Manufacturing

WALKER — Howard Miller Clock Co. of Zeeland has divested its wood furniture manufacturing division to Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Roll & Hill Furniture LLC. 

ZEELAND — Furniture maker Herman Miller Inc. is partnering with a division of Logitech International for the research, design and manufacture of furniture solutions for esports athletes and gamers.

GRAND RAPIDS — Steelcase Inc. has divested coated steel manufacturer PolyVision Corp. to an affiliate of Industrial Opportunity Partners, an Evanston, Ill.-based private equity firm. 

ADA — Direct-selling giant Amway Corp. generated $8.4 billion in sales for 2019, down 5 percent from 2018, according to an announcement today.

ZEELAND — A manufacturer of pet products and distributor of small reptiles is expanding its existing Zeeland Charter Township location. 

ADA — Global direct-selling giant Amway Corp. is eliminating approximately 50 marketing and R&D positions in West Michigan in the final wave of local layoffs that began in 2018.

CASCADE TOWNSHIP — Supply chain management and warehouse supply company JetCo Federal Supply is expanding with a new space in the Grand Rapids area. 

WYOMING — Industrial scales and weighing systems supplier D.C. Martin & Sons Scales Inc. has been purchased by Mettler-Toledo International Inc.

West Michigan-based suppliers of aerospace giant Boeing Co. continue to weigh their ability to bear higher costs during the company’s temporary suspension of production. 

NILES — Metal components manufacturer Modineer Co. Inc. will broaden its capabilities and enter new end markets under a deal to acquire the family-owned P-K Tool & Manufacturing Co. of Chicago. 

A tooling engineer from Grand Rapids-based Tier-1 supplier ADAC Automotive was traveling in the Wuhan area of China when the Coronavirus public health crisis broke in late January. 

CHARLOTTE — Spartan Motors Inc. has divested its emergency response division to Milwaukee-based REV Group Inc. in a $55 million cash deal, effective Feb. 1. 

NILES — Niles Steel Tank Co. has completed an 85,000-square-foot facility to grow manufacturing capacity for its Alloy Works specialty division that makes stainless steel vessels. 

LANSING — Neogen Corp., a food and animal safety products manufacturer, has completed its third international acquisition this year with a deal for a U.K.-based firm. 

new program aims to incentivize small manufacturers to take on energy efficiency projects and “jump-start” energy waste reduction, ultimately helping them reduce their energy use, lower costs and become more competitive.

In the coming decade, the connectivity of smart factories will rely on next-generation 5G wireless technology. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Tier 1 automotive supplier Gill Industries Inc. plans to close its Bond Avenue production facility in Grand Rapids by April 10, 2020, according to a notice filed with the state.

MARQUETTE — Easy Ice LLC, a commercial ice machine rental and servicing company, has been acquired by private equity firm Freeman Spogli & Co. of Los Angeles, Calif.

LOWELL — eMotion Controls Co., an automation controls system integrator and software company, has been acquired by a Kentucky firm. 

BELDING — Guardian Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in Wayne, Pa., has partnered with the executive management team at Belding-based Flat River Group LLC to acquire the company. 

MUSKEGON — Houston-based oil and gas industry supplier Cameron International Corp. is closing its Muskegon facility, according to a notice filed with the state. 

LUDINGTON — Through decades of growth by acquisitions around the world, foam products manufacturer FloraCraft Corp. remains dedicated to keeping jobs and growth in its home community. 

The ongoing Industry 4.0 revolution has the potential to transform how companies organize, operate and profit. At the same time, manufacturers are struggling to pinpoint and extract value from this new ability to gather seemingly limitless amounts of data.

In the past decade, West Michigan has evolved as a hub for automation alongside — and perhaps powered by — JR Automation Technologies LLC. 

ADAC Automotive, a Grand Rapids-based Tier 1 automotive supplier, is working toward a new strategy that will bring supplier-initiated technological advances into the sector. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Furniture manufacturer Knoll Inc. will close its manufacturing facility in Grand Rapids, resulting in layoffs of approximately 180 hourly and 30 salaried employees.

