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Planning and Economic Development

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eMacomb - Economic Development in Action, Fall 2012

Fori Automation hosts "Expansion Celebration"

Fori Automation is a global supplier of the machinery that makes advanced manufacturing possible.  Established in Shelby Township in 1984, the company began by supplying automobile manufacturers with innovative technologies and patented products that helped to revolutionize the assembly line.

As their company reputation grew, so did the demand for their products.  By the late 1980’s Fori’s strategic expansions enabled the company to begin serving vehicle manufacturers in emerging markets.  An international supplier of advanced manufacturing machinery, they have grown to 180 employees in Shelby Township and 450 total employees including their operations in China, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, India, and Tennessee.

Fori initially began developing new and innovative products for the automotive market focused on the needs of the tier one suppliers that provide the finished assembled products to the global OEMs.  With these new products, Fori designed & built turnkey assembly lines for modular assembly & welding systems (i.e. suspensions, seats, instrument panels, sunroofs, frames, cradles).  Tier one modular assembly & welding quickly grew to over 40% of Fori’s annual sales.

Since then, they have successfully diversified beyond the automotive market.  Four years ago Fori developed a non-automotive business plan focused on transferring technology from existing proven automotive products and modifying it for the needs of non-automotive customers.  Fori’s 2012 non-automotive sales will reach 20% of annual sales with active customers in the following industries: aerospace, agriculture, recreational vehicles, military vehicles, and alternative energy.  Fori’s sales have grown from $55M in 2009 to $120M (projected) in 2012.

The department was proud to be invited by company leaders to celebrate the expansion of their global headquarters in Shelby Township on October 9.  More than 150 guests were treated to a sumptuous lunch followed by an official ribbon cutting by company founder Arthur Koerner and remarks by Vice President of Global Operations Mike Beck.  County Executive Mark A. Hackel was also on hand to announce the Home in Macomb Business Retention Program and the Macomb Business Awards.  The event was capped with product demonstrations and a tour of the entire campus.  To see more photos of this great event, visit our Facebook page.

Economic Development Specialists Camille Silda and Jim Ahee have both been actively involved in helping Fori realize its goals for expansion.  They connected the company to employee recruitment programs through MiWorks!, employee training and Macomb Community College, worked with Shelby Twp officials to coordinate permitting issues and reached out to utility providers to make needed enhancements for service.  Department staff also assisted Fori Automation in securing their first “Tool and Die Recovery Zone” designation and the company’s subsequent request for a five-year extension.


Do you represent a Macomb County based business looking to achieve new growth?    We can help.  Get in touch. or 586-469-5285.