Manufacturer acquires European automation supplier


Grand Rapids Township-based Burke Porter Group is a family of companies that make "intelligent" machines for manufacturers in multiple industries. Photo via

A local maker of intelligent machines has acquired a global supplier of automation equipment.

Ada-based Burke Porter Group, or BPG, said yesterday it acquired Gavere, Belgium-based Van Hoecke Automation, or VHA.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The pace of technology advancement in manufacturing utilizing sensing and autonomous machines and equipment has created significant opportunities for us to address customer demands of today and well into the future,” said David DeBoer, CEO, BPG.

“The addition of Van Hoecke Automation brings an innovative group of highly skilled engineers, enabling BPG to pursue and support more diverse products with an expanded global scale. It’s an exciting time for the industry and for our company.”

BPG said VHA provides a complementary product portfolio and strengthens its manufacturing presence in Belgium, which includes BEP Europe NV in Bruges.

The acquisition will also allow VHA’s automotive products to be distributed to a broader range of global customers.

VHA will remain at its current location in Gavere.

BPG said it will keep the management at VHA in place and not change its day-to-day business activities.

Van Hoecke Automation

Established in 1990, VHA makes production automation and product manipulation and control equipment for the food processing and automotive industries.

Burke Porter Group

Founded in 1953, BPG designs, manufactures and supplies customized intelligent machinery that integrates sensor-based feedback to modify machine control and performance.

Its customers are in the automotive, advanced manufacturing and life science markets in 30 locations in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

In addition to VHA, BPG’s portfolio includes a number of brands: Titan, Kleinknecht, Lismar, Universal Balancing, Cimat, Epic Equipment & Engineering, XL Machine Co., Korvis, Primatics and Burke E. Porter Machinery Co.

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