Volume 33, Number 11, November 1998


Industry News


Pilkington plc Announces Additional Job Cuts; Reconstructing Program Continues

Pilkington plc, UK-based international glassmaker, announced that by March of the year 2000, the company will cut an additional 1,500 jobs as part of its massive restructuring program. According to Chris Moore, corporate affairs manager for Pilkington plc, this is in addition to the 7,500 cuts which will take place by March 1999. 1200 jobs have been eliminated since April 1, bringing the total net reduction in employees since 1997 to over 4650. Pilkington is a worldwide glass manufacturer and owner of Pilkington LOF based in Toledo, OH.

Pilkington LOF says it has not yet determined the impact the additional 1,500 job cuts will have on the U.S. market. Philip Webb of Pilkington LOF said, "we haven’t quantified where the job cuts will occur." Many of the 7,500 job reductions scheduled to occur by March 1999 have already transpired. According to Pilkington LOF, these job reductions have been spread worldwide.

Moore says the appointment last year of Pilkington chief executive Paolo Scaroni resulted in the creation of Pilkington’s restructuring plan. "The objective is to make the company the very best of its competition and to make Pilkington simpler, more efficient, more focused and lower costs," said Moore.

 Top Twenty Glazing/Curtain Wall Companies Named

Twenty companies in the glazing/curtainwall industry have been named among Engineering News Record (ENR) magazine’s Top 600 Specialty Contractors (October 12 issue).

Glazing/Curtain Wall 1997 Revenue % Change

Rank Firm $Million ’96-‘97

1 Harmon Ltd., Bloomington, MN 88.7 77

2 Walters & Wolf, Fremont, CA 62.7 +64

3 Harmon Inc., New Brighton, MN 60.8 NA

4 Flour City Archit. Metals Inc., Johnson City, TN 35.2 -25

5 MTH Industries, Chicago, IL 21.3 -16

6 Cartner Glass Systems Inc., Charlotte, NC 20.5 +49

7 Masonry Arts Inc., Bessemer, AL 19.5 +23

8 Elward Construction Co., Lakewood, CO 17.5 +31

9 Zephyr Aluminim Inc., Lancaster, PA 14.9 +62

10 Ajay Glass & Mirror Co. Inc., Rochester, NY 13.9 +74

11 Giroux Glass Inc., Los Angeles, CA 12.7 +41

12 Atlantic Plate Glass Co. Inc., Egg Harbor Twp, NJ 12.5 +23

13 Carter Glass Co. Inc., Kansas City, MO 11.4 +27

14 National Glass & Metal Co. Inc., Huntingdon Valley, PA 11.3 -2

15 Karas & Karas Glass Co. Inc., Boston, MA 11.2 18

16 BHN Corp., Memphis, TN 9.9 NA

17 American Glass & Metals Corp, Plymouth, MI 8.5 -11

18 National Construction Enterprises Inc., Ypsilanti, MI 7.6 +15

19 Suntech of Connecticut Inc., North Branford, CT 5.8 +26

20 A. Zahner Co., Kansas City, MO 4.2 +71

Bottero S.p.A. Expands in North America

Bottero S.p.A., an international manufacturer of glass machinery, announced the formation of Bottero Flat Glass Inc., based in Pomona, NY. The company is a product of an agreement between Casso-Solar Corporation and Bottero S.p.A. According to Bottero, the new company provides a network of support to existing and new Bottero clients and provides user friendly and integrated glass handling, cutting and edging systems. Equipment includes simple to complex cutting tables for all kinds of flat glass, automatic loading and breakout modules, conveying and transfer machinery and straight line and double edging technology. Bottero Flat Glass Inc., provides North American access to state of the art glass handling, cutting and edging machinery through one source. According to the company, customers will now have direct access to 24 hour on-call service and factory direct sales, parts and service support for equipment.


Alumax Aligns with Home Depot Inc.

Alumax Bath Enclosures of Magnolia, AR, has confirmed that it is working out the details of a contract to supply shower doors to Atlanta-based Home Depot, Inc. According to Alumax’s Scott Hand, "Nothing is quite set. We’re still negotiating the details of the agreement."

While the type of agreement the two companies will have remains to be seen, Home Depot has been actively pursuing new markets, including home remodeling contracting.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the company is one of several including Sears and Lowe’s that, after years of encouraging the homeowner to "Do it yourself," is now offering to do it for them. This market now accounts for nearly five percent of Home Depot’s total revenue, but it is growing quickly. The company views the work as an opportunity "to make a friend for life," as Arthur M. Blank, Home Depot’s chief executive told the WSJ.

Home Depot has dabbled in remodeling since the early 1990s, but found some projects to be more trouble than they were worth. Then last year, as part of its search for new growth areas, the company moved more deeply into the market but in a more focused manner.

The most ambitious services are offered at the company’s upscale Expo stores. In effect, Expo acts as the general contractor in home remodeling projects, coordinating and guaranteeing the work of independent subcontractors.


TruSeal Technologies Recognized for Outstanding Safety

The Barbourville, KY, manufacturing facility of Beachwood, OH-based TruSeal Technologies Inc. has received the Kentucky Governor’s Safety and Health Award for its outstanding safety record. The plant was recognized for 1,734,182 hours worked without a lost-time accident.


