Volume 41, Issue 8 - August 2006

GlobalUpdate

Glasstech Celebrates Opening of Mumbai, India Liaison Office 

Glasstech Inc. of Perrysburg, Ohio, recently held grand opening ceremonies to celebrate its new liaison office in Mumbai, India.
 
“The opening of the Glasstech Mumbai Liaison Office is a testimony to the growing importance of India and the Southern Asia market in worldwide commerce and especially to the glass processing industry,” said John S. Baxter, Glasstech senior vice president, of marketing and sales. Baxter presided over the ceremony on behalf of Glasstech president Mark D. Christman. 

As part of the observance held at the ITC Grand Maratha Sheraton in East Mumbai, a special “Lighting of the Lamp” ceremony was conducted by Ramesh Srinivasan, Glasstech country manager for India and the head of the Mumbai office, and Randy W. Croson, Glasstech sales manager, Asia-Pacific. 

“Glasstech has seen strong demand for its innovative architectural and automotive glass bending and tempering systems in the area,” Baxter said. “The Mumbai Liaison Office will be a critical link between the company, its customers and prospects and will be a local resource for sales and service information.” 

Glasstech opened the Mumbai Liaison Office in early 2006. 
Uni-form Engineering Forms Relationship with Edgetech I.G. Inc.
Uni-form Engineering, a manufacturer of PVC/vinyl profile bending systems based in the United Kingdom, has announced Edgetech I.G. Inc. of Cambridge, Ohio, will serve as its sales agent for its Form8tor® vinyl profile bending system in the Americas. 

“We’re pleased to have this relationship with Edgetech,” said Glenn and Anita Day, co-owners of Uni-form Engineering. “It combines both companies’ strong market leadership, innovative technologies and first class applications expertise.” 

“The initiative to partner with Uni-form Engineering has been driven by an unwavering strategy to provide innovative, high-performance, turnkey solutions to our customers. The Form8tor profile bending machine expands our product and systems offerings for continuously improving manufacturing efficiency and profitability within the fenestration industry,” said Mike Hovan, president of Edgetech I. G. Inc. “We are extremely pleased to be working with a company that shares our commitment to innovation, customer satisfaction and high-quality, high-performance products.”

Asahi Glass Breaks Ground for Gumi Plant
Asahi PD Glass Korea Co. Ltd. held a groundbreaking ceremony at its fourth complex in Gumi, Korea, on June 27. It was attended by approximately 200 people including company president Takashi Wada, North Kyungsang province governor, Kim Yong-Dae and heads of related organizations and employees. Asahi PD Glass Korea was established through a signed memorandum of understanding between Lee Eui-Geun, the Gumi City major and Asahi Glass in Tokyo on May 25. 

The new company plans to build a plant dedicated to producing glass substrate raw materials for use in television plasma display panels. Construction is expected to be complete by next July. 

Glaston Technologies Expands Its Machine Production in China
Kyro Group’s main business area, Glaston Technologies, will expand its glass machinery production in China, now that its new production unit in Tianjin has become operational.

The new assembly factory is the first Glaston Technologies production unit, where both Tamglass safety glass machinery and Bavelloni pre-processing machinery are manufactured. Tamglass has been assembling flat tempering machines in Tianjin since 2001, and is now moving with Bavelloni to new facilities of their own.

The products manufactured in Tianjin are designed specifically for the Chinese market. As the new factory opens, Tamglass expects to expand its local flat tempering machine range and also begin Chinese production of bending and tempering machines. Bavelloni’s production at the new factory includes glass cutting and grinding machinery.

In addition to machine production, the company plans to build a training unit adjacent to the assembly unit in Tianjin, to showcase the machinery manufactured there. The units will function as a training environment for clientele as well as staff, and can also be used for product development and testing.

Xinhua Ratings Downgrades the Issuer Rating of YPG

Xinhua Far East China Ratings, an organization that works toward ranking credit risks among Chinese corporations, has downgraded the credit rating of Shanghai Yaohua Pilkington Glass Co Ltd. (YPG) from A+ to BBB.

According to Xinhua, the downgrade was prompted by YPG’s deteriorating operating and financial profiles since 2005. Xinhua also says the downgrade reflects the management of YPG’s inability to deal with market downturns and the company’s “significant” loss of its original competitive advantage during the growth and development of China’s glass industry.

Xinhua reported that YPG’s gross margin dropped from 31.3 percent in 2004 to 20.9 percent in 2005, and its EBIT margin fell to 7.4 percent. In addition, net operating cash flow dropped by 23.3 percent in 2005 compared with 2004, and during the first quarter of 2006 YPG recoded a 17.6-percent fall in turnover and a negative EBIT. 

According to Xinhua’s analysis, YPG “focuses on the high-end float glass market and lags major leading domestic competitors that provide more profitable deep-processed glass products such as auto glass. This makes [YPG’s] overall profitability vulnerable to economic cyclicality, despite its strength in high-end float glass, and in turn, restrains its ability to expand capacities and achieve competitive strength.”

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The alliance of Photovoltaic (PV) industry equipment suppliers led by Gebr. Schmid GmbH has received its first order for a turnkey PV line … Magneco/Metrel Inc. of Addision, Ill., has opened a new production facility in Tianjin, China, for its nanoparticulate refractory technology serving the glass, aluminum, copper, ceramic, iron and steel industries … Baltic Glass Co., the subsidiary of Russian Soda Co. from St. Petersburg, Russia, and PPG Industries Inc., have agreed to implement a float glass project in St. Petersburg, which involves the construction of a plant with two production lines, each with capacities of 600 tons per day. The construction will be performed by Henry F. Teichmann Inc. The plant will make architectural and automotive glass and will use PPG-developed OxyFuel technology.

USG
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