Volume 34, Number 1, January 1999


Industry News

PPG Introduces National Brand for Automotive Replacement Glass

PPG Industries, manufacturer of automotive replacement windshields, sidelites and backlites, is introducing a national brand called PPG PROSTARS for automotive glass replacement glass retailers.

"This is a commitment by PPG and participating retailers throughout the United States to co-brand the name PPG PROSTARS for auto replacement glass," said Garry A. Goudy, vice president of automotive replacement glass. "It is a voluntary alliance in which participants will maintain their local identity while being part of a national brand."

According to Goudy, the goal of PPG PROSTARS is to increase the visibility of each participant to local markets by promoting a single brand that will be communicated to consumers throughout the country. "The goal of the alliance is to establish strong brand identity by being represented in every market area," he said. "Research clearly shows that consumers have confidence in national brands and we will establish PPG PROSTARS as the preferred brand among consumers."

To establish and promote the PPG PROSTARS brand, PPG will conduct national media advertising. According to the company, PPG PROSTARS participants will contribute to advertising and marketing and implement uniform quality and consumer satisfaction standards. "Participants will contribute to an advertising fund which will be spent in development of the brand," said PPG’s Paul Rice.

According to the company, participants will also be expected to use PPG automotive glass in a portion of their work. "Participants are expected to purchase a certain percentage of glass which is set in the contract," said Rice. According to the company, recruitment for PPG PROSTARS is underway and will continue until mid-March 1999. Rice says enrollment is open to all LYNX service recipients.

Linetec Completes Major Plant Expansion

Linetec opened a 68,000-square-foot addition to its aluminum anodizing facility that the company says will double its production capacity. Linetec, the architectural finishing unit of the Apogee Wausau Group, operates two plants in Wausau, WI.

Scott Platta, Linetec general manager, said the strong market demand for anodizing and, in particular, for the company’s new "Expressions" colorfast color anodizing, made the expansion necessary. "This expansion immediately increases our production capacity by 60 percent and we expect a doubling of production once we get all shifts running in the coming weeks," he said.

According to the company, the expanded Linetec anodizing facility includes 20 5,500-gallon tanks and cranes that can move materials twice as fast as before. The facility is designed to be environmentally friendly and the new equipment provides more precise and quick positioning of the materials. Additionally, the colorfast anodize finish is available in shades of burgundy, blue, green and pewter.

Cardinal IG to Open Glass Manufacturing Plant in California

The city of Sacramento, CA, has announced that Cardinal IG, based in Minnetonka, MN, will build a 200,000 square foot glass coating and tempering plant for residential window applications in the city of Galt. The $20 million investment will create 135 new jobs in 1999. The company expects construction will begin in early Spring and startup will begin in September 1999 with full production by the end of the year.

According to plant manager Ron Parker, the facility will focus primarily on production of low-E coated glass "Twelve of the 16 climate zones in California are cooling dominated and low-E squared product performs well in those type of climates," said Parker.

A "Red Team," including the California Trade and Commerce Agency, worked closely with the Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization and the City of Galt and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District in luring the company’s latest expansion to the Sacramento region.


Bostik Acquires Hand-Held Glue Guns from H.B. Fuller

The Construction and Distribution Division of Bostik has acquired the hand-held glue gun line and glue stick manufacturing business from adhesives manufacturer H.B. Fuller Co., headquartered in St. Paul, MN. According to the company, the expansion is the latest measure aimed at expanding its distribution-based business which includes new product introductions, new markets, strategic acquisitions and investment in manufacturing operations.

The BMT Group Acquires F.I.C. Limited

The BMT Group of Belgium announced the acquisition of F.I.C. (UK) Limited. This follows the announcement of the company’s recent acquisition of EFCO Group Limited. According to the company, the acquisitions will enable the group to offer advanced technological solutions to customers in the flat glass and container industries. The new glass engineering group created by this acquisition will have annual sales of approximately $30 million.

ALLSCO Partners With Royal Vinyl Siding

ALLSCO Building Products Ltd., based in Winslow, ME, announced a partnership with Royal Vinyl Siding of Royal Technologies and Royal Building Products. ALLSCO will serve as Royal’s exclusive distributor of Royal Heritage Classic and Royal Suprema premium vinyl siding in Atlantic Canada. Royal’s cedar and architectural series will also be available from ALLSCO.


PATH for Energy-Efficient Housing Launched

The White House has announced a new program, the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH), that it says promises to make homes 50 percent more energy-efficient by 2010 through the use of energy-efficient windows and other technology. Inaugurated in May, PATH focuses on accelerating the widespread use of advanced technologies such as energy-efficient windows and other efficient systems to achieve energy-efficiency and affordability in residential housing.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which administers PATH, the program is intended to effect a 50 percent reduction in residential energy use—among other goals—within three years. PATH will achieve these goals, HUD says, by providing information on innovation building materials, products and systems. The program will also spotlight best practices in housing technologies, develop strategies for overcoming roadblocks to progress, test housing technologies in the field and stimulate the next generation of housing technology through cooperative research among the programs partners. These partners include private industry, research universities and national labs.

More information about PATH is available on its web site at www.pathnet.org.


Meek Manufacturing Expands Product Line

Meek Manufacturing Company of Fort Smith, AR, says it has expanded its product line to include powder-coated angle frames, brass-plated channel frames, solid brass angle frames and a full line of dome and convex surveillance mirrors. The company has also greatly increased its custom manufacturing capabilities, with custom sizes, designs and finishes available. Meek is a manufacturer of commercial, stainless steel, theft-proof frames and mirrors.

Caradon Extrusion Plans $22 Million Expansion

The Caradon Extrusion Group of Toronto, ON, says it is implementing a $22 million investment program featuring major facility and production expansions at its Caradon Mideast Aluminum in Pennsylvania and Caradon Indalex plants in Gainesville, GA, and Vancouver, BC. The investment is designed to strengthen the group’s market position by upgrading facilities and equipment and expanding production capacity.


Glaverbel Postpones Bond Sale

European glassmaker Glaverbel SA has postponed the sale of four billion Belgian francs ($120 million) of convertible bonds, according to the Bloomberg News. Although the sale was postponed due to unfavorable stock market conditions, a company spokesperson said the sales haven’t been canceled, but delayed for an undefined period of time. The company planned to use the money raised from the bond offer to finance the purchase of the European glass operations of PPG Industries Inc.

Asahi Glass to Build Auto Glass Plant in Mexico

Asahi Glass Co. of Japan will spend $40 million to build an auto glass plant in Mexico later this year, according to PRNewswire. It is the first auto glass plant to be built by Asahi in Mexico and will be located in the Jalisco administrative region. According to the company, the plant will have a capacity to produce glass for 400,000 automobiles annually.

Additionally, the company announced earlier this year that it will invest more than 50 billion yen in Asian affiliates producing vinyl chloride to improve facilities in Indonesia, Pakistan and Thailand, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. The investment includes previous expenses to extend production lines in 1997.


Commercial Plastics Moves to New Location

Commercial Plastics has announced that its Birmingham, AL, branch moved to a new location in July. The new building, located at 411 37th Street N., Birmingham, AL 35222, has 25 percent more office and warehouse space than the old facility.


The release detailing Insulgard® Corporation’s Secur-Gard™ and Coastgard™ products listed both products as originating from the company’s New Hudson, MI facility (see December 1998 USGlass, page 27). However, Secur-Gard is manufactured at the company’s Hyattsville, MD facility while Coastgard is manufactured at the company’s Nazareth, PA facility. We regret the error


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