Guardian Glass Breaks Ground on Częstochowa Manufacturing Plant

Construction on a new Guardian Glass plant is underway in Częstochowa, Poland.

In August 2017, Guardian Industries approved the investment for an additional float and coated glass manufacturing plant in Częstochowa to meet the growing demand for float, coated and fabricated glass products across Europe. The new facility location is adjacent to the company’s existing plant.

“We are excited about the growth we’ve seen in Poland—and confident that the Częstochowa location is well positioned to meet our customer’s needs,” says Kevin Baird, Guardian Glass president and CEO. “We’ve enjoyed strong support from the city of Częstochowa, the Katowice Special Economic Zone and the Polish government.”

“Further evidence of our commitment to Poland is that our existing float line in Częstochowa, just went through a repair project, which increases its production capacity by around 25 percent,” adds Guus Boekhoudt, vice president  of Guardian Glass in Europe. “With both furnaces, we are tripling production. To give you an idea of the sheer size of this project, in the future, we will be able to produce 60 km of glass per day—producing enough glass in four days to build a glass road from Częstochowa to Warsaw.”

The new facility is expected to begin operations in early 2020 and will create more than 150 new jobs. Combined, the two facilities will create a competitive, efficient structure to deliver a wide range of glass products and will generate long-term value for Guardian’s customers in the region, according to the announcement.

Pilkington Completes Retrofit of Float Line Two

After ten years of continuous operation, Pilkington’s float line two in Weiherhammer, Germany, used primarily for architectural glass, needed to be modernized with a retrofit in order to ensure production remains economical. Pilkington used its long-term partner Siemens in order to achieve the project within the 100-day time frame required. Automation solutions from Siemens were used to upgrade the line, allowing Pilkington to reduce energy consumption and exhaust emissions through intelligent controls.

Over a period of ten years, float two has produced up to 810 tons of glass daily, 365 days a year without a break. The line has produced the equivalent of a 3.5-meter wide glass sheet approximately 75,000 kilometers long— enough to go around Earth twice. The line had to be completely shut down for this cold repair. As part of the upgrade, the process control system has also been replaced with a solution from Siemens which had already been tested and approved in a factory acceptance test in Karlsruhe.

“By upgrading to a PCS 7 process control system, we now have a future-oriented investment in place on float line two which we can operate with complete confidence,” says Pilkington plant director Reinhold Gietl.

The new decentralized control system guarantees a high-quality production process as the PCS 7 process control system monitors precise maintenance of all variables during glass production, according to the company. Intelligent controls also contribute to energy savings and to minimizing exhaust emissions. At the same time, the open system architecture also provides a high degree of flexibility which is a precondition for further technical upgrades.

Suntuitive Expands Certified Fabricators

Glassfab Tempering Services Inc. is now a Suntuitive Dynamic Glass certified fabricator. Glassfab is a full-service architectural glass fabricator with two locations in the Western United States, in Tracy, Calif., and Sparks, Nev.

“It’s wonderful to have a fabricator of Glassfab’s caliber in our network. They bring a sincere commitment to quality and service along with a best in the industry reputation and an excellent management team that absolutely cares about the customer and providing them with the best products and services possible,” says Paul Ogburn, Suntuitive’s chief operating officer.

“The addition of Glassfab to the Suntuitive network was driven by the continued growth of Suntuitive in the West and the need to have an exceptional performing, well-positioned fabricator that can handle the additional business the Suntuitive sales team is providing,” adds Namrata Vora, chief revenue officer for Suntuitive Dynamic Glass.

“We pride ourselves in delivering excellent products with the highest in standards and so we are excited to add to that with an innovative offering like Suntuitive,” says Brian Frea, Glassfab vice president of operations.

Forel Opens New Site, Expands Headquarters

Forel has opened a new plant in Italy that is more than 32,000 square feet in size (3,000 square meters). It’s the company’s third facility, which officials say was built in response to a growing number of orders worldwide.

The new plant is located in the Venice area and opened at the end of 2018. It will be dedicated to the production of machinery for edge processing (edger machines, drilling and milling machines and washing machines) and of sorting systems (integrated solutions for automatically handling and moving the glass sheets inside of production areas).

At the same time, Forel’s headquarters in Treviso is being expanded to add more than than 100,000 square feet of space (10,000 square meters), creating a larger production area. The site will be focused on the production of machinery for insulating glass, laminating and vertical cutting.

“The opening of our third plant and the enlargement of the headquarters are consequences of a positive trend,” says Fortunato Vianello, founder and president of Forel. “… Also in a moment when many companies move abroad their production, our choice is to continue offering our customers a technology invented, developed and manufactured in Italy.”

Briefly

New Hampshire-based  Kalwall Corp. has created a partnership with Trikord Aluminum Co. of Abia State, Nigeria. Trikord will also be working with Kalwall’s strategic partner, Structures Unlimited Inc., of Bow, N.H. … Diamon-Fusion International (DFI) has entered a supply partnership with Canadian window and door manufacturer, Durabuilt Windows and Doors to enhance its windows using Diamon-Fusion protective coating. Heading the new supply partnership is Supra Canada – DFI’s certified Canadian distributor. … Schiavo, an Italian company producing glass fabrication equipment, has partnered with High Point, N.C.-based Machines and Wheels to sell its equipment to the U.S. market. This partnership adds a new line of machinery to Machines and Wheels’ equipment offerings, including cutting tables, washing machines, storage systems, loading machines, vacuum lifters, cranes and more. … Vetrotech Saint-Gobain recently expanded its territory reach by having Architectural Glazing Solutions (AGS) represent the company. AGS is a manufacturer’s rep firm for a wide range of architectural glass and metal products, representing several manufacturers, including Vetrotech. The company has been a source for architects and glazing contractors in Southern California since 2002.

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