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Manufacturing

WALKER — Automation solutions provider Axis Automation has announced a $5.7 million expansion in Walker that it expects could create up to 50 jobs.

ADA — Burke Porter Group is expanding its footprint to Ireland and bolstering its life sciences capabilities with the acquisition of a leading manufacturer of assembly products and storage solutions for the biomedical industry.

GRAND RAPIDS TWP.  — Diversified construction, packaging and industrial product manufacturer UFP Industries Inc. has expanded its packaging division with the acquisition of a Texas firm. 


PORTAGE — Pfizer Inc. plans to invest $750 million to expand production capacity in Portage, creating 300 jobs.

GRAND RAPIDS — Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing Inc. has acquired property near its Grand Rapids headquarters to support the contract manufacturer’s ongoing growth.

HOLLAND — An equity investment from United Airlines Ventures could allow a startup advanced battery company to ramp up production in Holland via a partnership with automotive battery supplier Clarios International Inc. 



CASCADE TWP. — Cascade Engineering Inc. has sold its powersports division to a private equity-backed firm, marking a second notable sale this year for the plastic injection molding manufacturer.

Milind Pant recently completed the next “logical step” in his experience as a global business executive when he, his wife and two sons were approved for U.S. citizenship. For the Amway Corp. CEO who grew up in the Himalayan foothills of India, that journey started about seven years while he was a Yum! Brands executive in Dallas.

Ahistoric influx of federal stimulus and infrastructure funding, combined with the state’s full-court press for large battery manufacturing plants, is on a collision course with a widespread construction labor shortage.


University of Michigan economists expect the U.S. economy to move into a mild recession in the second half of 2023, as rising interest rates drag on growth.

KENTWOOD — West Michigan-based hot tub manufacturer Nordic Products Inc. has sold to Monomoy Capital Partners LP, a private equity firm based in Greenwich, Conn.

MUSKEGON — Die casting manufacturer Pace Industries LLC plans to lay off 244 workers as it closes two Muskegon plants next month.



WALKER — What started out as a conversation between executives at Feyen Zylstra LLC and ATS Global about deepening their partnership for Industry 4.0 technologies ultimately led to the two companies striking a deal. 

WALKER — Pallet solutions firm Kamps Inc. is making a strategic deal to acquire Newton, Iowa-based Realm Companies LLC to bolster its presence in the Midwest and expand its service capabilities. 

HOLLAND — The Michigan Strategic Fund Board will give JR Automation Technologies LLC more flexibility in meeting hiring requirements tied to a $2.25 million state grant the company received in May.


Key metrics in a monthly report on West Michigan’s industrial economy trended downward last month into negative territory, reflecting a slowing economy.

GRAND RAPIDS — Perrigo Co. plc would add capacity to produce infant formula through a $170 million deal to acquire a plant in Eau Claire, Wis. along with investments in existing facilities.

NORTON SHORES — Automotive aftermarket parts manufacturer AGS Company Automotive Solutions LLC continues to build out its portfolio of products with a deal for BrakeQuip LLC. 


CALEDONIA — Private equity-backed Aspen Surgical Products Inc. continues to grow by acquisition with its latest deal to bolster its portfolio with complementary surgical products. 

SHOREHAM — Southwest Michigan automation manufacturer Eagle Technologies Group will add 100 jobs by 2024 and is leasing additional engineering and manufacturing space near St. Joseph to accommodate recent growth.

ADA — Burke Porter Group, a producer of automated diagnostic, testing and production equipment for specialty industrial markets, has bolstered its medical and life sciences capabilities with the acquisition of a San Diego-based contract manufacturer and product design firm. 


GRAND RAPIDS — Private equity firm Auxo Investment Partners has sold a New Orleans-based barge transportation company that it acquired five years ago.

HOLLAND — Liz Hilton’s journey to launch a customized 3D knitting manufacturing business has taken her from a startup studio space in Grand Rapids to her garage and to KNITit LLC’s new headquarters at a 6,000-square-foot building in Holland.

Steelcase Inc. and MillerKnoll Inc. — the two largest players in office furniture manufacturing — are experiencing lower order volumes as corporations delay return-to-office plans, and are both responding with cost-cutting measures in the coming weeks.


