Volume 36, Issue 11, November 2001


Vitro S.A. de C.V. Enters Joint Venture with AFG Industries of Tennessee
Mexican glassmaker Vitro S.A. de C.V. and AFG Industries of Kingsport, Tenn., have announced an agreement to form a 50-50 venture for float glass production in Mexico.

According to information from a Vitro representative, the venture will transform an existing container glass facility to a float glass plant in Mexicali, B.C.N., Mexico. Production is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2003, and the new company will produce approximately 200,000 gross tons of float glass per year for the U.S., Canadian and Mexican markets. An AFG spokesperson said it expects to spend $100 million in renovation of the facility.

“We are very excited to become partners with Vitro, the largest glass manufacturer in Mexico,” said D. Roger Kennedy, AFG president and chief executive officer. “Since AFG is already North America’s leading supplier of flat glass to the construction industry, this new expansion will further strengthen AFG Industries’ ability to meet the needs of our customers in Mexico, Canada and the United States,” he added.

Harmon Ltd. Announces Name Change 
Based in Bloomington, Minn., Harmon Ltd. has announced that effective January 1, 2002, it will change its name to one that it says better reflects its business—Enclos Corp. (See related story, "People")

“We wanted to more accurately reflect the changes that have occurred in our business approach. Since our inception as a glass shop 25 years ago we have grown into a result-driven specialty contractor,” said Peter Koukos, president and chief executive officer. “There is a visible difference in our process. We deliver what the customer wants, when they want it. It is that simple.”

De Gorter Sues Former Employees and American Diamond Technology
De Gorter Inc. of Monroe, N.C., has sued former employees Christopher Darr and Nelson Nieves, and American Diamond Technology Inc., a company in which the two are principals. In the case, De Gorter claimed that the defendants engaged in “unfair and deceptive business practices and misappropriated certain trade secrets by operating a competing business while Darr and Nieves were employed with De Gorter.” 

In a Charlotte, N.C., hearing, the Superior Court of Mecklenburg County entered a preliminary injunction ordering Darr, Nieves and American Diamond Technology to “cease doing business and/or selling any products, supplies or equipment to any customer to whom they had made sales prior to December 1, 2000.”

De Gorter is seeking a permanent injunction and monetary damages; the preliminary injunction will remain effective until the trial. The trial is expected to take place late next year.

At press time, the defendants were not available for comment. 

Pilkington Partners with Vattenfall
Pilkington Automotive Finland Oy has signed a cooperative agreement with Vattenfall Oy. Under the 15-year agreement, Vattenfall will take over the heat production at Pilkington’s plant in Ylojarvi, Finland. In conjunction with the agreement, the plant is being rebuilt to use wood pellets instead of oil. 

Building Industry Asked to Note “Unusual Requests”
The building industry has been asked by the government to report any unusual or suspicious requests for building plans or documents. According to information from the International Code Council, the concern arose due to reports from architectural firms noting past or recent requests that now seem unusual. 

In conjunction with the General Services Administration, the American Institute of Architects and the National Society of Professional Engineers are working with the FBI to provide design firms with information.

If you question the legitimacy of a request, you are urged to contact your local FBI office. Local listings can be found at www.fbi.gov. You can also find more information by visiting www.aia.org/letter/default.asp.


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