Volume 41, Issue 5 - May 2006

CompanyNews

Craftsman Fabricated Glass Celebrates Houston Facility Expansion

Craftsman Fabricated Glass has unveiled a new expansion in its Houston facility that includes the latest manufacturing equipment such as an Ashton automatic seaming and edge deletion line, a Hegla cutting line and a new double-bay Glassrobots tempering line.

To celebrate the new addition, the company hosted an open house at the facility. Approximately 1,000 customers, suppliers and guests attended the event. Guests came from as far away as Tampere, Finland, as representatives from Glassrobots Oy, the main equipment supplier, were on hand as well. 

“It is very exciting for me to see this happen,” said Howard Hanes of Salem Distributing. “I have known Bob [Craftsman president Bob Lawrence] for many years and can remember when he started in a shop not bigger than this,” he said, as he waved his arms wide. 

“Bob Lawrence keeps doing what they say can’t be done,” echoed Virginia Lee, administrator of the Houston Area Glass Association. “He has put quality first, and people said that quality wouldn’t matter in Houston, but it does. It’s nice to see success come from quality.”

Lawrence led a tour of the addition himself and expressed optimism for the future, tinged with a bit of relief that the building was completed. 

“It was a long process and we learned a lot and, most importantly, we are ready for business,” said Lawrence. 
Craftsman Fabricated Glass is a division of Glass Wholesalers Inc. and produces a range of fabricated glass products from tabletops and shelves to awards, recognition items and tempered glass.

Garnder Expected to Re-Launch Carolina Mirror Brand
Tommy Huskey, president of Gardner Glass Products in North Wilkesboro, N.C., responded to recent rumors in the industry by reporting that the company expects to once again continue to make and market framed mirrors under the name “Carolina Mirror” in the future. 

“During 2005, Gardner Glass Products introduced and implemented the lean manufacturing philosophy, indoctrinated by Toyota many years ago, within its company. ... During the process of this leaning initiative, Gardner Glass has prioritized its business segments and has elected to scale down and reinvent its business model for its Carolina Mirror decorative products. Our Carolina Mirror business model is in a state of transition, but the demand for decorative products continues to grow, and our Carolina Mirror brand name will be in the market in the future to meet this growing demand,” said Huskey. “We are very proud to be the owner of the Carolina Mirror brand name, which has thrived in the mirror industry for 70 years. We currently have several marketing initiatives under consideration for a re-launch of this outstanding brand.” 

Gardner purchased the right to use the Carolina Mirror name for its framed mirror line in 2002.

Westshore Glass Takes Steps Toward Recovery 
Westshore Glass, of Tampa, Fla., is recovering well after suffering a disastrous fire in an office area earlier this year (see related article in March USGlass, page 20). The company has recently specified equipment from Ashton Industrial for a new tempering plant in Tampa. Ashton’s FastTrack automatic seaming line will be feeding Westshore’s high-speed continuous tempering furnace in the new facility. 

In other news, Ron Brock, chief executive officer of Westshore Glass, Mike McHugh, and company associates have formed a new company called Sunshine Performance Glass. McHugh, the former co-owner of Edge Seal Technologies, and Brock started the joint venture to serve Florida’s growing glass market. USGlass magazine contacted Westshore Glass to 
see if they were back in full operation, but at presstime comment was unavailable.

Kyro Group Founds New Tools Company as Part of Glaston Technologies 
The Kyro Group has created a new company to complement its main business area, Glaston Technologies. The new company, DiaPol S.r.l., will manufacture tools for pre-processing glass and stone.

According to the announcement, DiaPol continues and expands the existing tools division of Z. Bavelloni, also a part of Glaston Technologies. DiaPol will manufacture diamond glass and stone grinding tools as part of Z. Bavelloni’s brand. The company has also developed a series of polishing tools to offer along with its grinding tools selection. 

Previously, Bavelloni’s tools division manufactured tools primarily for its pre-processing machines. DiaPol manufactures tools for Bavelloni’s machinery as well as the machinery of other manufacturers.

The DiaPol tools will be sold through the worldwide Tamglass-Bavelloni sales organization. In addition, it will operate as a contract manufacturer of other brands that will be sold through sales channels, such as tools distributors. DiaPol has manufacturing facilities in Italy, Brazil and China.

Arch Aluminum to Open Las Vegas Distribution Center
Arch Aluminum & Glass Co. Inc., based in Tamarac, Fla., has opened a new distribution center in Las Vegas that will offer flat glass, mirrors, laminated glass, doors, frames and stocked aluminum. For other material, such as custom or large jobs, the company says it will depend on its full-sized branches in Phoenix and Los Angeles. 

Gordon Thiesen, who is currently the company’s salesperson for the Las Vegas area, will take the reigns as the branch manager.

50 Best Managed Company—Three Years in a Row
Alumicor Limited, a supplier of architectural aluminum products announced that it was re-qualified as one of the “50 Best Managed” companies in Canada for the third year in a row.

The event was sponsored by Deloitte and Touche, the National Post, Queen’s School of Business and the Commercial Imperial Bank of Commerce. A gala celebrating the event was held at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto in early February.

“We have the best team in the business, which deeply appreciates the continuing support of our customers and suppliers. Our competitive advantage continues to be our people,” said Lakis Georgiou, president and chief executive officer. 

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