Binswanger Returns to Its
Roots as Glass Retailer, Installer
Binswanger Glass has endured a number of changes since the
sale of former parent company Vitro America in June (see August 2011 USGlass,
page 16), but the biggest change may be that Binswanger has returned to
its roots as a glass retailer and installation company, says Arturo Carrillo,
who’s been named president of Binswanger. Carrillo served as president
and chief executive officer of the former Vitro America (now part of the
newly formed Trulite Glass & Aluminum) prior to the sale of the company
to Sun Capital Partners.
“Binswanger, for the first time in many years, is independent of a fabricator.
It is its own stand-alone legal entity with its own stand-alone management,”
Carrillo says. “With this acquisition Binswanger comes back to its original
roots, so we’re pretty excited to run Binswanger in an independent manner
and continue to be a successful and long-term company.”
Among the recent changes has been the consolidation of several branches.
According to Carrillo, only a small percentage of the company’s stores
across the United States were affected.
“We have consolidated a few facilities—not many, about 5 percent of locations,”
Carrillo says. “That already has happened for the most part. Most consolidations
we are going to do already happened.”
Some of these have been positive moves, he says.
“We’re moving a few other branches to better and bigger locations,” he
says. “We’re able to use part of the [capital from] the acquisition to
re-negotiate with our landlords and that’s what led to the consolidation
to new facilities, [moving to] facilities that were in better parts of
He adds, “It’s not a change of business strategy—it’s more of an ability
to negotiate with landlords and come up with a better footprint.”
In response to industry speculation that Binswanger could be sold again
in the near future, Carrillo says, “Binswanger has been a long-standing
company. It’s been around for [more than] 100 years and it has a lot of
long-term [leaders] running it.” He adds, “Over the last 100 years it
has been owned by different people; now it’s owned by Sun Capital and
Sun Capital intends to run it as a successful company. Will they sell
it in the future? It’s probable. But would this affect the employees?
He adds, “It’s an interesting discussion, but for the day-to-day operations
it should be an irrelevant question.”
Meanwhile, Binswanger parent Trulite Glass & Aluminum Solutions in
Tamarac, Fla., has begun to close facilities; it announced earlier this
year that it would consolidate sites to reduce overlapping footprints.
Among the sites that has closed is the former ACI Products facility in
Memphis. According to an August 8 letter to the Tennessee Department of
Labor and Workforce Development in Nashville, 46 workers were laid off.
On July 15, Trulite had sent a letter to the Texas Workforce Commission,
announcing the termination of employment of 46 workers at its fabrication
facility in Farmers Branch, Texas.
Saint-Gobain Acquires Solar Gard Specialty Films
Saint-Gobain has acquired Brussels-based Bekaert’s Specialty Films business,
which operates under the name Solar Gard Specialty Films. Aurora, Ohio-based
Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., part of the Saint-Gobain Group,
will now run Solar Gard Specialty Films.
The transaction covers production facilities in San Diego; Zulte, Belgium;
and Suzhou, China; the operations under development in China; and all
sales and service centers worldwide. The deal involves all employees currently
working in Solar Gard Specialty Films.
Bekaert acquired the Specialty Films business in 2001. While the business
continued to grow, technological synergies within Bekaert have proven
to be limited over time. The Saint-Gobain group sees significant product
and market synergies for Solar Gard with its Innovative Materials businesses,
including Performance Plastics and Flat Glass.
Total Security Doubles Manufacturing Capabilities, Adds Staff
Total Security Solutions of Fowlerville, Mich., has doubled its facility
to 24,000 square feet and invested more than $80,000 in new equipment.
The company also hired four people to its manufacturing and installation
teams, and plans to add additional sales staff in the coming months.
To meet client demands for a one-stop manufacturer, the company added
new equipment to its wood shop and welding area, as well as a new water
jet cutting system, vertical panel saw and metal presses.
“Increased manufacturing capabilities aren’t valuable without increased
packing and shipping capabilities,” says Jim Richards, president of Total
Security. “Total Security Solutions took a holistic approach to its expansion,
and, as a result, is primed for sustained business growth.”
WinTec Forms Security Glass Solutions
WinTec Protective Systems Inc. in Houston, a subsidiary of Medina International
Holdings Inc. in Corona, Calif., has formed a new subsidiary, Security
Glass Solutions Inc. Security Glass Solutions will market its products
for commercial and residential buildings, airports and large hotel buildings
throughout the world.
Security Glass Solutions will offer various glass solutions for smash
and grab in the commercial business market, residential building glass
doors, windows, panel and protection from terrorism bomb blast attacks
and hurricane protection, says Robert Doherty, president.
Foremost Opens Midwest Facility
East Hanover, N.J.-based Foremost Groups has celebrated the grand opening
of its new manufacturing and distribution center in Hobart, Ind. The facility
will serve as the distribution center and showroom for Foremost branded
products that include its new product offering, Foremost Shower Enclosures.
Company representatives report that the majority of this full line of
shower and bath enclosures also will be produced at the new manufacturing
The location includes a 50,000-square-foot warehouse, distribution and
manufacturing facility and a 2,000-square-foot regional showroom.
Southern Stretch Moves its Pennsylvania Location
Southern Stretch Forming in Denton, Texas, has moved its Pennsylvania
location from Zelienople to Butler. The new leased location is 13,000
square feet in area with an additional 6,000 square feet available for
The new shop houses three stretch form presses ranging from 17 to 30 tons,
and a 26- by 8- by 8-foot oven for tempering and annealing aluminum, all
moved from the Zelienople location. The company doesn’t plan to add any
new lines in the next six months, says Charles Michie, marketing director.
However, the new location has added two new additional people in staff.
“The new location gives us room for growth and more inside area, which
will prevent slowdowns that can occur during winter weather,” Michie says.
Matodi USA is representing Intermac machinery and Diamut tooling in the
glass industry throughout most areas of North America. Matodi USA is a
recently founded company in Greensboro, N.C., led by Jack Van Meerbeeck
as president. www.matodiusa.com
PPG Industries’ industrial coatings business announced that
YKK AP America Inc. in Dublin, Ga., has been accredited as a premier member
of the PPG/CAP Certified Applicator Program®. YKK AP is certified
to apply both liquid and powder DURANAR® coatings to aluminum architectural
Western Window Systems in Phoenix has launched a new website,
The new site continues to evolve daily with product updates, the latest
news from the company, a twitter feed, photos of recently completed projects
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