fbpx

Manufacturing

SPONSORED BY MICHIGAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. is making a new push to place Michigan manufacturers ahead of the curve on Industry 4.0 technology.

OTSEGO — Otsego Crane & Hoist Co., a manufacturer that specializes in overhead material handling equipment, has been sold to individual investors.

HOLLAND — GHSP Inc., a manufacturer of control systems and technology solutions, named a new president today.

Not many designers — if any — feature a portfolio of work quite like Joey Ruiter.

As Michigan manufacturers of all segments continue grappling with a persistent talent shortage and skills gap, furniture-maker Metalworks Inc. has to contend with a unique set of hurdles.

Petoskey Plastics Inc. — a manufacturer of plastic films, bags and resin — aims to meet surging demand in one of its business segments by expanding its operation to a new facility in Texas.

JENISON — An Ottawa County company that specializes in designing and manufacturing wooden pallet and container handling equipment plans to expand its facility.

HOLLAND — While furniture maker Haworth Inc. absorbed an expected hit to sales in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company cited its diversification as a way of easing the blow.

ADA — Global direct selling giant Amway Corp. is cutting 6 percent of its global workforce or about 900 people, most of whom are based at the company’s world headquarters in Ada, MiBiz has learned. 

ZEELAND — Office furniture maker Herman Miller Inc. continues to feel the sting as office workers stay home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association (BIFMA) unveiled a new digital tool this month that is poised to bring greater clarity to the market and help both specifiers and buyers quickly gauge the safety and durability of products.

GRANDVILLE — A West Michigan manufacturer has developed a product that makes the process of storing heavy metal stamping dies safer and easier — and the industry is taking notice.

A Coopersville-based manufacturer of structural steel and material handling equipment plans to expand its headquarters.

GRAND RAPIDS — Wood products manufacturer UFP Industries Inc. recently expanded its presence in the Australian market with an acquisition made by one of its wholly owned subsidiaries.

ALLENDALE — A West Michigan injection molder that was acquired more than two years ago has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic after investing in operational improvements.

GRAND RAPIDS — Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing Inc. expects to ship the first filled vials today of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, following approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over the weekend.

As major automakers and government officials pledge ambitious electric vehicle targets over the coming decade, Michigan’s automotive suppliers are adapting to a business environment that’s swiftly changing yet still firmly rooted in internal combustion engines. 

While the COVID-19 pandemic made life difficult for a majority of local manufacturing companies, industry officials are still overwhelmingly optimistic when looking at the year ahead.

Holland-based furniture manufacturer Haworth Inc. has closed a production facility in High Point, N.C., that it had operated since 1991.

GRAND RAPIDS — Wood products manufacturer UFP Industries Inc. emerged from a turbulent 2020 with another record-breaking year.

GRAND RAPIDS — Wood products manufacturer UFP Industries Inc. announced on Monday that one of its wholly owned subsidiaries has signed an agreement to purchase the assets of a South Carolina-based wood treating operation.

HOLLAND — Furniture maker Trendway Corp. has announced two new partnerships as it continues to bolster its sales operations in Canada.

As a manufacturer with a reputation for skating the cutting edge of technology, Whirlpool Corp. leverages relationships with organizations and researchers globally to uncover emerging technology capable of transforming its operations.

For the large West Michigan-based office furniture manufacturers, remote working was a familiar concept and a demand they were prepared to fulfill.

PLAINWELL — Ownership of systems integrator Perceptive Controls Inc. has changed hands following the company’s recent sale.

GRAND RAPIDS — Tier one automotive supplier Lacks Enterprises Inc. recently announced several changes to its front office.

HOLLAND — Advanced touchscreen provider TES America LLC plans to breathe new life into one of the industry’s first brands via a recent acquisition.

In an ongoing struggle with workforce shortages and a persistent talent gap, Michigan’s manufacturers have found a valuable asset in the Going Pro Talent Fund.

ZEELAND — Tier 1 automotive supplier Gentex Corp. capped off 2020 with a blistering final three months of sales. 

