Vitro Plant in Wichita Falls, Texas, Expands to Accommodate Jumbo Coater

Vitro Architectural Glass is preparing for big changes at its plant in Wichita Falls, Texas. A $55 million expansion is underway to make room for a jumbo coater.

“Architects and our customers are demanding oversized glass. We can create jumbo glass now, but we can’t yet coat it. There are things you can do to get passed that, but not efficiently,” says Bill Haley, plant manager. “This will help architects build bigger buildings. We have a nice portfolio of coatings with high-energy performance and clarity.”

The jumbo coater will be able to coat up to 130 inches by 204 inches of glass, with 11 different colors and seven to ten different types of coatings to be run on the new line, including Vitro’s Sungate and Solarban low-E coatings.

Haley says that the project wasn’t approved until Vitro bought PPG’s flat glass division.

“On day one the CEO, Adrian Sada Cueva, approved the jumbo coater. It showed his commitment to our customers, the technology and the market,” he says.

The expanded facility in Wichita Falls will be more than 200,000 square feet. It will house the new equipment as well as the capacity to ship it.

“The building proper [was] completed at the end of [January]. We’re already setting some of the equipment into place,” says Haley. “We plan to be producing and selling the glass in July.”

The expansion will bring approximately 50 jobs to the plant, including supervisors, engineers and glass processors.

Haley says construction hasn’t interrupted the current day-to-day operations at the plant. The factory acceptance test is set for the first week of June.

HHH to Distribute Hiseng Equipment

HHH Tempering Resources is now the exclusive Hiseng—North American machinery distributor and service provider. HHH will offer complete U.S-based technical support and parts stocking for Hiseng’s glass edging and polishing equipment.

The North American-specific product line features double automatic edging, straight-line edging, beveling and mitering machines. Key features include continuous automatic glass size detection, touchscreen-enabled polishing wheel adjustments, ERP integration and multiple line configurations.

“Our team is proud to welcome Hiseng as the newest addition to our glass fabrication equipment family. Hiseng’s commitment to improving the fabrication experience with progressive automation, high equipment standards and customer support made their team a clear choice as our edging and polishing partner,” says Mike Synon, HHH president.

In addition, HHH also announced that its tempering furnace partner, NorthGlass, has built the world’s largest full-convection, fl at glass furnace.

According to the company, the furnace pushes the limits of over-sized glass and furnace technology by processing 3.5- by 20-meter glass. NorthGlass sold the furnace to Ger-man-based Sedak/Seele.

Crystal Adds New Glass Line in Pennsylvania

Crystal Window & Door Systems recently added a new insulating glass unit (IGU) fabrication line at its Ben-ton Township, Pa., factory.

The new glass line includes several cutting, washing, spacer, IGU, gas filling and grid fabrication components, which were integrated into a single operation. Three of the central components of the new IGU line were provided by GED Integrated Solutions of Twinsburg, Ohio.

Billco Manufacturing of Zelienople, Pa., supplied an automated glass cleaning system, and Integrated Automation Systems-OptiGas of Bedford Heights, Ohio, supplied an automatic free fall glass loader.

Rounding out Crystal’s new glass line are two more major pieces of equipment—the FastGas argon filling and monitoring system, also from Integrated Automation Systems, and a between-the-glass grid fabrication line by Dailey Automation Systems.

CRL-U.S. Aluminum Begins Headquarters Expansion

C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. (CRL-U.S. Aluminum) has begun multiple facility expansions at its corporate headquarters in Los Angeles.The new facilities will be located at 2651 45th Street and 2716 E. Vernon Avenue. Construction will be completed early in the summer of 2018. Together, they will add an additional 120,000 square feet of space to the company’s existing 1 million+ square feet of manufacturing and distribution space.

The new facilities have been designed to enhance manufacturing and distribution processes. This will help increase production, boost stock inventories, and provide shorter lead times to customers.

“It’s always been about the customer,” says Donald Friese, chair and CEO of CRL-U.S. Aluminum. “These expansions will let us provide more of the products and services our customers need with shorter lead times. We’re committed to investing in our business so they can more easily grow theirs.”

“Facility expansions represent our commitment to our growth initiatives,” adds Lloyd Talbert, president of CRL-U.S. Aluminum. “They’re also extensions of our core philosophy of providing the best service possible to our customers.”

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