inc. is reducing project costs and saving time by partnering, collaborating or aligning with larger OEMs.

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So far this year, West Michigan-based automotive suppliers have endured the fallout from supply chain disruptions, wrestled with rising costs related to steel and aluminum tariffs and struggled to fill open positions at their factories.

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ACME — After an extended period of growth, vehicle sales have started to cool at a time when industry-wide uncertainty is hampering manufacturers’ optimism.

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ACME — In his role as president of Shape Corp., Mark White often deals with disruptions in navigating the Grand Haven-based Tier 1 automotive supplier through uncertain business conditions.

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Before Landscape Forms Inc. acquired Kornegay Design last year, the Kalamazoo-based designer and manufacturer of site furniture, accessories and lighting mulled several acquisition targets that shared its design culture and core beliefs.

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KENTWOOD — For months, Advance Packaging Corp. has been trying to fill nearly two dozen openings at its facility in Kentwood.

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