GHSP Inc. has expanded into a 7,000-square-foot office in downtown Grand Haven, Mich., that houses the company's automotive and appliance technology teams.
More than 20 employees have moved into the leased downtown office space, where the bulk of the work will consist of understanding and researching market trends and future needs for the two markets.
"We were actually fortunate that a lot of the building had been previously remodeled, so most of the work here was outfitting it for our needs … both for an open collaboration space for innovation and then office space as well as some model shop and testing space," Ian Sage, chief engineer of innovation at GHSP, said in a phone interview.
GHSP, which got its start in 1924 stamping metal components, has been further developing its product lines in the automotive and high-end appliance segments by integrating electronics.
Years ago, the Tier 1 supplier converted most, if not all, of its metal stamping functions to plastic injection molding, Sage said, now putting more focus on electronic systems. GHSP invests about 9-10 percent of its budget on research and development, he said.
"We used to do brake pedals, we used to do hinges, and things like that out of stamped metal," he said. "The move into electronics for us was really when that big transition occurred."
Today, the company manufactures plastic and leather-wrapped shift knobs, shift-by-wire auto shifters, smart pumps and actuators, and electronic controls including high-resolution touch screens, among other products.
"With the move to shift-by-wire, where your shifter now, in many cases, is all electronic and it's communicating with your transmission, that has led us into even further development [for] electronics and software, functional safety and cybersecurity," Sage said.
In addition, the move to technologies such as start-stop systems in vehicles over the past 10 years has also fueled growth for the company, he said.
GHSP has its headquarters at another site in Grand Haven and additional manufacturing operations in Hart, Mich. Globally, the company has facilities in Germany, China, Mexico and Japan.
GHSP employs more than 2,000 and is part of JSJ Corp., a privately held collection of growth companies, including four other manufacturing companies.