New Innovation Center provides practical approach to smart manufacturing for small to mid-sized manufacturers.

Feyen Zylstra (FZ) is pleased to announce that they have been chosen to establish an Innovation Center by the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Institute (CESMII). Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, CESMII exists to rapidly accelerate the development and adoption of Smart Manufacturing principles to drive sustainable manufacturing efficiencies, improve energy consumption, and achieve real-time business improvements. Both focused on raising awareness around Smart Manufacturing and developing the next generation of workforce, CESMII and FZ make ideal partners.

CESMII is a network of networks, dedicated to driving Smart Manufacturing awareness, understanding, and adoption through the use of Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centers (SMIC). SMICs are standalone, innovative, value-driven centers that further CESMII’s mission in a hands-on and learning-centric way. With four SMICs currently founded across the nation, CESMII has chosen Grand Rapids-based Feyen Zylstra as the location for their newest SMIC. Feyen Zylstra’s SMIC will be known as the Innovation Center.

“Our team is thrilled about the opportunity our Innovation Center will offer to small to mid-sized manufacturers (SMM) located in the Midwest. With many SMMs being intimidated by the cost and scope of Smart Manufacturing and supporting technologies, it is our goal to educate how practical solutions and approaches can drive real, achievable results,” says Ryan Cahalane, President of Industrial Technology at Feyen Zylstra.

Slated to open in Spring 2022, FZ’s Innovation Center will welcome local manufacturers to learn, experience, and interact with Smart Manufacturing technology through experimental labs, interactive training workshops, and the showcasing of implementation success stories. The Innovation Center will specifically focus on making these principles accessible and understandable for all manufacturers, regardless of size, type of manufacturing, and the products they produce.

“FZ embodies an underrepresented part of the CESMII ecosystem – the Systems Integrator. Their experience serving multiple industries in factory automation, robotics, manufacturing information systems, and digital transformation consulting services, helps shape the tangible value that manufacturers can harness. They have the ability to guide customers through an often-confusing landscape of vendors while offering packaged solutions,” says John Dyck, Chief Executive Officer at CESMII. “Bringing Smart Manufacturing solutions to practice is about domain expertise and experience and value creation, but it’s also about contributing to the greater good, and advancing the state of the industry. We’re proud to partner with FZ in this important endeavor, shining the spotlight on these important capabilities.”

Ryan added, “FZ’s Innovation Center will be the only center in the CESMII network not located in a university setting.  FZ’S project experience, methodologies, and daily interactions with manufacturers put us in a unique position to help SMMs address the labor challenges with innovative training workshops to upskill the manufacturing workforce.  Beyond driving awareness for manufacturers, FZ is also able to provide guidance and services to help SMMs accelerate their ability to quickly implement more sustainable, resilient smart manufacturing solutions.”

About Feyen Zylstra

Feyen Zylstra is an Industrial Technology firm, committed to the ongoing growth of its business through strategies that build upon its reputation as an innovative problem solver and an employer of choice. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI with locations in Nashville, TN; Charleston, SC; Charlotte, NC; Cleveland, OH; Traverse City, MI; and Kalamazoo, MI, FZ’s nearly 600 employees are focused on serving the most complex industrial and institutional clients across the United States. We strive to build long-term relationships in the areas of design, installation, and maintenance of smart manufacturing technologies including Automation, Robotics, Industrial Networking, Big Data, etc.


CESMII is the United States’ national institute on Smart Manufacturing, driving cultural and technological transformation and secure industrial technologies as national imperatives. By enabling frictionless movement of information–raw and contextualized data – between real-time Operations and the people and systems that create value in and across Manufacturing organizations, CESMII is impacting manufacturing performance through measurable improvements in areas such as: quality, throughput, costs/profitability, safety, asset reliability and energy productivity. Founded in 2016, in partnership with Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), CESMII is the third institute funded by EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. CESMII’s program and administrative home is with the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).