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Manufacturing

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.

ZEELAND — Herman Miller Inc. contended with several market disruptions as it worked to integrate the newly acquired Knoll Inc. into its operations during the start of its new fiscal year.

ALLEGAN — Perrigo Co. plc has agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to settle a tax case in Ireland that could have cost far more than what the company paid.

GRAND RAPIDS — Anticipating an uptick in demand for factory-built housing, Grand Rapids-based wood products manufacturer UFP Industries Inc. announced the acquisition of one of its current vendors.

A six-bill package introduced this month in Lansing seeks stricter state oversight of medical cannabis caregivers, which critics say is a veiled attempt by commercial growers to increase their retail market share.

While many West Michigan manufacturers are staying mum on a proposed federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate and how it might affect the industry, Nelson Jacobson believes it’s a conversation worth having.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is set to issue temporary emergency rules in the coming weeks or months to guide President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Biden’s directive requires a COVID-19 vaccine or weekly testing among employees at companies with 100 workers or more — roughly two-thirds of the U.S. workforce.

GRAND RAPIDS — While business leaders generally view the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate as an added burden on employers, Steelcase Inc. President and CEO Jim Keane thinks it could help accelerate the return to normalcy and prop up the struggling contract furniture industry. 

ZEELAND TWP. — USA Sign Frame and Stake Inc., which produces signs, sign frames and stakes in Ottawa County, has announced a nearly $1.23 million expansion that will move operations from Georgetown Township to Zeeland Township. 

LANSING — Food and animal safety products maker Neogen Corp. has bolstered its holding in the fast-growing veterinary market with the acquisition of an Atlanta-based companion animal health company. 

PLYMOUTH — Specialty vehicle manufacturer The Shyft Group Inc., formerly headquartered in Charlotte, announced today that it has opened a new research and development center in Wayne County.

When Gordon Kay sought a manufacturer to build a new model of performance sailing yachts, he initially didn’t even consider the U.S. as a destination for production.

Family-owned manufacturing companies are facing similar challenges as the industry at large as succession planning is complicated by an aging workforce.

KALAMAZOO — Foodservice and consumer brand packaging manufacturer Fabri-Kal Corp. has reached a definitive agreement to sell to Pactiv Evergreen Inc. in a deal valued at approximately $380 million. 

GRAND RAPIDS — As an executive at a global company serving firms in the e-commerce, logistics and warehousing spaces, Mike Larsson has noticed the needs of his customers change dramatically over the last year.

As the new class of students arrived at Northview Next this year, they may have noticed some new advanced manufacturing training tools. 

ALLEGAN — A manufacturer of continuous insulation systems for commercial buildings plans to invest $1.1 million to expand its facility in Allegan.

The upcoming Advanced Manufacturing Expo will feature more educational opportunities than in past years, one of the more noticeable differences to an event entering its sixth year.

WILLIAMSBURG — Tier 1 automotive and material handling supplier Grand Traverse Plastics Corp. has received state support for a planned $11.5 million expansion near Traverse City that’s expected to create up to 43 jobs.

When asked how his company is managing the fallout of a microchip shortage that has crippled the automotive industry, Neil Boehm paused.

Choosing whether to issue temporary layoffs is one of many decisions Pat Greene has had to contend with as the head of Cascade Die Casting Group Inc.

Magna International Inc. CEO Seetarama Kotagiri got right to the point in discussing the implications of an increasingly electrified vehicle fleet on the global automotive supply chain.

ST. JOSEPH — Southwest Michigan company Edgewater Automation LLC is expanding as manufacturers across the state adopt automation to help ease workforce pressures.

ROCKFORD — Wolverine World Wide Inc. has finalized a deal to acquire London-based premium women’s activewear brand Sweaty Betty.

KALAMAZOO — Nine months ago, some of the first COVID-19 vaccines left Portage and found their way into the arms of patients around the country. 

State lawmakers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continue to find common ground on measures to help Michigan manufacturers respond to the unique challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A partnership among West Michigan organizations supporting advanced manufacturing has announced an opportunity for area companies to learn more about Industry 4.0.

LANSING — State and local officials announced a series of grants and tax incentives for a major Indiana-based recreational vehicle manufacturer to expand in St. Joseph County.

ZEELAND — Quarterly sales for automotive supplier Gentex Corp. have rebounded since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, though the company’s growth remains hampered by widespread supply chain disruptions.

GRAND RAPIDS — Rock band Metallica continues to invest in a unique welding program that it was instrumental in launching at Grand Rapids Community College.

GRAND RAPIDS — Wood products manufacturer UFP Industries Inc. continues to achieve record-breaking sales numbers as it navigates a volatile industry.

ZEELAND — After closing on its transformational $1.8 billion acquisition of Knoll Inc. Monday, furniture maker Herman Miller Inc. has unveiled its new name for the combined companies.

ALBION — Manufacturer Caster Concepts Inc. has adopted a relatively non-traditional approach to engaging with the local community.

MUSKEGON TWP. — Defense contractor L3Harris Technologies Inc. has completed the sale of its Muskegon Township-based Combat Propulsion Systems operation.

Dowagiac-based Lyons Industries Inc. has long been notorious for dirty, thankless work.

CALEDONIA — Dan Vukcevich admitted that his only previous farming experience was growing up on a cattle farm that never made any money.

As the owner of two West Michigan-based manufacturing operations, Jay Garside is leaning on state resources to usher his businesses along their Industry 4.0 journeys.

For manufacturers adopting Industry 4.0 technology into their operations, experts warn: With automation comes risk.

HOLLAND — JR Automation Technologies LLC, a global designer, builder and integrator of automation solutions, has seen a pandemic-induced surge in demand from labor-strapped clients across a wide range of industries.