Volume 36, Issue 5, May 2001companynews




PPG Certified Fabricators Program Begins with Ten Companies Involved

Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries has launched a certified fabricators program, which the company says is designed for commercial glass fabricators who will be trained to fabricate PPG’s architectural glass products, and will have to pass regular audits of their capabilities. In addition, PPG says it will provide job referrals and priority glass shipments for those interested in supplying high-performance glass from PPG.

PPG says the program will enhance the construction cycle and decrease lead time.

“With the design/build trend and need to facilitate glass delivery for fast-track construction projects, PPG and our certified fabricators will be well-positioned to supply high-performance glass products quickly without compromising aesthetics, performance or quality,” said Scott Smith, market manager for flat glass at PPG. “This program has benefits for glazing contractors and general contractors as well as glass specifiers. In essence, the program can eliminate glass shipments from the critical path on many projects.”

Glazing contractors who order from these certified fabricators will be able to schedule projects with tighter lead times than was previously possible. In addition, PPG says the products produced will have to meet stringent standards, which the company hopes will offer glazing contractors additional assurance that they are getting the best products possible. 

Smith added that PPG will limit the number of memberships each year to ensure that it can meet its member commitments.

“Our objective is to develop a network of regional fabricators throughout North America that are dedicated to the architectural marketplace and capable of following PPG glass processing guidelines,” Smith said. “By limiting the number of certified fabricators, we ensure our ability to meet their training, service and product supply needs.”

According to information from the company, membership in the program requires “a serious commitment from our PPG glass fabricating customers.” Participants are normally required to invest in capital equipment upgrades and extensive employee training prior to their first audit. 

According to PPG, the following are already members of the program (* indicates audit in progress): ACI Distribution, Farmers Branch, Texas, and Oceanside, Calif.; Arch Aluminum and Glass, Kansas City, Kan.*, Waukesha, Wis., and Villa Rica, Ga.; J.E. Berkowitz Inc., Westville, N.J.; Downey Glass, Los Angeles; Hartung Industries, Seattle; Northwestern Industries, Seattle; Oldcastle Glass, Atlanta*; Perilstein Distribution Co., Cheswick, Pa.; Trulite Industries, Toronto; Wescan Industries Burnaby, Burnaby, B.C.*

BEMA Admits Shower Door Dealer as Member

The Bath Enclosures Manufacturers Association (BEMA) has its first dealer member, Northeast Shower Door Inc., based in Weymouth, Mass. 
Steven Dwyer, president of the company, says he is looking forward to its membership benefits. “I wanted to join BEMA specifically to become more involved with the industry that is my bread and butter. BEMA’s mission is the same as our mission—to promote the bath enclosure industry,” he said. “We’re very passionate and proud of our business, and I like being associated with like-minded people. BEMA associates our company with these people, promotes our product and educates people on a national basis.”

Former BEMA president Ray Adams thinks the membership of dealers such as Northeast can only improve the association. “The support of dealer members will benefit the industry as a whole, as well as the end user. For the first time in BEMA history, there is a working link between the bath enclosure manufacturer and the consumer,” said Adams.

WR Grace & Co. Subsidiary Acquires Akzo-PQ Silica’s Precipitated Silicas Business

W.R. Grace & Co. of Columbia, Md., recently announced that its German subsidiary, Grace Holding GmbH, has acquired the precipitated silicas business of Akzo-PQ Silica—the silica and silicates joint venture of Akzo Nobel and PQ Corp. The precipitated silicas business is headquartered in Dueren, Germany, and had $25 million of revenues in 2000. It will be integrated into the company’s Davison Silica Products business. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

According to a news release issued by W.R. Grace & Co., this acquisition will give its Davison Silica Products access to a third major silicas segment. “Precipitated silicas, including aluminum silicates, is by far the largest segment of specialty silicas,” said Greg Poling, Grace’s vice president and general manager for Silica Products. “Grace has a strong position in the silica gel and colloidal silica segments. This acquisition is an excellent complement to our existing silica materials technology.”

He continued, “We plan to leverage our silica materials science expertise and global infrastructure to broaden our portfolio of products for the customers we already serve, access new markets and strengthen our position as a leading silica supplier.”

Hydro Aluminum Wells Inc. Reorganizes Plant System

Baltimore-based Hydro Aluminum Wells Inc. has reorganized its six-plant network into three strategic business units, effective April 1. The new business units consist of two regional extrusion groups, Hydro Aluminum Wells East and Hydro Aluminum Wells Midwest, and a components and assemblies group. 

Hydro Aluminum Wells East will be headed by Ralph Westphal, vice president and general manager, who will report directly to the president of the company. This division will include the company’s extrusion, fabrication and finishing operations in Belton, S.C., and Moultrie, Ga. Previously, Westphal served as director of extrusion operations.

Hydro Aluminum Wells Midwest will include the company’s extrusion, fabrication and finishing plants in Monett, Mo., and North Liberty, Ind. The company has not yet selected a vice president and general manager to lead the unit.

Jack Pell will lead Hydro Aluminum Wells’ Components and Assemblies Group, which includes operations in Kalamazoo, Mich., and Sidney, Ohio. Prior to taking this position, Pell served as director of advanced fabrication.

In addition to these three business units, the company has created a remelt unit that includes the aluminum billet cast house within the Monett/Cassville, Mo., plant. Paul Wahlert, general manager, will head the remelt unit. He previously served as operations manager for the Monett/Cassville facility.

“The objective of the reorganization is simple: to better serve the customer,” said Hydro Wells acting president Richard J. Boehman. “We want to push decision-making closer to the market. This reorganization will lead to increased responsiveness, performance and safety. It puts accountability at the level necessary to create a greater sense of ownership and enhanced speed to market.” 

Arch Aluminum to Purchase Assets of Bay Mirror of California

Arch Aluminum and Glass Co. has announced that it has come to an agreement to purchase the assets of Bay Mirror Inc. of Newark, Calif.

“We are thrilled that we have successfully negotiated this transaction and anticipate closing the deal by mid-May,” said Tony Clark, Arch Aluminum’s chief operating officer. “The long-time owner of Bay Mirror, Gene Jafee, recently made the decision to retire from the daily rigors of the mirror business. Gene and the employees of Bay have spent many years forging a very strong reputation for producing and marketing mirror products of unsurpassed quality. The strength of the brand they have built creates a great opportunity for Arch as we continue to grow our position as a premier supplier of mirror products,” he added. 

According to Clark, once the agreement is finalized Arch will take on “a serious capital expenditure focused on augmenting the output of the existing facility.” Plans include updating the company’s silvering line and procuring new transportation and fabrication equipment. 



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