The office furniture industry’s two largest players expect slower sales but also growth in the near term as employers face an uncertain economy and they reshape their offices to accommodate hybrid work models.

ZEELAND — Despite strong sales in recent months, MillerKnoll Inc. executives forecast slower sales growth in the months ahead and are taking several measures to generate up to $35 million in cost savings.

BIG RAPIDS — A trio of Mecosta County municipalities have approved a 30-year tax incentive to help lure a multi-billion dollar electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility that promises more than 2,000 jobs.


WYOMING — A national company at the forefront of next-generation agricultural practices is putting down roots in West Michigan after being lured to the region in part by its legacy of manufacturing innovation. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Steelcase Inc.’s plan to eliminate up to 180 salaried positions this fall comes as the economy faces what CFO and Senior Vice President Dave Sylvester calls “dark clouds” and as the office furniture maker has experienced reduced incoming orders in recent weeks.

GRAND RAPIDS — Citing a 20-percent decline in incoming orders during the first few weeks of its current quarter, Steelcase Inc. plans to cut up to 180 salaried positions and has reduced its quarterly dividend.


BIG RAPIDS — The Big Rapids area could experience a multi-billion dollar advanced battery manufacturing investment in the coming years, according to a recent media report confirming months of speculation about the project.

CASCADE TWP. — An Italian manufacturer of luxury RV and boat fixtures plans to open its North American headquarters in Cascade Township with a $7.3 million investment that could create 130 jobs.

WALKER — Pallet solutions firm Kamps Inc. has kicked its dealmaking into high gear over the last month, closing on acquisitions that expand the company’s footprint into Minnesota and deepen its presence in Florida.


The Shyft Group Inc.’s Blue Arc EV Solutions brand has secured its first 2,000-unit pre-order for its new line of electric Class 3, 4 and 5 walk-in delivery vans. 

GRAND RAPIDS — The Huizenga Group has bolstered its capabilities in the automation sector in a deal for supplier Bulldog Factory Service LLC based in Madison Heights.

NORTON SHORES — Private equity-backed AGS Company Automotive Solutions LLC, a maker of automotive aftermarket parts, has acquired a California-based manufacturer and distributor of auto and motorcycle tools and equipment.


ALPINE TWP. — A division of global automotive parts supplier NBHX Trim Group will close its Alpine Township facility and begin to lay off 74 employees next month as it transfers operations to Mexico.

GRAND RAPIDS — Blackford Capital recorded another exit with the sale of Hastings-based Quality Aluminum Products Inc. to a publicly traded manufacturer and service provider for the renewable energy, residential, agricultural technology and infrastructure markets.

CASCADE TWP. — West Michigan Tier 1 automotive supplier ADAC Automotive Inc. has named a company outsider and industry veteran to replace longtime President and CEO Jim Teets.


HOLLAND TWP. — Metal Flow Corp. is adding a 60,000-square-foot facility adjacent to its existing Holland Township location to accommodate growth from the deep draw stamping company’s technology investments.

HOLLAND — Holland-based Padnos, a fourth-generation, family owned industrial recycling and scrap management company, has expanded its geographic footprint within Michigan by acquiring B. Clinkston & Sons Inc.

Anewly built flagship Subaru store that Fox Motor Group LLC opened in Cascade Township simultaneously demonstrates the latest in new dealership technology and what could become a fading part of the automotive retail industry. 


For more than two years, global supply chain disruptions have delayed orders of the ubiquitous semiconductor chips found in products as diverse as home appliances, video game consoles and high-grade weapons. The small but integral components manage the flow of electric currents of devices in an exponentially electrified world.

BENTON HARBOR — Global appliance manufacturer Whirlpool Corp. has acquired a leading manufacturer of food waste disposers and instant hot water dispensers for $3 billion.

A New York investment firm has acquired Burke Porter Group Co., an Ada-based producer of automated diagnostic, testing and production equipment for the life science, automotive, aerospace and other specialty industrial markets.


The Industry 4.0 transition depends on male-dominated fields like computer science and engineering, potentially causing a disproportionate effect on women seeking to enter the field. 

Asmall West Michigan custom automation provider is doubling in size as manufacturers struggle with worker shortages and seek to introduce less labor-intensive components to their operations.

Even as a child, Danielle Schneider knew she would probably be involved in the manufacturing industry.