Volume 34, Number 3, March 1999

 

Industry News

PPG Increases Glass Production at One Plant; Rebuilds Production Line at Another

PPG Industries is spending $20 million to rebuild the melting tank on one of the two float glass production lines at its Wichita Falls, TX, plant. Richard B. Leggett, vice president, flat glass cited extension of the line’s production life for at least another ten years, thus enhancing productivity and efficiency, as one advantage of the rebuild effort.

Leggett said the tank will be rebuilt with chrome-free refractories as part of the company’s waste minimization efforts and commitment under the Responsible Care initiative. The initiative is designed to reduce hazardous waste and toxicity in waste streams.

According to PPG, the line will be shut down during tank repair and start-up operations should begin late this month.

In addition to rebuilding the production line, PPG is stepping up its efforts at its Mount Zion, IL, facility. The company increased low-E glass production at the flat glass plant with the start-up of upgraded vacuum-coating equipment.

According to Leggett, the Mount Zion plant has the capacity to produce tens of millions of square feet of SunGate low-E glass annually at improved rates, including Sungate 1000 glass, which has a double-silver coating and temperable low-E glass.

AFGD Announces Product Installations

AFGD Inc., announced the successful installation of a new tempering furnace in Richmond, VA, as well as plans for a future installation at its Marietta, GA facility. According to the company, the new TGL 86- by 144-inch dual-zone horizontal tempering furnace in Richmond will allow greater output and quality with expanded size capability.

The new Lisec automated insulating line planned for Marietta will allow hands-free assembly of IG units from large glass sheets to completed unit. According to the company, this will allow for improved quality and consistency while increasing capacity. The machinery will also assemble IG units with high performance reflective and low-E glass for the southeast region, which AFGD says will reduce lead times for these products.

Gardner Glass Products Changes Ownership

Without a fourth generation to which the company could be passed to, Mark Pegram, chairman and CEO of Gardner Glass Products of North Wilkesboro, NC, announced that the Culler Family, majority shareholders in the company, have sold their interest in a management-led buy out. Tommy Huskey, Melissa Lackey and Randy Brooks, current members of senior management, have purchased controlling interest in Gardner. Pegram said he will now assist in the operations of North American Packaging, a steel fabrication and powder coating company in North Carolina.

According to Pegram, Gardner Glass Products had been a family-owned business for three generations. "Without a fourth generation, we felt the management provided the best solution to our desire to sell the company," he said.

Huskey, now chairman and CEO, served as president of the company for 18 months prior to the change in ownership.

Kawneer Sells Brite Vue Product Line

The regionalization of the glass entrance business has prompted Kawneer Co., of Norcross, GA, to sell its Brite Vue product line to Walters and Wolf, a large contract glazing firm in Fremont, CA.

Kawneer said it has become increasingly difficult to overcome freight and lead time issues that arise when shipping material from one coast to the other. The company, which acquired Brite Vue in 1989, said it based its decision on Kawneer’s ongoing efforts to improve service to its customers.

The agreement with Walters and Wolf includes the name Brite Vue, all of the product lines and some inventory and equipment used for fabrication.

KUDOS

Binswanger Receives Award

Binswanger Mirror of Grenada, MS, has been awarded the Mississippi Quality Excellence Award. The award program was established under the Workforce Education Act of 1994. It operates under the Mississippi State Board for Community and Junior Colleges and involves a structured, externally validated, self-assessment process.

"The process is intended to help organizations learn about and develop strategies for implementing the appropriate management tools in order to continue a journey toward world-class performance excellence," said the Quality Awards Team. The award will be presented April 9, 1999 at the end of a two-day conference.Two Industry Companies Listed in Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best

When Fortune magazine announced its 100 Best Companies to work for in America two industry companies, 3M Company and AlliedSignal, were among those honored by the magazine. AlliedSignal of Morristown, NJ, was ranked number 80, a jump from last year’s ranking of number 96. 3M Company of Maplewood, MN, was ranked number 94, down from last year’s number 35 ranking. The magazine chose 206 of more than 1,000 large and mid-sized firms and polled some 27,000 of their employees to identify the best places to work.

Some of the benefits offered by the selected companies include stock options, on-site child care, group homeowners insurance, group auto insurance, individual financial counseling, college planning assistance, home purchasing assistance, group prepaid legal services, subsidized cafeterias, and tuition reimbursement.

LEGAL

Dinitto of Ameriglass Pled Guilty

On July 23, 1998, at Chelsea and Cambridge District Courts, John Dinitto of Ameriglass, Dallas, TX, pled guilty to 16 counts of insurance fraud. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, suspended for 18 months with probation, and ordered to pay $3,464 in restitution. The court also revoked Dinitto’s automobile repair shop registration for one year.

Three others pled guilty for their roles in the conspiracy to defraud Hanover Insurance Company by billing for repairs never performed as well as billing for more expensive glass than actually used on some claims. Mark Ciulla, in Malden District Court on August 19, was sentenced to two years in-house correction, suspended for three years and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. Pamela Taglieri and Shawn McKinley’s cases were continued without finding for six months and one year respectively.

