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joeDowntown

Made in West Michigan?

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What cool products do you know of that are made in Grand Rapids (still)? I'm thinking consumer goods.

A couple that I can think of:

- AMI/Rowe jukeboxes http://www.roweinternational.com/

- Uncle Goose http://www.unclegoose.com

- Herman Miller Home http://www.hermanmiller.com

- Lumichron clocks - http://www.lumichron.com

- Drueke (ok, Ludington but born and raised in GR) http://www.drueke.com

What other great products are made in West Michigan?

Joe

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Hudsonville Ice Cream :)

Also, aren't Brunswick Bowling Balls and Pins made in Muskegon?

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Old Orchard brand juices - I always try to buy it at Meijer

Even though they are owned by Dematic, the Rapistan brand of material handling systems are pretty awesome (especially if you are into shows like Modern Marvels). Especially their Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems and their Monorail systems. I wonder when they are going to get into robotics? :whistling: They already have the technological know-how.

You might laugh, but Cascade Engineering possesses some of the largest plastic injection molding machines in the country, that look similar to this:

450008.jpg

They use them mainly to mold curbside dumpsters, but they also tied two of them together to mold an entire automobile body for Chrysler a few years back, called the CCV (China Concept Vehicle):

1026_3.gif

The plant that contains these bohemoths is located right by the railroad track bridge over Patterson by the airport, and you can see the dumpsters stacked outside a lot of times.

L3 Communications and GE Smith's Aerospace both make some cool systems for airplane cockpits, some of which tell pilots where other air traffic is or where storms/lightning are located (amongst other features).

I'll try and think of some others.

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Pop Tarts!!! At the old Keebler plant on 28th. I think the guy that invented them was from GR too!

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How about those little cutsie ceramic little people with the big eyes?

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I saw the mold for the CCV a couple years ago. It was like Insta-car. :)

I'm thinking products. Consumer products more specifically. Retail goods. I'm sure there are plenty of "I didn't know that was made here!" products. :)

Joe

They use them mainly to mold curbside dumpsters, but they also tied two of them together to mold an entire automobile body for Chrysler a few years back, called the CCV (China Concept Vehicle):

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Also, aren't Brunswick Bowling Balls and Pins made in Muskegon?

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What other great products are made in West Michigan?

Joe

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Do they still make Birdola over at the Phoenix Furniture plant on Richmond?

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Heinz in Holland is one of the largest pickle producers in the world.

Grand Craft runabouts (J-Lo just bought one....)

Tiara Yachts

Howard Miller clocks

Trendway office furniture

Holland is just now losing the Reddi Whip plant (EVERY can of Reddi Whip is made in Holland as of today...)

Another great loss, LIFESAVERS! Used to be every lifesaver ever made was made in Holland.

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I have checked out this forum for the last couple of months and have finally decided to post for the first time.

The topic above in one I have to deal with quite a lot in my line of work.

You would all be amazed at what is made here in West Michigan everything from fire trucks and jet fuel pumps to energy bars and screwdrivers.

Below are a couple of their links

http://www.hmetruck.com/

http://www.elannutrition.com/

http://www.blackmer.com/

http://www.kalfact.com/

I also just finished touring Advanced Packaging

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I saw the mold for the CCV a couple years ago. It was like Insta-car. :)

I'm thinking products. Consumer products more specifically. Retail goods. I'm sure there are plenty of "I didn't know that was made here!" products. :)

Joe

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Boar's Head Provisions, they make tasty lunch meats (which can be found at Grand Central Market).

JB Labs in Holland make OTC pharmaceuticals, so does Perrigo in Allegan.

There's also Gerber in Fremont making baby food.

Another fun (and gross) one is Packerland in Plainwell. They make beef...and what I mean by make is the cows come in the steaks go out.

One of my favorites, Grey and Co in Hart. Combined with their plant in Porland, Oregon they're the worlds largest manufacture of maraschino cherries!

Just thought of a few others...Sara Lee has plants in both Zeeland and Traverse City. And there is a Yoplait plant in Reed City.

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Pop Tarts!!! At the old Keebler plant on 28th. I think the guy that invented them was from GR too!

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The York band instument company (R.I.P.) was right here in GR. Building still up, on Division just south and east of the big Red Shield store. If they ever turn it into condos, I have good decor for that too (as well as GR Cycle Co's formerly intended building).

At a low brass conference in March, players were raving about their ancient York tubas. They don't make 'em like that any more.

My sousaphone is a York, and I also collected a York euph off an auction site.

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Man, for being a manufacturing hub we don't make a lot of cool stuff. :) Probably parts and pieces. I was thinking Sharper Image type whiz-bang stuff. Lumichron clocks used to be at Sharper Image. Rockford Fostgate makes speakers (but do they make cool audio systems?). Vacuum cleaners aren't fun to look at unless its the Roomba (which is not made by Bissel).

