Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2002


Darby Announces Plans to Sell Basingstoke Operations to Pilkington
Darby Group plc of the United Kingdom has sold its Basingstoke tempering operations to Pilkington plc for approximately .5 million pounds (approximately $727,774 USD), the book value of the assets sold. According to information issued by the Darby Group, the sale is expected to increase earnings for Darby for the year ending December 31, 2002. Completion of the sale took place in late December 2001. 

“The sale is based on the company’s decision to concentrate activities on fewer, larger sites,” said Darby chief executive Hugh Hayes. “The future of the Basingstoke site and its employees is much better as a result of this deal.”

“Pilkington is acquiring a modern glass [tempering] furnace with an experienced workforce,” said Philip Webb, Pilkington corporate affairs manager. “ … As a result, we will be able to increase the supply of [tempered] glass to … customers in the area.”

According to the release, proceeds from the sale will be reinvested at other sites within the Darby Group as part of a longer term strategic plan.

Guardian Industries Receives Safety and Health Award from the State of Michigan
The Michigan Department of Consumer & Industry Services awarded the Carleton, Mich., facility of Guardian Industries Inc. the Consultation Education and Training Bronze Award last month for an outstanding safety and health record.

“I am pleased today to recognize the outstanding safety and health achievements of both the employees and management at the Carleton plant,” said Bureau of Safety and Regulation director Doug Earle. “I applaud your efforts to make workplace safety your number one concern.”

Don Tullman, Carleton plant manager, accepted the award. According to a news release, upon joining the company’s Carleton plant in 1998, safety and loss control became the plant’s number-one priority. “I learned early from Guardian mentors that a safe and well-kept plant provides the foundation for a more content and productive workforce,” Tullman said.

Architectural Skylight Takes Part in Harvard Symposium

ASC helped create this skylight in Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center.

Architectural Skylight Co. (ASC), based in Waterboro, Maine, recently participated in Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design’s one-day symposium, “New Technologies in Architecture.” The symposium covered new developments in computer-aided design and manufacturing technologies and included case studies from those currently using such methods.

ASC, featured in the session “Digital Design and Manufacturing Techniques,” received special recognition for its use of 3D CAD/CAM technology on the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia (see January 2001 USGlass, page 33 for related story). The Kimmel Center’s skylight is said to be the world’s largest, spanning a full city block and encompassing 156,677 square feet. ASC’s Francis O’Neill and Mike Maguire demonstrated the design techniques and software used on the project and also detailed how ASC and its sister company, E-Skylight.com, utilized CAD/CAM technology to automate its custom CNC fabrication machinery.

The information about Spectra Gases in the Buyers Guide section of the December 2001 issue of USGlass was incorrect. The correct information is:
    Spectra Gases
    3434 Route 22 West
    Branchburg, NJ 08876 
    Phone:     908/252-9300
    Fax:         908/252-0811
    USGlass regrets the error. 

Tambest Hosts Roof-Wetting Party at its New Factory
The Tambest Group of Finland, which includes Glassrobots Oy and Tambest Oy, hosted a “roof-wetting” party in late 2001 to celebrate the opening of its newest factory at the Airport City high-technology area. Coincidentally, the ceremony became a true roof-wetting with heavy rains taking place that evening. 

AUTOKLAVE The evening’s festivities included drinks in the world’s first “autoclave” bar.

FACTORYOPENING The Tambest Group celebrated the opening of its new location in late 2001.

Anders Holmqvist, sales manager for Glassrobots Oy, got the event underway, offering welcoming words and a toast to approximately 150 guests. Guests enjoyed a buffet dinner featuring local cuisine such as lappish cheese with cloudberries and cold-smoked reindeer, while the F.Q. Dixie Band provided the evening’s entertainment, playing swing and dixie tunes. Drinks were also served in what the company calls “the world’s only 15-bar Autoclave bar.”

The new factory, which has 6,300 square meters of space, brings both Glassrobots and Tambest together under one roof.

40-Year-Old Man Crushed to Death by Falling Glass
An eight-year employee at one of Pilkington’s plants in Australia was killed November 10 when eight tons of glass fell upon him. According to Jasmine Sussex, WorkSafe Victoria spokesperson, the worker was helping strap four packs of glass, each weighting 4,233 pounds, to the tines of a forklift. Each pack contained 662-m by 1.5-m glass pieces.

Australian Workers Union national secretary Bill Shorten said the death was “too fresh for the family [and] members for us to draw any observations.”

At press time, no comment was available from Pilkington. 


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