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Manufacturing

Grand Rapids-based UFP Industries Inc. has released its best quarterly earnings report in the company’s 65-year history.

GRAND RAPIDS — A family-owned Grand Rapids manufacturer with 60 years of experience in polystyrene patterns and prototypes is changing ownership.

WALKER — Automotive parts manufacturer Viking Products Inc. is eyeing a larger headquarters in Walker with the planned construction of a 132,600-square-foot facility to accommodate the company’s recent growth. 

WALKER — Krieger Craftsmen Inc., a manufacturer of plastic injection molds for the automotive, medical, appliance and consumer products industries, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

MUSKEGON TWP. — Multinational chemical producer BASF announced this week that it’s closing its herbicide production facility in Muskegon Township by 2022.

As executive director of the Manufacturing Growth Alliance, Jennifer Deamud helps connect small and medium-size manufacturers across Michigan with necessary resources to conquer challenges in the marketplace.

ALTO — A key aspect of Industry 4.0 technology is finding a way to automate processes that are repetitive, dull, dirty or even dangerous.

Even at the age of 25, Andrew Nikolopoulos has 10 years of experience in the growing space. The journey started in a high school program, where he worked at a greenhouse building irrigation systems and then transitioned to stints for irrigation and construction companies. At the age of 21, he brought all of those skills together to grow cannabis, creating his own caregiver grow operation. He is now the grower and part owner for Summer House, a planned 1,500-plant cannabis grow and processing facility that will start its build out this fall in Muskegon Heights. He talked to MiBiz about how Industry 4.0 concepts and advanced technology have transformed growing.

A Grand Rapids-area manufacturer of air distribution products for both residential and commercial HVAC clients has changed ownership.

MARNE — Citing common values, philosophies and capabilities, DeWys Manufacturing Inc. of Marne announced that it has acquired Grand Haven-based metal fabricator ReFab LLC.

West Michigan’s industrial economic recovery remained on track through September, though some industries are clearly doing better than others, according to a new monthly activity index.

GRAND RAPIDS — Wood products company UFP Industries Inc. recently announced the acquisition of a business that specializes in developing and testing high-performance chemicals for wood preservation.

HOLLAND — TES America LLC, which has developed touch solutions for kiosk integrators across a variety of sectors, plans to add to its portfolio after acquiring assets from 3M subsidiary 3M Touch Systems. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing Inc. will produce a COVID-19 vaccine under development by a Belgian pharmaceutical company.

More than five years ago, Avio-Tech Ltd. quoted a project to produce control panels and components for industrial conglomerate Textron Inc.

GRAND RAPIDS — Office furniture manufacturer Steelcase Inc. continues to face headwinds related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as customers are slow to return to normal order patterns given the disruption the public health crisis has caused to traditional workspaces.

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.