Volume 42, Issue 8 - August 2007

Company News        

Alumax Bath Enclosures 
to be Managed By Scandinavian Company



The Magnolia, Ark.-based bath enclosure company Alumax is under new management. In a joint venture agreement between Orkla in Oslo, Norway, and the Pittsburgh-based aluminum manufacturer Alcoa, which has owned Alumax since 1998, the two companies have merged their soft alloy extrusion efforts. Part of that agreement is the formation of Sapa AB, which will be consolidated into the Orkla Group as a subsidiary of Sapa Holding. 

“Our soft alloy extrusion companies have struggled in the past, but recently have made a pretty good improvement,” says Kevin Lowery, vice president of communications for Alcoa. He says that although Alcoa has agreed to a 60-40 percent split in Alumax, with Sapa having the bigger piece of the Alumax pie, Alcoa still maintains ownership and the Alumax branding. Lowery adds that “at some point” the Orkla-Alcoa agreement may come up for public auction as an IPO. 

“Sapa is now an even stronger partner, continuing to deliver excellent service and flexibility,” says Gabriella Ekelund, spokesperson for the Sapa Group. “This creates additional opportunities to serve our customers all over the world with our combined resources.”

Under the terms of the deal, Orkla Aluminum Extrusion oversees the business area that comprises all Sapa’s operations in the field of aluminum profiles, building systems and heat exchangers. Sapa’s aluminum profiles business also is being merged with that of Alcoa. Alcoa has given notice that, over time, it intends to cease operating in this area.  www.alumaxbath.com

Billco Manager Launches New Software Company
Billco Manufacturing sales manager Phil Plant and a silent partner have launched a new company called HP3 Software Inc. after purchasing the Billco batchless glass processing patent. The new company, which is headquartered in Sewickley, Pa., has 15 employees and will provide software for order entry, batchless glass optimization, batchless furnace optimization, lean manufacturing control process optimization with bar coding and plant-wide work piece tracking. 

“Because of HP3’s batchless glass processing technologies and patent protection, we have the advantage of implementing true lean manufacturing practices in the offices and plant floors,” says Plant, who serves as president of the new company. www.hp3software.com

IIMAK Authorizes New DecoTherm Promoters 
IIMAK in Amherst, N.Y., has authorized Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries to promote its DecoTherm digital ceramic frit technology in combination with PPG’s Starphire ultra clear glass as a decorative glass solution for use in commercial applications. IIMAK will also promote Starphire glass as the exclusive “ultra-clear” glass for decorative images.

IIMAK reports that Goldray Industries Ltd. in Calgary, Alberta, began producing DecoTherm’s digital ceramic frit designs on glass in July. The company’s manufacturing equipment expanded the maximum panel size that can be imaged to 80 by 144 inches. www.decotherm.net

Glaston Completes A+W Software Acquisition, Changes Names
Glaston Corp. of Finland has completed its acquisition of the entire share capital of the software company, A+W Software AG Group, according to a May 31 agreement. The purchase price was settled at EUR 20.3 million (USD $27.6 million).  

A+W Software will continue to function as its own business area under the Glaston Group. 

In other news, Glaston’s subsidiaries, Tamglass and Bavelloni, have changed their names to Glaston. While Tamglass and Bavelloni corporate identities are no longer in use, their well-known names will remain as trademarks in glass processing technology, according to Glaston Corp. The Finnish parent company of the Tamglass Group, Tamglass Ltd. Oy, now is called Glaston Services Ltd Oy. The name of Tamglass Engineering Oy, which manufactures and sells safety glass machinery, was changed to Glaston Finland Oy. The Italian Bavelloni’s new name is Glaston Italy Spa. The name change of the companies follows Kyro Corp.’s name change to Glaston on June 1. Nearly all Glaston subsidiaries will change their names during this year, apart from Tamglass Glass Processing Ltd. that operates in Finland. www.glaston.net


USG
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