GlassWerks Purchases Hy-Grade Glass

The GlassWerks Group of Los Angeles, CA, has acquired all assets of Lodi, CA-based Hy-Grade Glass. GlassWerks says it will continue to operate the Lodi facility under the new name, GlassWerks SAC, LLC, as a sister company of Union City, CA-based GlassWerks SFB, LLC.

Art Smith, founder and principle shareholder of Hy-Grade, will continue as the general manager at Lodi. GlassWerks says it expects the acquisition to expand its manufacturing capability in Northern California.

Harding Glass Acquires Several Retail Operations

SunSource of Philadelphia, PA, has announced that its Overland Park, KS-based Harding Glass unit acquired the net assets of three retail glass operations during the third quarter of 1998. These include Brentwood Glass in Brentwood, NH; Auto Glass Service in Irving, TX; and sister companies Georgia Auto Glass and Cutting Glass & Mirror in Atlanta, GA. Annual sales from these acquisitions amounts to approximately $5.6 million.

Since September 1997, when Harding commenced its strategy of acquiring full-service retail glass shops, the unit has added 15 locations, expected to generate approximately $16 million in annual sales.

In other news, SunSource’s board of directors has authorized $15 million for the repurchase of up to ten percent of the company’s outstanding common stock through open market transactions and private block trades, dependent upon market conditions. The company had 7.2 million common shares outstanding as of early August. Repurchased shares are expected to be held for the company’s account in treasury.

Ultra Hardware Acquires Ferum Company

Ultra Hardware Products LLC of Pennsauken, NJ, has acquired the operating assets of the Ferum Co., Inc. of Pine Brook, NJ. Ultra says it will benefit most from the acquisition in the area of distribution. "Ultra has always sold directly to retailers, while Ferum sells through distributors. We expect our affiliation to provide increased sales and an expanded product line to Ferum’s distribution network," says Daniel Carbey, president of Ultra.


Tubelite Offers Standard Pricing on Finishes

Tubelite Inc. of Reed City, MI, has reconfigured its pricing schedule for select painted and anodized finishes applied to its extrusions. The standard pricing schedule, effective November 1, encompasses the 15 painted and six anodized finishes featured in its new Standard Finish Color Guide.

"The new standard pricing will make the order process much more simple and cost-effective for our customers," according to Steve Green, vice president of client relations.

Viracon Breaks Ground on Georgia Facility

Representatives of Owatonna, MN-based Viracon Inc., the state of Georgia, Statesboro and Bulloch County were on hand when the company broke ground on its new glass fabricating facility in Statesboro, GA, during a ceremony in May.

The company anticipates the new 325,000-square-foot facility will begin full production processes by mid-1999. Initially, 200 people will be employed at the Statesboro facility, and nearly 600 positions are expected to be filled by 2003. Viracon’s parent company, Apogee Enterprises, plans to invest $35 million in the new plant during the next two to three years. During that time, the facility will add 60 percent more capacity beyond what the company’s Owatonna facility produces. Beers-York was chosen as general contractor for the Statesboro facility.

Mid-Am Metal Forming Opens Facility in South Carolina

State and local officials joined the management staff of Mid-Am Metal Forming, Inc. in July to open the company’s new manufacturing facility in Williston, SC. The plant will produce specialized curved extrusions for architectural, automotive and aerospace applications. The Rogerville, MO-based company now has two facilities. Mid-Am adds that its Missouri plant recently opened a paint line, and a paint line will open in the South Carolina facility in early 1999.


Wood’s Powr-Grip Named Montana Business of Year

Wood’s Powr-Grip of Laurel, MT, has been named a winner of the 1998 Montana Family Business of the Year awards in an annual competition sponsored by Montana State University at Bozeman with support from MassMutual. The company won in the large manufacturer category.

Judges selected the winning family businesses from more than 80 nominations. The awards call attention to the many positive contributions made by family businesses to Montana’s overall economy, according to the coordinator of the awards program. The company will represent the state in the National Family Business of the Year competition.


Coastal Industries Increases Operating Area

Coastal Industries of Jacksonville, FL, has opened a 94,000-square-foot addition to its current manufacturing facility. This expansion increases the company’s operating area to 250,000 square feet, which it says makes it one of the largest bath enclosure facilities in the world.

Arcadia Sets Up Facility

Arcadia Architectural Products Inc. of Stamford, CT, opened a new production facility in Stamford, where it will manufacture aluminum sliding patio doors and windows. The facility is managed by Tom Mills and Robert Sayour.

DORMA Forms DORMA Group North America

Reamstown, PA-based DORMA has announced the establishment of the DORMA Group North America, a new marketing entity it says will encompass several of its operating units. The announcement follows the company’s sale of all assets associated with its American Device line of postal specialties to the Florence Corporation of Chicago. DORMA says these actions will allow it to concentrate on providing products and services to the architectural openings industry.


The caption that appeared with a photograph of a building in Copper Sales: Metal Panel Manufacturer Celebrates 25 Years (see USGlass, September 1998, page 58) should have read, "In 1995, Copper Sales moved out of this 100,000-square-foot facility." The photograph shown was, in fact, of the company’s old building. We regret the error.


Copyright 1998 Key Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.