Anything retail oriented? Joe Cartoon makes t-shirts (unless he's just living off Yo Quero Taco Bell these days).

We sure do make a lot of food items. Never realized that until this post. :)

Joe

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If it's electronics you're looking for then we don't have a whole lot. Paragon Firstronics makes computerized bowling alley waxers and sells them around the world. These are highly technological devices. Jetco makes fuel systems for fighter jets, yes tom cruse could have been flying on parts made in GR.

EPI is one of the first companies in the world to make modern materials out of a majority recycled materials. So the glass you drink coke out of could be used to build the building you work in.

I would also like to address us being a center of manufacturing. We are a center of design and innovation in the fields of aerospace, furniture, nutrition, medical devices, auto and environmental.

What we do in Grand rapids is much more than manufacturing.

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If it's electronics you're looking for then we don't have a whole lot. Paragon Firstronics makes computerized bowling alley waxers and sells them around the world. These are highly technological devices. Jetco makes fuel systems for fighter jets, yes tom cruse could have been flying on parts made in GR.

EPI is one of the first companies in the world to make modern materials out of a majority recycled materials. So the glass you drink coke out of could be used to build the building you work in.

I would also like to address us being a center of manufacturing. We are a center of design and innovation in the fields of aerospace, furniture, nutrition, medical devices, auto and environmental.

What we do in Grand rapids is much more than manufacturing.

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Smiths Aerospace- Lots of cool things made there (embedded software, military stuff, etc.)

Amway- They make soap, cosmetics, and aerosals among other things in Ada

Gerber- You should be able to fill this in

Old Orchard- Lots of juices

Perrigo- The largest producer of OTC drugs; They make enough things right here to be a cool list in and of themselves

MedBio- Producing plastic pieces for the medical community

Inrad- manufacturer and distributor of medical devices serving the Radiology and biopsy markets

Wolverine World Wide- Not all of their shoes are made overseas- some are made right here in West Michigan

X-Rite- Their color technologies are used everywhere, including your local Lowes

Padnos- Lots of scrap metal, but did you know that they have become a large player in the recycled plastics market?!

Royal Plastics- Lots of plastics made right in Hudsonville and only 30% of it is for automotive uses.

Knape & Vogt- yes, they are still making pieces and parts down on Oak Industrial Drive.

Dematic- Their business is getting stronger as they return to their Rapistan roots. Lots in the pipeline for conveyors.

Benteler- Still a large presence in GR with plants operating at or above capacity.

I have more. Just thought that I would highlight a few.

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I understand what you guys are saying. I guess this was a leading question so I'll just cut to the chase:

If you were to have a retail operation that sold nothing but products either made or designed by companies in W. Mich, what would you put in it?

My thoughts

- Mrs. Dogs Mustard

- Rose's Carmel Corn

- Wine from local Vineyards (but not a wine cellar per se)

- Marie Catribe's packaged granola

- Nostalgiac jukebox (Rowe)

- Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman (Herman Miller)

- Maya Lin Stones (Knoll)

- Frank Gehry High Sticking Chair (Knoll)

- Nelson Marshmellow Sofa (Herman Miller)

- Nelson Ball Clock (Howard Miller)

- Lumichron Clocks

- Froebel Gifts (Uncle Goose)

- Dreuke Games

- Uncle Goose Blocks

- Post Cards (originals, not the schlock you see now)

- Books (about Grand Rapids, by Grand Rapids authors, by native Grand Rapidians)

- Local products made / developed by Grand rapids artists

- Art

- Pottery

- gifts

- Nuke Proof sunscreen (do they still make it)?

etc. etc. etc. :)

Joe

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I believe Four Winns Boats are made in Ludington.

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I understand what you guys are saying. I guess this was a leading question so I'll just cut to the chase:

If you were to have a retail operation that sold nothing but products either made or designed by companies in W. Mich, what would you put in it?

My thoughts

- Mrs. Dogs Mustard

- Rose's Carmel Corn

- Wine from local Vineyards (but not a wine cellar per se)

- Marie Catribe's packaged granola

- Nostalgiac jukebox (Rowe)

- Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman (Herman Miller)

- Maya Lin Stones (Knoll)

- Frank Gehry High Sticking Chair (Knoll)

- Nelson Marshmellow Sofa (Herman Miller)

- Nelson Ball Clock (Howard Miller)

- Lumichron Clocks

- Froebel Gifts (Uncle Goose)

- Dreuke Games

- Uncle Goose Blocks

- Post Cards (originals, not the schlock you see now)

- Books (about Grand Rapids, by Grand Rapids authors, by native Grand Rapidians)

- Local products made / developed by Grand rapids artists

- Art

- Pottery

- gifts

- Nuke Proof sunscreen (do they still make it)?

etc. etc. etc. :)

Joe

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