Volume 36, Issue 3, March 2001

PPG Upgrades Meadville Plant; Completes Starphire Run

Plans are presently underway to give PPG’s Meadville, Pa., plant a $23 million upgrade. The Pittsburgh-based company is investing in its Meadville facility to rebuild a melting tank and install energy-efficient oxygen-fuel firing technology on one of the location’s two new float glass production lines. According to a statement issued by PPG, when the project is completed in mid-2002, the plant will be the world’s third flat glass production facility to use oxy-fuel firing, which is said to reduce air emissions and natural gas consumption for melting raw materials compared to conventional air-fired furnaces.

“We successfully installed our first oxy-fuel system at the Fresno, Calif., glass plant last year, and it is exceeding expectations in terms of reduced emissions and enhanced efficiencies,” said Dennis V. diDonato, director of flat glass production, oxy-fuel melting technology. “Installing the technology at Meadville will improve environmental efficiency, enhance our ability to produce high-quality PPG proprietary and increase net throughput,” he added.

PPG plans to shut down the float glass line to be converted temporarily the first part of 2002 for approximately three months for tank repair, a normal, periodic tank procedure. The plant’s other production line is not scheduled for rebuild prior to 2005.

In other news, PPG’s Carlisle, Pa., plant has reported another successful production run of ultra-clear Starphire glass. “Once again, Carlisle plant personnel and engineers from our glass technology center near Pittsburgh did an outstanding job planning and executing the technical aspects for producing Starphire glass,” said Kris Curry, Starphire glass product manager. “We continue to assure supplies of Starphire glass remain readily available.”
PPG says it has a network of distributors and fabricators in the United States and Canada to maintain inventories and fabricate architectural and specialty products from Starphire glass.

CRL Expands to Montreal

Los Angeles-based C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. (CRL) has acquired Joseph Taylor Inc.’s Montreal business and facility. According to president and chief executive officer for CRL, Donald E. Friese, all current Joseph Taylor employees at the Montreal plant will be retained as the facility is transferred to the hands of CRL. Richard Longpré, who has been with Joseph Taylor for more than 23 years, will serve as branch manager of the operation. Gavin Brin, president of CRL of Canada, will oversee the facility, as well, in addition to the operations in Toronto and Vancouver.

“CRL is very proud of this move and acquisition as it demonstrates our expanding commitment to the Canadian market. Our plan is to totally reorganize the Montreal facility in order to increase our inventory and better serve customers in the Montreal area and the Maritime Provinces. As part of this plan, we will immediately begin constructing a new 30,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility,” Friese said.

Joseph Taylor still owns and operates two facilities in Canada, one in Toronto and one in Calgary.

Guardian, Cebrace Invest in Brazilian Expansions
Guardian Industries of Auburn Hills, Mich., is planning to install a new plant in Brazil due to the increasing demand for flat glass in the Latin American country. The company intends to set up a new manufacturing facility in Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catrina or Parana, to supply the Southeast, South regions and Mercosur with flat glass. Guardian already operates a plant in Rio de Janeiro, which will also be expanded with investments of $30 million (U.S. dollars). Currently, Guardian has a $100 million (U.S. dollars) turnover in Brazil and exports 20 percent of its daily production to Argentina, Venezuela, Chile and Bolivia.

Likewise, Cebrace Cristal Plano Ltd. is investing $125 million in the formation of the first glass plant in Santa Catarina, Brazil. The new plant, which is a result of a joint venture between Pilkington and Saint-Gobain, could possibly begin operations in late-2001. The plant is expected to have a production of capacity for 200,000 metric tons of float glass per year. Currently, Cebrace owns two other units in Brazil, one in Jacarei and one in Cacapava (Sao Paulo). Cebrace will produce 500 metric tons (of glass) per year.

Crystal Honored for Renovation of Funeral Home
Crystal Window and Door Systems of Flushing, N.Y., recently was honored by the Queens, N.Y., Chamber of Commerce for a project it completed on a funeral home there. The J. Foster Phillips Funeral Home received the Queens Chamber’s Year 2000 Annual Building Award in the Commercial Space—Rehabilitation category after much renovation and the addition of 60 Crystal Series 2000 aluminum fixed picture windows. The funeral home was also expanded and 18 Crystal windows were placed in the tall openings of the curved façade in the new area of the building.

Southern Aluminum Finishing Rolls on with Nashville Coil Facility
Based in Atlanta, Southern Aluminum Finishing (SAF) is recognized primarily for its aluminum painting, anodizing and fabricating capabilities. However, many are not aware of is its continuous coil anodizing facility located in Nashville.
The plant’s projects include shutter door material for 31/2-inch floppy disks, lightening sheet, dog tag material, spacer bar material for insulated windows and architectural building projects.

According to SAF, the Nashville plant can accommodate coils up to 10,000 pounds and diameters up to 66 inches. In addition, the line is capable of anodizing thicknesses between 0.006- and 0.0063-inches, as well as coils 49-inches wide. In addition, dyes in a variety of colors and nickel or hot water seals are available through SAF’s coil anodizing plant.