John Wiegand

John Wiegand

Staff writer

[email protected]

Sunday, 17 April 2016 16:01

Lakewood Fab Tech switches focus to custom industrial machine design

HOLLAND — After manufacturing a specialized line of food processing equipment for 30 years, Lakewood Fab Tech LLC wants to embrace new opportunities by refocusing its business on designing custom machines for the industrial market. 

Sunday, 17 April 2016 15:58

West Michigan auto suppliers, startups rush to develop autonomous technology

Experts in the automotive industry have a simple message for companies figuring out how to navigate a changing vehicle market: Embrace the eventual shift to autonomous cars or you will cease to exist. 

Sunday, 10 April 2016 16:29

Fiber optic internet service provides new opportunities to lakeshore communities

HOLLAND — As work becomes more digitized and mobile in nature, economic developers will need to add yet another high-tech tool to their toolbox to attract and retain businesses and talent. 

Wednesday, 06 April 2016 14:01

Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing completes $1.1 million raise

Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing Inc. completed a $1.1 million round of fundraising from investors last month.

Sunday, 03 April 2016 23:38

Blue Star Automation acquires Impres Engineering Services

Blue Star Automation LLC closed its first deal earlier this week with the acquisition of Impres Engineering Services LLC, a Holland-based machining and engineering firm.

Sunday, 03 April 2016 15:34

Economic developers increase focus on growing West Michigan’s rural communities

As Michigan’s industries have evolved over the years, so too have the roles economic developers play when it comes to helping businesses grow and expand in communities across the state.  

Sunday, 03 April 2016 15:30

Fogg Filler opts for nimble approach to product development, growth

HOLLAND — A West Michigan equipment manufacturer wants to leverage its engineering pedigree to navigate a consolidating industry.

Sunday, 03 April 2016 15:27

OEMs continue to spend on outsourced product development and engineering

Despite some uncertainty about the health of the global economy, West Michigan product development and engineering firms remain bullish on the manufacturing sector, at least for the short term. 

Friday, 01 April 2016 11:34

Exports add fuel to growth for American craft breweries

As craft beer exports present consistent growth opportunities for American producers, internationally-distributing companies such as Grand Rapids-based Founders Brewing Co. note that overseas markets are making up an ever-increasing portion of their sales.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016 13:43

Earnings spike in Steelcase’s fourth quarter despite tepid revenue performance

While revenues declined slightly in the fourth quarter, Steelcase Inc. benefited from a tax restructuring and the partial sale of an investment to drive earnings.

Thursday, 17 March 2016 13:58

North American market, improved margins spurs Herman Miller’s third quarter

A positive North American market continued to drive sales in Herman Miller Inc.’s (NASDAQ: MLHR) third quarter.

Thursday, 17 March 2016 09:43

Tillerman acquires Jackson-based aerospace manufacturer

As they approach retirement age, many family business owners are considering who to trust when passing on the leadership in the organizations they’ve built. 

Sunday, 20 March 2016 16:59

Primera Plastics invests in youth mentorship, workforce development

ZEELAND — Manufacturers have had to get creative in balancing the dual workforce needs of attracting new talent — particularly young people — and retaining their existing workers. 

Sunday, 20 March 2016 16:51

West Mich. med device makers cope with OEM consolidation, global expansion

As the medical device industry continues to expand globally, the sector has entered a period of mass consolidation. 

Friday, 11 March 2016 11:26

West Michigan auto suppliers need to stay abreast of next downturn, experts say

As West Michigan automotive suppliers race to meet customers’ orders in what’s expected to be another banner year in 2016, those companies must also keep their eyes forward and prepare for the next downturn in the business cycle.

Sunday, 06 March 2016 15:16

Q&A: Pashon Murray Founder, Detroit Dirt LLC

Like many successful entrepreneurs, Pashon Murray keeps herself incredibly busy. Murray splits her time between managing her three companies — Detroit Dirt LLC, International Dirt L3C and personal brand Pashon Murray Inc. — while at the same time serving as a fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab. 

Sunday, 06 March 2016 15:12

Craft breweries bet on sustainable technology

As the craft brewing industry matures, many West Michigan producers have started seeking out technology that provides sustainable solutions to common issues. 

Sunday, 06 March 2016 15:01

Manufacturers push for health care, environmental reforms

Manufacturing industry groups are tracking a number of key policy issues this year that could have a variety of implications on their West Michigan members. 

Sunday, 06 March 2016 14:35

Quest Precision looks to fill machining capacity shortage

WALKER — As industrial production levels continue to rise and West Michigan manufacturers reach full capacity, companies need to decide whether to invest in adding capacity or turn to other organizations in the supply chain. 

Sunday, 06 March 2016 14:27

Robot Revolution: Manufacturers embrace automation to hedge against future downturns

Backed by a string of profitable years, many West Michigan manufacturers are investing in labor-saving technology and providing themselves a hedge against future softening in the market. 

Tuesday, 23 February 2016 12:19

Wolverine Worldwide posts decline in Q4, end of year revenues

Wolverine World Wide Inc. reported declining revenues in the fourth quarter and for its 2015 fiscal year.

Monday, 22 February 2016 15:52

Peters legislation to support dual enrollment programs

New legislation U.S. Sen. Gary Peters is co-sponsoring would open up federal grant dollars to universities and colleges to develop concurrent dual enrollment programs with high schools.

Sunday, 21 February 2016 22:56

Pilot Malt House plans scholarship for KVCC sustainable brewing program

In a bid to grow the talent pool for Michigan’s nascent craft brewing industry, Byron Center-based Pilot Malt House LLC has announced a $500 scholarship for students in the sustainable brewing program at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Sunday, 21 February 2016 22:29

Auto suppliers contend with scheduling constraints, impact of mega deals

As the automotive supply chain prepares for a rapid increase in new model launches, manufacturers must also contend with several other trends in the industry ranging from production scheduling to the ripple effects of last year’s mega deals. 

Sunday, 21 February 2016 22:28

Mill Steel sues Illinois steel processor

A contractual dispute over a $1.125 million equipment purchase has resulted in legal action between Mill Steel Co. and Illinois-based steel processor The Material Works Ltd. 

Sunday, 21 February 2016 22:26

eAgile eyes global expansion for RFID technology

eAgile Inc., a maker of radio frequency identification (RFID) products and software, hopes to raise up to $3 million to expand its overseas business serving the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and food industries.

Friday, 19 February 2016 10:16

Retail, industrial market drives year-end gains for UFPI

Bolstered by mild weather and strong performance in its retail and industrial markets, Universal Forest Products Inc. reported an 8.5-percent increase in annual sales.

Sunday, 21 February 2016 21:07

West Michigan community colleges ramp up manufacturing programing with grant dollars

Facing what they say is a dearth of qualified technical talent, manufacturers have been forced to get creative in developing their own internal training programs. But despite those efforts to fill the gap, companies still rely heavily on community colleges to train the next wave of workers. 

Sunday, 14 February 2016 20:43

The Right Place to host free Resource Connect event

The Right Place Inc. has partnered with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) to host a free event aimed at connecting West Michigan businesses with supporting resources.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016 16:02

Haworth posts modest growth in 2015 sales

Market uncertainty in Asia combined with negative currency translation effects resulted in a modest increase in global sales for Haworth Inc. this year.

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