Volume 37, Issue 8, August 2002

CompanyNews

Glasstech Incorporated Announces Plans for Financial Reorganization 

After receiving the United States District Court's approval last month, Glasstech Inc.'s plan of financial reorganization became effective July 12. According to a news release, Glasstech believes the court's action will open the door for it to emerge as a much stronger and more viable company.
 
“When we filed just five months ago, we said the company would emerge quickly and strongly; and that's what has happened,” said Mark D. Christman, Glasstech's president and chief executive officer. “The financial reorganization converts all $70 million of the company’s debt into equity which provides further relief to the company through elimination of an annual interest expense of approximately $9 million. This conversion of debt to equity dramatically improves our balance sheet and greatly improves our cash flow. We are now positioned to serve the needs of customers well into the future," Christman added. 

Nancy Colyer, president of J&S Industrial Machine Products, a Glasstech supplier, based in Toledo, Ohio, said, “I am absolutely satisfied with the reorganization and have complete confidence that a stronger Glasstech has emerged. They’ve taken the necessary steps to make Glasstech a forerunner in the industry.”

New Glass Case in the Works for the Declaration of Independence 

Due to tiny crystals forming inside the glass that enclosed the Declaration of Independence, a Pilkington plant in Germany is making a new enclosure for the historical document. According to the Toledo Blade, the crystals are the first sign of aging that takes place when water touches glass, and in this case, it was a sign that too much humidity was inside the case, which had been made more than 50 years ago by the former Libbey-Owens-Ford Co. (now part of Pilkington North America). 

Two years ago curators unsealed the case and found that humidity levels ranged from 41 percent to 48.5 percent. There was concern, according to the newspaper, that deposits from the glass could eventually damage the iron gall ink used to write the documents.

"There are 13 layers of backing papers behind the documents," said Chris Barry, Pilkington North America director of technical services. "I suspect the backing paper and the parchment itself may have picked up part of the moisture and increased the relative humidity of the air."

The glass being made to serve as the Declaration of Independence's new enclosure will have a low iron content to "provide the highest clarity." It will also be filled with Argon and include sensors for water vapor and oxygen levels.



Dwyer Group Makes Cover of Family Business
The story behind the Dwyer Group of Waco, Texas, parent company to a number of businesses including the Glass Doctor, was the cover story for the spring 2002 issue of Family Business magazine.

The article tells the story of how the Dwyer family handled issues such as executive power, business legacy, profitability and accountability since the death of company founder Don Dwyer Sr. in 1994.

"We agreed to tell our story to Family Business because what we've experienced can happen to any family business," said Dina Dwyer-Owens, president and chief executive officer of the Dwyer Group. "And you have to learn to manage the succession process for the company to endure."

Among those interviewed for the article was Robert Tunmire, executive vice president of the Dwyer Group and president of the Glass Doctor.

Kawneer Opens New Service Center in Atlanta
Kawneer Co. Inc. has announced the opening of a 52,000-square-foot, new, stand-alone Atlanta service center that houses customer service representatives, estimating, engineering, sales and local delivery personnel and resources. After investing $1 million dollars in expanding the Atlanta site, Kawneer hopes the center will help the company to better meet the needs and challenges of today's business climate. 

"The new Atlanta service center gives Kawneer the resources, people and flexibility to shift gears as necessary to meet the needs of our customers," said president Bill Cralley.

In addition, the Atlanta service center offers a large variety of both stock and custom framing systems and entrances, anodized and painted finish choices, the company's ten-day fast-doors program and custom door and frame fabrication.

Albat + Wirsam Celebrates 25th Anniversary
The Germany-based, glass-related software company, ALBAT + WIRSAM, with North American headquarters in Oakville, Ontario, celebrated its 25th anniversary in June. The company was founded in 1977 by physicists Dr. Bernd Wirsam and Dr. Renate Albat to optimize flat glass cutting and reduce the amount of waste in optimization batches to under five percent. 

Since its start in Dr. Wirsam's basement, Albat + Wirsam has grown-up to become a company with 12 subsidiaries and branch offices throughout the world. 

Within two years of its founding, the company’s sales were more than $1 million. Annual increases in sales of approximately 20 percent necessitated moving to new buildings in 1980 and 1990. Today the company, which has been present in the North American market since 1986, employs about 220 people.

Tubelite Announces New Additions
Reed City, Mich.-based Tubelite Inc. announced that it has completed its 18-month project that included building an addition to optimize the material receiving process, adding two new Tekna CNC stations to support the door and frame fabrication line, two new Belco age ovens with integrated conveyor systems, adding automated door and lineal packaging equipment and upgrading software to streamline the order entry process.

In addition, Tubelite has installed a new Sutton 2650/2750 UST Syntech extrusion press and Belco automated handling system. 

In regard to the recent additions, Ken Werbowy, the company's president and chief executive officer, said, "While there appears to be a trend of cut backs and consolidation in the industry, we at Tubelite are making these investments to ensure dependable service and quality while dramatically reducing lead times for our clients. The updated equipment will align Tubelite's manufacturing operations with these service and lead-time leadership goals for the future."


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