COMPANIES

Ford Fire Could Affect Production

Ford Motor Co.’s part-making complex, the independently owned Rouge Steel, of Dearborn, MI, closed February 2, 1999 after an explosion and fire in the coal-powered generating station that fuels its operations.

The complex "resumed operations within five days of the explosion," according to Norm Johnson of Visteon. There was little to no affect on the glass industry due to the fact that the plant was operational again before glass already in-route to manufacturing plants and on-site inventory was exhausted. The complex fabricates glass for aftermarket installation and manufacturing plants.

C.R. Laurence and Sprayway Form New Alliance

C.R. Laur-ence Co. (CRL) of Los Ange-les, and Spray-way Inc., have formed a marketing and distribution alliance. As part of the alliance, CRL has become Sprayway’s master distributor to the glass market. Select Sprayway products will be packaged and marketed through CRL’s distribution system. CRL will expand its product line, while CRL and Sprayway will offer private-label cleaners, lubricants and other aerosol products.

Glassrobots Oy and AGM Glass Machinery Come Together

Glassrobots Oy and AGM Glass Machinery Inc., have agreed on marketing cooperation in the U.S. and Canadian market. As of August 1998 AGM assumed the title of exclusive agent of Glassrobots Oy, selling the company’s bending, laminating and tempering equipment in the U.S. and Canadian market.

Arch Aluminum and Glass Expands

Arch Aluminum and Glass Co. Inc. of Villa Rica, GA, announced an expansion of its facilities in the Mid-South region. According to the company, it has already begun construction on a new $3 million 50,000-square-foot glass and aluminum fabrication facility in Jackson, MS.

A move from the Memphis facility to the new Jackson facility is planned around June 1, 1999. At that time operations will cease in Memphis and begin in Jackson. Arch will continue to service the Memphis market.

EXPANSIONS

JEBerkowitz, LP Expands

JEBerkowitz has added a new office that the company says expands its customer service, credit and product manager departments. The company has installed a phone system throughout the company’s plant and offices, and the manufacturing and engineering departments installed a new roller coater spandrel line with a gas fired drying oven and a second automated Lisec insulating line. This was all accomplished while maintaining its existing equipment which operates around the clock five to six days per week, said a company representative.

Phase one of the new plant software that will rationalize sorting of cut size glass for the insulating plants has begun. The company’s fleet has been expanded with four new tractor-trailers and cranes and their glass rack trucks have been converted to all-weather covered bodies. In addition, the company showed a 12 percent sales growth for 1998.

Linetec Expands

Linetec of Wausau, WI, has expanded into a 68,000 square-foot aluminum anodizing facility. The total area of the new facility increased by 172,000 square-feet and increased production capacity by 60 percent,

according to the company. The new facility incorporates new computer-controlled, high-speed cranes. Due to new equipment, the company is now able to provide expanded color choices, including shades of burgundy, pewter, blue and green.

INTERNATIONAL

Guardian Dedicates Brazilian Plant

Guardian Industries of Auburn Hills, MI, dedicated a new glass plant at Port Real, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The company’s expectations for the unit is an initial capacity of 420 metric tons per day, to be gradually increased to 600 metric tons per day. The company has a 20 percent share in the domestic market, a share expected to grow to 28 percent after the start up of the new plant.

PPG Increases Investment in Mexican Auto Glass Producer

PPG Industries increased its investment from 25 to 50 percent in Cristal Laminado o Templado S.A. de C.V. (CITSA), an automotive glass fabricator in Tepeji del Rio, Mexico, 30 miles north of Mexico City. According to PPG vice president, Ernest Hahn, increased PPG ownership will accelerate CITSA’s use of PPG resources to pursue opportunities in the growing Mexican automotive industry. "By combining PPG’s technical skills with CITSA’s proximity to the marketplace, we are better able to drive opportunities that capitalize on both of our strengths," Hahn said.

CODES AND REGULATIONS

Proposed Changes to NBC

The following changes/revisions were made to the National Building Code as interpreted by the AAMA:

Section 714.2.6 B30—Floor fire doors used to protect through openings in fire rated floors would be tested to ASTM E119 only. This change eliminates testing with NFPA 252.

Section 719.1 B34—Specifies the positive pressure differential used in determining fire protection rated glazing, since testing under positive pressure is conservative and more representative of actual fire conditions. This will harmonize BOCA with similar provisions in the UBC and SBC.

Section 1017.1.1 B70—Adds a new exception for floor surfaces at exterior decks, patios and balconies in type B dwellings being at the same elevation on both sides. The exception that allows a 3/4-inch high threshold is narrowed to only exterior sliding doors in dwelling units, and does not apply to non-residential applications such as hotels and hospitals.

Section 1017.4 B74—Adds a lower limit to the height range for hardware on accessible doors. Adds a 48- inch maximum height and a new exception for locks on doors that "are not provided for use as part of the normal operation of a door to the 34-inch limited." Proposed language implies two end points rather than a 14-inch range for hardware. AAMA offered an amendment to clarify the range was not allowed.

Correction

In the February 1999 issue of USGlass, page 49, Pinpoint Laser Systems website was listed incorrectly. The correct address is www.pinlaser.com. We regret the error.

 


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Copyright 1999 Key Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.