Crystal Pacific Window and Door Systems Doubles its Workforce

Crystal Pacific Window and Door Systems, also known as Crystal California, says it has doubled its workforce over a four-year period and now its roster approaches 100

“When Crystal bought the property in Riverside, Calif., early in 2012, economically it was fairly depressed,” says Bob Nyman, a company spokesperson. “Property prices were low and there was an available workforce that was interested in coming in and working. We may start to see the results of a greater employment, but right now everything has gone very well with the growth of the company.”

In terms of location, the West Coast (in particular) has allowed the company to expand its product lines, Nyman suggests, adding to its opportunities.

“The population and marketplace allow us to introduce new products different from the ones we sell back in the East,” he explains, adding, for instance, “We’ve seen there is a growing market for replacement windows.”

Those product additions lead to more employment opportunities, suggests Sergio Garcia, general manager for Crystal California.

“Our workforce growth is directly attributable to our enormous success introducing new products, increasing sales and expanding our presence in the marketplace,” Garcia says. “Crystal’s workforce growth exemplifies the resurgent national economy and the rebounding Riverside business community. Of course, credit also goes back to our parent company’s strategic vision seven years ago, during economically challenging times, to launch a West Coast operation here in Riverside.”

Four Companies Form Banner Solutions

Midwest Wholesale Hardware Holdings, the owner of national commercial and residential door hardware wholesalers Midwest Wholesale Hardware, Akron Hardware, Strauss Lock Distributors and Hardware Suppliers Inc. (HSI) has launched a new corporate identity and brand name for the four companies as one organization—Banner Solutions.

“We’re proud of what we’ve built with our legacy brands, but we know that history alone won’t take us where we want to go. The future requires a different way of thinking about the things that matter,” says Brendan Deely, CEO of Banner Solutions. “More than having products on hand, it’s anticipating a customer’s needs. More than offering up options, it’s helping each customer make the best decision for the challenges they face. And more than just solving the simple problems, it’s seeking solutions when others can’t or won’t. At Banner Solutions, we’re pushing the boundaries to deliver innovative solutions that transform our industry.”

“We’re rethinking what it means to be a wholesaler. We don’t just want to meet our customers’ expectations, we want to blow them out of the water,” adds Chris Casazza, president of the company’s commercial division.

Vitro Launches New Brand Identity

Vitro has launched a new brand identity rooted in the tagline “Together, We See Further.” At a formative moment in Vitro’s evolution, the new brand represents a renewed commitment to partnership and innovative, long-term thinking—philosophies that have been central to the company’s success for over a century, reads a company release.

“We’re staying true to what has made us an industry leader,” says chief executive officer Adrian Sada Cueva. “The power of partnership remains our greatest asset. We have a reputation for working together and looking ahead to develop the next generation of innovative glass solutions. Now, that reputation becomes our identity.”

In addition to the new brand message, the refresh is also centered on a new visual identity and logo, as well as a new mission statement.

The brand launch signals a new era for the Mexico-based manufacturer, according to the company. In recent years, Vitro has doubled in size due in large part to investments made in the U.S., including the October 2016 acquisition of PPG’s architectural glass business unit, PPG Flat Glass, and the March 2017 acquisition of automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) glass business, Pittsburgh Glass Works (PGW). Vitro currently operates ten float glass lines across the enterprise, and its seven U.S. float lines include five operated by Vitro Architectural Glass and two operated by PGW.

“With collaboration as our constant, we have made great progress in recent years,” says Sada Cueva. “Today, with a stronger, more global leadership position, our new era demands a new commitment to our customers and partners.

AIG Becomes Guardian Select Fabricator Certification

American Insulated Glass (AIG), a glass fabricator and wholesale distributor, is now a certified independent Guardian Select Fabricator in Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala. It also recently acquired Innovative Glass of America (IGA), located in Charlotte, N.C. AIG can effectively meet the demand for Guardian SunGuard Advanced Architectural coated glass from all three locations, according to the company.

“We are very pleased to have access to Guardian SunGuard coated glass products, a comprehensive range of low-E coating options to meet the most complex performance and design aesthetic requirements,” says Billy Blair, president and CEO of AIG. “We have made significant investments in purchasing state-of-the-art fabrication equipment and business technologies, while also expanding the AIG brand from two to five locations in 2018.”

Halio Smart-Tinting Glass Passes Durability Testing

Kinestral Technologies Inc.’s Halio smart-tinting glass product has passed the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) testing procedures. It was tested according to the ASTM E2141-06 test methodology required to meet the ASTM E2953 standard for electrochromic product durability. According to the company, it’s the only next-generation electrochromic technology to meet this standard.

During the NREL testing, Halio windows were subjected to 50,000 switching cycles over a period of six months at temperatures averaging 185°F (85°C). The extreme conditions had negligible impact on product quality and switching performance, according to the company.

“To achieve Halio’s performance, our scientists and engineers invented new materials and device physics that didn’t exist when electrochromic products began to enter the market 20 years ago,” says Howard Turner, co-founder and chief technology officer of Kinestral. “Manufacturing was also a prime consideration as we developed Halio to make sure we avoided the production issues faced by first-generation producers…”

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