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Manufacturing

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.

ROCKFORD — Wolverine World Wide Inc. has named Brendan Hoffman as the company’s next president and anticipated CEO as the Rockford-based footwear and outdoor apparel company transitions its leadership team and increases its focus on e-commerce.

HOLLAND — A Covington, Ky.-based manufacturer looks to enhance its packaging machinery capabilities with the purchase of Fogg Filler Co. LLC of Holland.

Greenville-based FabX Industries Inc. has acquired Elite Tooling LLC in Kalamazoo.

When the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic made life complicated for Eaton Corporation plc’s Vehicle Group, the company leveraged Industry 4.0 technology to wade through it all.

When Rolar Products Inc. recently added a 10-axis Swiss-style screw machine to its shop floor, the Muskegon-based provider of precision machine products turned to its senior-most employee to take the reins of the latest innovation.

Widely considered to be a trusted authority on all things Industry 4.0, Thomas Kelly serves as executive director and CEO of Troy-based Automation Alley, where he oversees strategic planning and all ongoing activities for the Industry 4.0 knowledge center.

The manufacturing industry is under a crucial transformation as businesses of all sectors are faced with the idea of adopting what is referred to as Industry 4.0 technology and strategy.

KALAMAZOO — National Flavors LLC has made its first bolt-on acquisition since becoming a platform company for The Riverside Co., a Cleveland, Ohio-based private equity firm, earlier this year. 

BATTLE CREEK — Auto parts manufacturer Marley Precision, Inc. submitted a letter to the city and state this week announcing plans to permanently close both of its facilities this fall.

ZEELAND — Citing fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly how the global crisis has affected worldwide light vehicle production — Gentex Corp. reported rough financial results for the second quarter of 2020.
The Zeeland-based supplier of digital vision, connected car, dimmable glass and fire protection technologies generated net sales of $229.9 million for the quarter, a 51-percent drop from $468.7 million in revenue for the second quarter of 2019.

WYOMING — Fourth-generation family-owned custom sign maker C.G. Witvoet & Sons Co. has been acquired by a Jackson-based investment group.

GRAND RAPIDS — Wood products company UFP Industries Inc. said its ability to stay on the job during the COVID-19 pandemic led to record net earnings for the second quarter of 2020.

HOLLAND — Office furniture maker Haworth Inc. has finalized a deal that added yet another high-profile name to its portfolio of international brands.

KENTWOOD — To take pressure off of its existing two facilities, Flat River Group recently announced the opening of a new 160,000 square foot distribution center in Kentwood.

Michael Finn compares taking on a new executive role to drinking from a fire hose. But with the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging virtually every industry, the water out of that hose has a bit more propulsion.

While the COVID-19 pandemic was quick to hit, instantly styming manufacturing throughout Michigan and the country, the bounceback will likely not be as swift.

When local auto dealerships braced for a potential cramp in new vehicle inventory, they opted to go heavier on used vehicles. Now, they’re looking for just about anything.

Lansing-based food safety company Neogen Corp. is poised to acquire an industry-leading beef cattle insecticide.

GRAND RAPIDS — An affiliate of wood products company UFP Industries has acquired Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based T&R Lumber Co.

ZEELAND — Herman Miller Inc. will conduct an internal and external search to find a candidate to succeed 20-year company veteran Gregory Bylsma, who will retire at the end of 2020.

Sen. Gary Peters has announced legislation to create a new government agency to synergize the U.S. manufacturing industry.

West Michigan’s manufacturing sector maintained momentum in June as key indexes registered improvements in a monthly survey.

GRAND RAPIDS — Dierdre Jimenez is joining the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association at an interesting time.

When Tom Reardon rose through the ranks of the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) 22 years ago, the trade association was operating in the red.

Robotics and automation could offer manufacturers a key way forward to operating in the post-coronavirus environment because of their ability to reduce workplace contamination and worker interactions. 

Major automakers as well as nascent startups are showing an increased focus on electrified commercial delivery vehicles, hoping to gain market share as corporate demand increases.

GRAND RAPIDS — Office furniture maker Steelcase Inc. reported a steep drop in first quarter revenue along with a steady decline in orders as the coronavirus pandemic spread globally. 

WALKER — Chicago-based General Truck Parts & Equipment is investing more than $500,000 to launch a new facility in Walker, the company’s first operation in Michigan.

ZEELAND — In the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic, office furniture manufacturer Herman Miller Inc. reported a 29.1 percent drop in net sales for the fourth quarter of its 2020 fiscal year that ended May 30, 2020.

GRAND RAPIDS — A freshly minted acquisition and newly formed division will allow Grand Rapids-based TG Manufacturing Group to manufacture complete integrated gaming machine assemblies.