HOLLAND TWP. — Allegan-based Perrigo Co. plc is investing $13.6 million to expand its existing location in Holland Township.

GRAND RAPIDS — Pallet management firm Kamps Inc. has sold a majority interest to Los Angeles, Calif.-based private equity firm Freeman Spogli & Co.

WYOMING — Precise CNC Routing Inc., a family-owned and operated manufacturer based in Wyoming, Mich., has been acquired by local investors.

WYOMING — The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Jasper Weller LLC, which does business as Weller Truck Parts and Weller Reman, for three safety violations it alleges could have led to serious injury.  

LANSING — Food and animal safety products manufacturer Neogen Corp. has acquired a longtime distributor in South America. 

Even as the state and national economy continues to eke out growth, manufacturers expect to reduce their capital spending in 2020.

HOLLAND — JR Automation Technologies LLC is now part of Tokyo-based Hitachi Ltd. after the completion of a $1.42 billion deal for the West Michigan-based custom automation systems provider. 

BRIDGMAN — Maintenance contractor Aptim Services LLC is planning layoffs after losing a contract to service the Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant in Southwest Michigan. 

The U.S. manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index from the Institute for Supply Management hit new lows in the past few months — a leading indicator that manufacturers must change their tactics in the coming year, said Bob Roth of RoMan Manufacturing Inc. Roth represents the second generation of leadership at RoMan and serves as a member of the board of directors and vice president of the American Welding Society.

Kalamazoo-based Keystone Solutions Group has experienced strong growth in recent years that President Jim Medsker expects to continue in 2020. The company is a product designer for the medical device, aerospace and automotive industries, and also offers contract manufacturing for medical devices. Keystone currently employs 58 people in Oshtemo Township and is targeting $15 million to $20 million in revenue for 2020, coming off a year of 50 percent year-over-year revenue growth. 

If the long-promised economic downturn is on the horizon, manufacturers will be the first to feel it in 2020. That’s according to economists and industry experts who say the U.S. economy has become virtually split as it’s powered by confident consumers but weakened by a cautious business sector that is reducing investments and bracing for a contraction.

The two largest office furniture companies in West Michigan posted mixed results in their most recent quarters. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Independent air compressor distributor Michigan Air Solutions LLC has been acquired by the U.S. affiliate of ELGi Equipments Ltd., a global air compressor manufacturer based in southern India. 

WALKER — Employee-owned plastics extruder Custom Profile Inc. of Walker plans to establish new manufacturing operations in South Carolina. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Field’s Fire Protection Inc. has been acquired by Indianapolis, Ind.-based CertaSite, a recently-formed commercial fire protection business. 

The Michigan Manufacturing and Technology Association (MMTA) launched last month to help the state’s smallest manufacturers become more competitive and prosperous. 

The sale comes as JSJ hones its strategy to focus on the high-growth companies within its portfolio, which includes auto supplier GHSP, label maker McLoone, engineered metal solutions provider Hudson Technologies and Sparks Belting Co. Chairman, President and CEO Nelson Jacobson spoke with MiBiz about the drivers behind the sale and how JSJ looks to invest as it begins to bring on board the fourth-generation family members of the company’s founders. 

Two months after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an unprecedented number of line-item vetoes to the state Legislature’s budget plan, $37.3 million for statewide workforce development programs remains unfunded. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Data center equipment maintenance service provider Service Express LLC has been sold to a New York City private equity firm. 

GRAND HAVEN — After being part of the JSJ Corp. portfolio of companies for nearly 80 years, metalworking equipment and machine tool maker Dake Corp. has new owners. 

The collective outlook among automotive suppliers is moving deep into negative territory as trade tensions, declining volumes and weakness in the U.S. economy weigh on the minds of manufacturers. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Tier 1 automotive supplier Gill Corp. has settled a lawsuit with Ann Arbor-based Benteler Automotive Corp. about payments Gill was demanding as it prepared to close its Bond Avenue production plant in Grand Rapids.