Open House at CMS North America Highlights Automation, New Showroom

Customers, dealers and other guests got to see and experience new technology firsthand during CMS North America’s open house in early August highlighting the new showroom at its Caledonia, Mich., facility. The open house included software and machinery demonstrations as well as presentations about return on investment, production needs and more.

CMS’s $3.5 million investment converted warehouse space into a new showroom with an overlooking conference room. Christopher Nesbit, national marketing manager, says that in the past, the company would take potential customers to see demonstrations at existing customers’ facilities.

“We wanted a place to set up brand new machines, some that have not yet been installed in North America,” he says. “We had four machines that have never been sold to customers here before because they’re so new. We’ll continue to take potential customers to existing customers’ facilities, but it’s a nice opportunity to have the newest technology available and to do demonstrations on demand and to test out applications.”

Automation was a big theme at the open house, as it is across all sectors in the industry. CMS set up a fully integrated line with two machines capable of communicating with robots.

Nesbit says the company may hold another open house, if not every year then every other year.

“This one in particular had special timing. It aligned with the 50th anniversary of CMS Global. It was by accident, but it worked out. We celebrated that as well,” he says. In addition to its glass machinery, CMS has equipment for several other material divisions, according to Nesbit.

“We’re always trying to grow our range and bring offerings that match our customers’ needs. There are things the customer might not know they need yet,” he says. “… We want to introduce new concepts to help companies work more efficiently, cost efficiently and faster. Those are the common themes behind the machines we design and sell.”

Q-railing Expands with Branch in New York

As of September 1, 2019, Q-railing USA now has a second, fully-equipped U.S. branch: Q-railing New York. The new site in Brooklyn includes office space, a showroom, a warehouse with capacity to stock an extensive range of railing components and a trade shop where customers can buy and pick up items that are available from stock.

For over ten years Q-railing USA has been serving customers throughout the country from its headquarters in Southern California. With its New York branch, clients throughout the Northeastern United States can now have direct, face-to-face contact with the company’s sales consultants.

“Q-railing firmly believes in the power of having close relationships with its customers. Being geographically close to them plays a huge role in having good and personal contact,” says Jan Hulin, general manager of Q-railing USA. “This physical proximity also enables us to keep shipping costs and lead times low, which in turn allows our customers to start their railing projects quickly.”

Q-railing USA’s branch in Tustin, Calif., will continue to serve customers on the West coast as well as much of the rest of the country.

“Given that the U.S. is so large, opening up a second branch in New York is a logical step to take,” says Hulin. “This way we are more physically accessible for support and advice in the Northeastern United States.”

Pilkington Gives Students a Lesson in Manufacturing

A group of middle school students recently stepped out of the classroom and into a glass manufacturing plant to learn about glass production and manufacturing firsthand. Pilkington’s team at its Rossford, Ohio, plant hosted the students in July.

“This event had an increased focus on manufacturing safety, including taking care of each other at home and in the workplace,” says Rossford plant manager David Imbrogno. “Several students wore personal protective equipment that our team members wear to aid in safely completing the needed tasks in making glass.”

Imbrogno adds that the purpose of the event and the company’s continued outreach to local schools is to better explain what manufacturing looks like today.

While the Rossford plant has a large automotive focus, NSG Group is in the process of building its first new float glass line in the U.S. since 1980. It is set to open in nearby Luckey, Ohio, at the end of next year and could create up to 150 new jobs. The plant will produce transparent conductive oxide coated glass to support its key customer, First Solar.

The Rossford team had been seeking outreach opportunities to teach students about manufacturing even before setting up the tour in July. Rossford employees have visited various local schools in Ohio and Michigan for several years, according to Imbrogno. He says that being productive members of the communities in which the company operates is a major focus for the NSG Group, including the Rossford team.

“Wood County Economic Development executive director Wade Gottschalk reached out to NSG to arrange for this particular tour at Rossford,” he says. “This event was facilitated on behalf of Wood County by youth specialist Matthew Meeks. This is the second school tour at the Rossford facility this year.”

Glass Technology Services Launches Glass Specific Periodic Table

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the periodic table of elements, UK-based testing and research company Glass Technology Services has developed a glass-specific periodic table of elements. The United Nations already designated 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table to recognize “one of the most significant achievements in science,” and the glass-specific periodic table further celebrates the scientific tool.

It highlights the elements commonly used in glass manufacturing, while a graphical legend indicates the role that these elements take in the glass manufacturing process. These include elements used as network formers, flux agents, optical modifiers, refining agents, stabilizers, colorants and those found within refractory materials commonly used in glass making.

“To celebrate our new branding, we wanted to create something unique, memorable and useful for our customers throughout the glass industry,” says operations director Gareth Jones. “These new glass maker’s periodic tables are the first of their kind and we hope clients will find them useful for years to come.”

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