Brewer OEM Responds to Lake Express’ S.O.S.


With more than 10,000 trips across Lake Michigan and more than a million passengers over the last 12 years, Lake Express needed to overhaul the cabin of their popular passenger ferry. Part of the updates included new paint, carpeting and new seating for passengers. In late January 2015, Lake Express reached out to The Brewer Company regarding upgrading their current seating for their passenger cabins. With 12 years of use, the seats were dated, worn, and needed refreshing. Work included replacing the foam and upgrading the upholstery from a cloth fabric to a new and stylish vinyl fabric. After various meetings to determine the look and feel of what Lake Express needed, and with a deadline of eight short weeks, Brewer decided to take on the project.

Brewer’s OEM Division specializes in this type of work and took the challenge in stride. The first step was a visit to the Ferry to see the different types and styles seats. Lake Express then removed the old upholstery, so Brewer could reverse the design and create patterns for the new vinyl fabric. Brewer then began building prototypes. With consistent communication and collaboration with Lake Express, they reviewed and made approvals of all steps prior to submitting to production. This allowed Brewer to make any final modifications needed before production began. With a combined effort from all parties, Brewer was able to complete over 240 seats for Lake Express with a week to spare! This gave Lake Express more than enough time to get the seats installed before their Coast Guard inspection in April.

Lake Express Seats 2lake Express Seats


The Lake Ferry Express project would have not been possible without Brewer’s turn-key manufacturing capabilities, which help companies reduce production costs, minimize lead times and enhance short-run flexibility. Some of the services our OEM division specializes in are

  • Ultrasonic Welding
  • RF Welding
  • CNC Cutting
  • Printing
  • Cut and Sew
  • Assembly
  • Die Cutting
  • Vacuum Forming

In addition, Brewer offers manufacturers advanced product development services and exceptional leading-edge technologies. Brewer’s products are proudly made in the USA. Brewer delivers the innovation that helps differentiate our customers in their respective marketplaces.

The Lake Express Ferry is now fully operational for the 2015 season, with passengers enjoying attractive, comfortable seating during their trips between Milwaukee, WI and Muskegon, MI. The project is just one example of how Brewer’s various competencies and capabilities blend to produce a winning solution for our customers.

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