As owner of Forerunner 3D Printing LLC, Paul DeWys utilizes the evolving process of additive manufacturing to primarily produce short runs of complex parts for area businesses, or help them bring those same capabilities to the shop floor.

Joseph Van Harken and his company Th3rd Coast Digital Solutions have long provided companies with cutting-edge digital training solutions.

As a company that has operated for more than 70 years, Jenison-based Nu-Wool Co. Inc. certainly was not oblivious to the fact that higher levels of technology and automation could transform its production process, according to executives.

GRAND RAPIDS — Food packaging manufacturer Performance Systematix Inc. (PSI) has kicked off the new year under new ownership.

GRAND RAPIDS — Brooklyn-based furniture designer Uhuru Design has reached an agreement with Grand Rapids-based Renegade Customs to purchase the custom furniture design firm’s assets.

GRAND RAPIDS — Private equity firm Blackford Capital has invested in Aqua-Leisure Industries Inc.,  a maker of leisure products for water sports and recreation based in Avon, Mass.

CHARLOTTE — After moving its corporate headquarters to Novi this summer, The Shyft Group Inc. announced that it plans to fill hundreds of new jobs at its manufacturing campus in Charlotte to meet growing commercial fleet and speciality vehicle needs.

ROCKFORD — Footwear manufacturer Wolverine World Wide Inc. has shifted its focus to the e-commerce segment of its business complete with a new hire.

LANSING — Food and animal safety products manufacturer Neogen Corp. continues its international expansion with the acquisition of a supplier of analytical products deployed in food and beverage quality control laboratories. 

While Jake Hall might not tout the same beastly social media metrics as some famous American socialites, he considers himself a rare influencer in the manufacturing industry. 

As manufacturing continues to lead both in statewide and nationwide economic recovery, the sector will still need to address a chronic issue that has only worsened throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Market research and consulting firm IHS Markit recently locked in its latest forecast for the North American automotive industry. Barring any major pandemic-related setbacks, most data indicate a scrappy recovery on the back end of 2020 that will continue into 2021. IHS Director of Automotive Analysis Mike Wall, who brings more than two decades’ worth of auto sector expertise, discussed the relatively surprising projections that he didn’t foresee at the start of the pandemic.

Few local executives can provide a better view of the manufacturing industry than Nelson Jacboson, whose Grand Haven-based JSJ Corp. is entering its 101st year in business and features a portfolio of companies with an international presence. Jacobson said the pandemic gave rise to a host of complexities in the supply chain as well as worker retention. Those challenges are likely to continue into next year, along with uncertainty about how the business community approaches mandatory COVID-19 vaccines.

Other than a brief period in the spring when these businesses were shut down completely, many West Michigan automotive dealerships have managed to move vehicles at an impressive clip throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. With 30 stores and 77 franchises throughout three different states, Kalamazoo-based Zeigler Auto Group is on the front lines of automotive retail. The company also operates Zeigler Motorsports, which belongs to another segment that is booming during the pandemic. MiBiz caught up with Zeigler Auto Group President Aaron Zeigler to see if he expects this rally to continue into 2021.

GRAND RAPIDS — A cyberattack that stalled global operations for two weeks did not lend any favors for Steelcase Inc., which continues to see sluggish revenue stemming from rough market conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

ZEELAND — Retail orders helped anchor Herman Miller Inc. amid declining sales, the international furniture manufacturer reported Wednesday in its second quarter fiscal 2021 earnings.

GRAND RAPIDS — Worldwide wood products supplier UFP Industries Inc. plans to expand its industrial packaging capabilities through the upcoming acquisition of Florida-based pallet manufacturer PalletOne Inc.

GRAND RAPIDS — West Michigan’s economy sits well positioned heading into 2021 to continue recovering jobs lost from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts said this week.

As details on a recent cybersecurity attack against Grand Rapids-based office furniture giant Steelcase Inc. begin to surface, local manufacturers of all industries and sizes may want to take notice.