Manufacturing

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HOLLAND — Before you put pen to paper in any transaction, experts say it’s important to vet the parties with whom your company does business.

HOLLAND — A West Michigan startup hopes to drive down costs and increase consumer safety for electric vehicles with new technology it plans to bring to market next year.

As the pace of technological change intensifies for the automotive industry, suppliers are turning to acquisitions to reshuffle their businesses and prepare for the road ahead.

GRAND RAPIDS — While the automotive sector may be nearing the end of a strong sales cycle, West Michigan-based suppliers remain bullish on the industry.

ACME — A decade into the economic recovery, West Michigan-based automotive suppliers are having to look ahead and prepare for a period of declining new vehicle sales.

PORTAGE — Isaiah Erskine has faced tough odds for most of his young life.

Manufacturers are finding they increasingly have to focus on an aspect of their business that doesn’t involve making a product.

BENTON TOWNSHIP — One Southwest Michigan manufacturer hopes that a newly renovated facility will help grow its line of interior architectural products and serve as an incubation center for other new concepts.

West Michigan manufacturers could be sitting on a widely available yet untapped revenue stream: old corrugated cardboard.

Although additive manufacturing has moved beyond the makerspaces where it first gained a foothold, many companies still relegate the technology for use in prototyping and little else.

KALAMAZOO — Innovative Cardiovascular Solutions LLC will support further development of its medical device thanks to $5 million in new capital it raised from angel investors.

ZEELAND — Charter House Innovations has taken the strategy of business diversification to an extreme.

West Michigan manufacturers continue to take a steady yet conservative approach to research and development spending.

By moving R&D from Missouri to West Michigan, Kawasaki Motor Corp. will be able to deliver faster technical support and service to customers and OEMs. That’s according to Nelson Wilner, a veteran sales and marketing executive in the marine industry who was promoted to lead Kawasaki’s Engines Division, which is headquartered in Grand Rapids. The group focuses on manufacturing industrial engines, primarily for the landscaping industry. While Kawasaki’s manufacturing operations are in Missouri, the division operates its sales and marketing and other business operations from Grand Rapids. Wilner spoke with MiBiz about the decision to move the company’s separate R&D group to West Michigan and other innovations at the company.

Manufacturers from high-tech industries will again have the opportunity to put their products on display at this year’s Advanced Manufacturing Expo.

Ask West Michigan manufacturers how they’re addressing the challenges of finding qualified workers, and many of them likely will cite automation equipment as a key part of their solution.

HAMILTON — An artistic metal foundry once headquartered in Chicago has relocated its operations to Southwest Michigan.

ALBION — After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year, Patriot Solar Group LLC won a minor court victory late last month to keep its case moving forward.

CHICAGO — After years of shifting between private spaces and open office floor plans, the office furniture industry seems to have settled on a happy medium.

CHICAGO — When Herman Miller Inc. first introduced the Aeron chair during the dawn of the dot-com era in 1994, it took the office furniture industry by storm.

Despite growing operational complexity and a period of industry-led change, office furniture suppliers say they remain optimistic.

With an increasingly mobile workforce and an ever greater need for technology investments, companies and entrepreneurs continue to seek out new designs for their offices.

MUSKEGON — A startup business on the lakeshore is helping craft brewers globally to diversify the mix of packaged products they can sell via their taprooms.

KALAMAZOO — The $6 million expansion of Rx Optical Laboratories Inc.’s corporate campus in Southwest Michigan will support further steady growth for the company.

While optimism for the U.S. economy remains relatively high, many economists and industry watchers are forecasting a period of slow growth in West Michigan’s manufacturing sector. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Over his storied career, John Berry has advocated for the benefits of incorporating design principles outside of traditional creative industries. Now, Berry is taking that vision one step further at Grand Valley State University with the new Design Thinking Academy, where he serves as director. The academy spun off from the university’s Design Thinking Initiative that launched in 2014.

ALLEGAN — John Hendrickson says the decision to retire as CEO of Perrigo Co. plc was personal and his choice alone.

COMSTOCK PARK — One West Michigan manufacturer of stamping dies hopes to leverage a self-funded automation business into its primary money maker in the years ahead. 

ADA — A new chapter has opened in a two-decade-long legal saga over allegations of copyright infringement against the parent company of Amway Corp.

In 2013, the discovery of a large deposit of high-quality potash in Michigan touched off a wave of public attention.

NEWAYGO — One West Michigan entrepreneur hopes to use data science to make users of medical oxygen systems safer with a handful of new products.

When Jim Hackett retired from the corner office at Steelcase Inc. in 2014, he told MiBiz the “narrative is still being written” about what he planned to do in the next phase of his professional life.

When Siliconature Corp. examined potential sites in West Michigan for its North American headquarters, the company knew finding an existing building that fit its specific needs would be challenging.

GRAND RAPIDS — One West Michigan electronics manufacturer plans to leverage a recent deal in Europe to further capitalize on the growing electronics manufacturing market.

As a business consulting firm, O’Keefe & Associates Consulting LLC has increasingly seen a need to advise its clients on the best ways to invest in automation equipment. Tim Thompson, the firm’s managing director at its Grand Rapids office, spoke with MiBiz about how investing in automation equipment can affect an organization’s long-term investment strategies.

The sector that provides the majority of tooling, fixtures and molds required to manufacture automotive components is facing a crisis.

HOLLAND — Executives at Evoqua Water Technologies LLC expect a combination of aging municipal infrastructure and an increased focus on sustainable business practices to drive interest in its water treatment technologies.

HASTINGS — A West Michigan ammunition equipment manufacturer wants an arms maker owned by the United Arab Emirates to pay up.

After years of leading the market for its signature technology, Fleetwood Electronics realized it let its position slip away.

GRAND RAPIDS — What started as a business serving a niche of natural food aficionados has moved into the mainstream.

West Michigan-based contract furniture companies have muddled through the recent period of political uncertainty and mixed international demand.

ZEELAND — A legal dispute challenging the validity of the 2014 merger between Herman Miller Inc. and Design Within Reach could head to trial in Delaware this November.

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