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Manufacturing

WYOMING — Industrial recycling and scrap management company PADNOS plans to invest $6.6 million to expand its facility in Wyoming.

Economic development organization Lakeshore Advantage Corp. launched an Industry 4.0 readiness poll last year to get an idea of how small and mid-size manufacturers viewed and used advanced technology within their operations.

Grand Rapids Community College and workforce development organization West Michigan Works! have launched a program aiming to make big strides in preparing participants for the future of manufacturing.

Custom software firms are seeing increased demand for services as the COVID-19 pandemic prompts businesses in virtually all industries to take a hard look at their digital transformation plans.

John Mulder recently noticed that an inordinate amount of his staff’s time was being used to field calls from clients inquiring about the status of their orders.

Andronaco Industries Inc., a designer, manufacturer and distributor of fluid handling and sealing products, announced that it has been bought by a New York City-based private equity firm.

Ryan Anderson and his team at MillerKnoll Inc. found themselves consulting with customers much more than usual over the past year.

GRAND RAPIDS TWP. — Global wood products manufacturer UFP Industries Inc. capped off a frenzied calendar year of dealmaking this week, announcing yet another acquisition to close out 2021.

The past year has brought a variety of challenges for West Michigan’s manufacturers as labor shortages continue to be a shared theme across sectors.

GRAND RAPIDS TWP. — Global wood products manufacturer UFP Industries Inc. has completed yet another acquisition to likely cap an active 2021, and the latest purchase is poised to bolster the company’s industrial packaging segment.

As a prolonged shortage of semiconductors hampers automotive production, West Michigan-based suppliers have been forced to change the way they do business.

As businesses face a profound talent crunch prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have turned to automation to fill the gaps. The shift has proven to be a major boon to companies like Walker-based electrical services and industrial technology firm Feyen Zylstra LLC.

As the COVID-19 pandemic left many businesses pondering the safest, most effective way for employees to work, office furniture and design firms became central in those discussions. MiBiz spoke with Franco Bianchi — CEO of Holland-based, family-owned and billion dollar furniture manufacturer Haworth Inc. — on how his business is navigating what many consider to be a defining period for the industry.

Throughout his tenure in Washington D.C., Democratic U.S. Sen. Gary Peters has proven to be a consistent voice for the manufacturing industry.

BATTLE CREEK — Food manufacturer Kellogg Company announced late Thursday that it has reached a tentative agreement with the union that represents 1,400 of its ready-to-eat cereal plant workers.

WALKER — Nationwide pallet management company Kamps Inc. is expanding its footprint, announcing that it has closed on its fourth strategic acquisition of the year by purchasing a pallet solutions provider in Iowa.

Lansing-based food and animal safety products manufacturer Neogen Corp. plans to combine with conglomerate 3M’s food safety business.

Officials with specialty vehicle manufacturer The Shyft Group Inc. say they are making progress on their electric vehicle chassis design while eyeing organic growth and more acquisitions in the coming years.

federal program that issued sweeping cybersecurity requirements to any manufacturer doing business with the U.S. Department of Defense is undergoing significant changes.

John Amrhein and his team at Orka Automation LLC are seeing newfound levels of demand from current and potential clients looking to leverage technology to fill gaps left behind by labor shortages. 

HOLLAND — Global designer, builder and integrator of automation solutions JR Automation Technologies LLC will open a new facility in Holland this week.

BYRON TWP. — Wholesale truck and trailer parts distributor New Life Transport Parts Center has expanded its Byron Township facility to meet surging demand.

GRAND RAPIDS TWP. — Wood products manufacturer UFP Industries Inc. continued its global growth by acquiring a controlling equity position in an India-based industrial packaging operation.

Against the backdrop of several high-profile, nationwide labor disputes, many local unions are seeing an uptick in interest from independent workers.

OTISCO TWP. — Extruded Aluminum Corp. has landed $250,000 in state grant funding to support the manufacturer’s plans for a $30.4 million expansion near Belding.

CASCADE TWP. — Tier 1 automotive supplier Lacks Enterprises Inc. has formed a joint venture with a fellow family-owned business in Texas to supply Toyota Motor North America with exterior components.

GRAND RAPIDS TWP. — UFP Industries Inc. has maintained an active pipeline of acquisitions over the past several years as CEO Matt Missad maintains strong growth and a focus on diversification.

Generating $2.1 billion in revenue in its most recent quarter and operating 170 facilities across the world, UFP Industries Inc. is — by most accounts — a giant that resides in greater Grand Rapids.

ZEELAND — A recent lawsuit alleges Herman Miller Inc. and a foundation with close ties to the contract furniture manufacturer conspired to obtain rights to an iconic mid-century modern lighting furniture design.

GRAND RAPIDS TWP. — Wood products manufacturer UFP Industries Inc. continues to expand its presence in Australia after announcing yet another acquisition in the country.

KALAMAZOO — Stryker Corp.’s sales grew more than 11 percent in the third quarter, although a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospital staffing shortages that led to deferred surgeries curtailed sales in the company’s U.S-based orthopedic implant business.

GRAND RAPIDS — Chicago-based private equity firm CORE Industrial Partners LLC has acquired three Grand Rapids businesses to form a new additive manufacturing platform.

GRAND RAPIDS — Global office furniture maker Steelcase Inc. has acquired one of its longtime collaborative design partners in an all cash deal.

NOVI — A brand in The Shyft Group Inc.’s portfolio has inked a $53 million contract with the United States Postal Service.

JENISON — With brisk business in two surging market segments, Cellulose Material Solutions LLC is investing in expanding its operations and beefing up production capacity.

Manufacturers that supply the defense industry will need to adhere to a new set of uniform cybersecurity standards in order to bid on contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense.

GRAND RAPIDS TWP. — As lumber prices returned to typical levels this year following their meteoric rise during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, executives at UFP Industries Inc. credit the company’s diversified business model for helping it weather the volatility.

CASCADE TWP. — L3Harris Technologies Inc., a global tech company that supplies the defense industry, has announced a nearly $2.6 million expansion in the Grand Rapids area.

PORTAGE — Clark Logic LLC, a Southwest Michigan-based provider of single-source transportation, logistics, facility and real estate solutions, has completed the acquisition of a nearby company.

JENISON — To meet surging demand for its products, Cellulose Material Solutions LLC is planning a $9 million investment to add a second production line and an expansion at its existing facility in Jenison.

ZEELAND — A recent acquisition by Gentex Corp. will allow the Zeeland-based company to expand on its offerings to the aerospace industry.

This summer, Melbourne, Fla.-based defense contractor L3Harris Technologies Inc. sold off its Muskegon Township-based Combat Propulsion Systems operation to German defense contractor RENK Group.

Michigan’s newly signed state budget aims to maintain the momentum behind a variety of programs designed to help the manufacturing industry address workforce challenges.

Early this month, longtime Steelcase Inc. corporate leader Sara Armbruster became the company’s 10th CEO in its 109-year history. Armbruster has been with Steelcase since 2007 and served as vice president of strategy, research and digital transformation since February 2018.

West Michigan economic development organizations have launched a campaign aimed at preparing local manufacturers to adopt Industry 4.0 technology and practices.

CASCADE TWP. — New Buell motorcycles are heading into production, and the local company behind the brand’s revival has made good on its promise to produce them in the Grand Rapids area.

HOLLAND — Family-owned furniture maker Haworth Inc. has announced a new partnership that will bring seating solutions from an industry mainstay to its collection.

GRAND RAPIDS — Sara Armbruster has taken over as president and CEO of global office furniture manufacturer Steelcase Inc., the company announced today.