KL Megla Architectural Temporarily Ceases Sales Services in August

Hardware company KL megla Architectural stopped receiving and issuing quotes and processing purchase orders in August. The company announced in an email to customers that it planned to cease its sales services temporarily while the company decided on a new direction. As of press time, its sales services have not restarted.

According to Matt Roe, CEO of the company, KL megla completed all of its open projects prior to the announcement and continued working after the publicized closing date.

“Our team is still communicating with customers who may not have received the notice to work with them as best we can, either directing them to our trusted network who can fill the lapse in the products or offering them alternatives to supply within the KL megla network through our Guangzhou facility or Germany,” he says. Temporary layoffs will be in effect as company leadership decides on its next steps.

“Our fabrication workforce is on a temporary layoff until we are able to finalize some decisions which will definitively decide which path KL megla Architectural will continue on,” says Roe. “We are maintaining a small team to keep operations intact. It was a tough decision since layoffs are gray areas of morality in the corporate world but, more importantly, it’s difficult on our employees and their families. Our entire staff are veterans of their craft and their dedication and loyalty would be hard to find again if they found other employment during our dormancy. We are holding to hope that we can progress to the next step quickly, which would enable us to bring them back full time again, of course with their willingness.”

Roe adds that “companies seeking longevity must go through periods of intense impartial scrutiny of themselves,” explaining that the company’s strategy must encompass the global picture.

“When I took over as CEO in 2017, I set out to transform the model from trying to compete with the big players with an intense spectrum of shower hardware, including European styles and Chinese cheap imports, to making the first products that could be stamped ‘Made in the USA,’ which include the KL megla Pivot and the KL Classic,” he says. “We also filled a sorely needed niche in custom fabrication of metal work for specialty jobs and architects and found great success. Two and half years later, the global picture has followed suit with consolidation and redirection. We needed to expand beyond just being hardware suppliers. As the flagship division of the conceptual change, we are the first to undergo evaluation of market presence, strategy and our role in supporting global changes. KL megla global is staying true to the legacy built in Germany and known throughout Europe of how to diversify into being able to take the leap into the next-gen of its brand, products and services. While some will see it as down-sizing, it’s simply ‘smart-sizing.’”

KL megla’s U.S. location is working toward a relocation to a self-owned, smaller facility that will focus only on continuing custom fabrication work, which the company has been producing for the past two years, according to Roe.

Glass + Mirror Craft Reorganizes Divisions

Glass + Mirror Craft has reorganized and expanded operations. It is now the parent company of three divisions operating within the Wixom, Mich., facility. The Glass + Mirror Craft division will continue to fabricate and provide glass and insulating glass products. The Cuda metals division will provide custom and prefabricated metal hardware used with or without glass. The new Fulcrum architectural design assist division will provide project-based and on-demand design, engineering and drafting services.

“We will continue to provide the high-quality engineered glass and insulating glass products that have built our reputation in the industry,” says Andy Russo, vice president of business development. “However, we have realigned operations to better engineer, fabricate and deliver both the glass and hardware required for modern-day architectural systems—the glass entrances, vestibules, canopies, structural walls, guardrails, offices and more— that are often the signature elements of a building design.

“Our new Fulcrum division provides design-assist services for our engineered glass and metal systems, easing delivery of turn-key projects, complete with stamped drawings and kitted to flow installation,” adds Russo. “… The strengths we are adding through this reorganization will allow us to better serve glaziers in today’s complex construction arena.”

Vitro Glass Renames Solarban 70XL, Drops XL

Vitro Architectural Glass, formerly PPG Glass, has changed the name of its Solarban 70XL solar control low-E, glass formally dropping the “XL” and calling it Solarban 70 glass.

Robert Struble, Vitro Architectural Glass manager of brand and communications, emphasizes that, despite the name change, there have been no changes to the glass itself.

Glassfab Purchases New Manufacturing Facility

Glassfab Tempering Services Inc. has acquired a 210,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Tracy, Calif. It sits on 36 acres for future expansions.

“Although Glassfab has outgrown its existing facilities, we wanted to keep our operations in Tracy, Calif. Tracy truly is central to all major cities within our Northern California market and this allows us to service all our customers to the best of our abilities. All our growth and expansion plans are focused to meet our valued customers’ requirements consistently, for the present and the future,” says company president Brian Frea.

Architectural Grilles and Sunshades Opens New Facility

Architectural Grilles and Sunshades (AGS) has built a new facility in Frankfort, Ill., bringing the entire business under one roof. The company’s previous location in Mokena, Ill., was not large enough to support all of its production needs. As a result, AGS operated out of a satellite facility, in addition to its main office, to assemble sunshades and complete other  fabrication.

According to Jon Johnson, national sales manager for AGS, the upgraded facility will inlude  overhead cranes to increase efficiency and material handling. He adds that while the 50,000 square foot facility gives AGS plenty of room, there is also space for future expansion.

“The reason we made this move is to better facilitate fabrication and delivery to customers. We’ll be more efficient and able to provide a quality product with shorter lead times,” says Johnson. “We’re facilitating growth in our business that’s been dramatic over the last couple of years. We’re continuing to modernize our facility to be able to handle that growth.”

While the new facility will give AGS the ability to handle more employees, there are no immediate hiring plans, according to Johnson.

He explains that the company added unitizing capabilities to its portfolio a few years ago. The unitizing equipment, metal fabrication equipment and large amount of inventory took up much of the former facility’s floor space.

“We were really tight. We fabricate our sunshades and grilles in-house before we ship them. It takes room to do that,” says Johnson “… We find that it eliminates a step that our customers have to do. In addition, the potential for mistakes is lessened. Delays on the jobsite are also lessened or eliminated.”

The new office includes a conference room and a modern office space. The building also has a glass curtainwall with tinted, low-E insulating glass units. AGS included its own vertical and horizontal sunshades in the design.

“We are pleased to show them off,” says Johnson. “It’s a neat design feature.”

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