Volume 43, Issue 2 - February 2008
Distribution & Production
Guardian Industries Carries Out
The production line at Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Guardian Industries’ Kingsburg, Calif., facility was shut down on January 6 for the first time in 18 years—draining 1,600 tons of molten glass from the furnace—as part of a project to upgrade the line. The line closure was part of a $75 million expansion to the facility, which has been underway since late 2006. Thus far the facility has seen only civil improvements—involving excavation, building changes and repairs—that could be done while the line was in full operation.
“We expect no delays for customers as we have built inventory and are supported by our sister plants for delivery—we hope to not lose one load during this repair period and cause our customers zero issues with glass supply or quality,” says Don Tullman, general manager of Guardian’s West Coast operations. Improvements at the plant, which produces float, tempered and coated glass, have included installing an air pollution control system that will set the standard for emission controls in the glass industry and a furnace repair that will improve production. Part of the refurbishment will convert the furnace from fuel oil to natural gas, thereby lowering its greenhouse gas emissions by about 15 percent.
Tullman explains that following the improvements to the furnace, the glass that was drained in January will be reused when the line is restarted. “We plan to start heating back up in April,” Tullman says. He adds, “There is a very exacting schedule for all of this work, as time is of the essence from day one.” www.guardian.com