Volume 37, Issue 5, May 2002


The parent company of Tamglass Engineering Oy, the Kyro Corp., has signed an agreement to acquire Uniglass Engineering Oy, a flat glass tempering machinery manufacturer. As of April 19, all of the shares of the latter company were transferred to Kyro’s ownership.

Uniglass Engineering Oy will continue its operations as an independent company within the safety-glass technology business area of the Kyro Group.

A part of the acquisition price was paid in the Kyro Corp.’s own shares, according to the company. However, the price of the acquisition was not disclosed.

In other news at Tamglass, its biannual show, Glass Processing Days (GPD) 2001, which took place June 18-21 in Tampere, Finland, has been recognized by the Tampere Convention Bureau (TCB) as the “most distinguished conference organizer of the year.”

“The six-person GPD team, led by conference chairperson Jorma Vitkala was responsible for all the conference arrangements, from planning the scientific program, inviting guest speakers and planning the original, evening entertainment,” said Erika Eischer, TCB managing director. “The staff of the Tampere Hall and a large number of partners and students from polytechnic colleges assisted with practical arrangements. The conference service office handled the registration.”
The next GPD will take place in Tampere, June 15-18, 2003.

BOC Group Sells Glass Coating Business
London-based BOC Group plc recently announced that BOC Coating Technology, which is a division of BOC Edwards based in Fairfield, Calif., has sold its glass coating business to Von Ardenne Anlagentechnik GmbH of Dresden, Germany. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Von Ardenne has incorporated a new subsidiary company, Von Ardenne Coating Technology Inc., to acquire the business.

BOC Coating Technology employs approximately 120 people. An estimated 70 people will move to the new company.

Sealmaster’s Claims of Patent Infringement Declared Invalid
Both Vinyl Building Products (VPB) Inc. of Oakland, N.J., and Silver Line Building Products Corp. of North Brunswick, N.J., have announced that courts have affirmed that patent infringement claims made against them by Rockwood, Tenn.-based Sealmaster are invalid. Both companies prevailed in the appeal of the claims.

In 1999, Sealmaster filed patent infringement claims against several companies, including Vinyl Building Products Inc., based on two integral J-channel patents. In 2000, the District Court was asked to rule that Sealmaster LLC’s patent claims were invalid. In January 2001 the District Court agreed and ruled that, except for one claim, all the relevant integral J-channel patent claims were invalid. On appeal it was agreed that the remaining claim should rise or fall with the rest of the claims held invalid by the District Court. 

On April 5, 2002, the Appeals Court affirmed the lower court’s decision. The Court also required Sealmaster to keep its website postings current as the company previously had sent a letter to members of the industry giving notice of its intent to pursue infringers, but neglected to post the adverse 2001 decision. 

According to Vinyl Building Products as of this writing, Sealmaster’s website is no longer in operation.
In the case against Silver Line, the court granted Silver Line’s motion for summary judgment, invalidating the patents. The U.S. District Court held that windows sold by Silver Line years before the patent filings included the same integral J-rail design and therefore SealMaster’s patents were invalid.
Executives from both VBP and Silver Line applauded the decisions.

Ralph Weiss, president and chief executive officer of VBP, said, “We are very happy that the court found in our favor. We felt, and the court agreed, that the patents were invalid as being obvious in light of the technology existing long before the patents were filed. We are pleased with the decision, and we know our customers will be pleased as well.”

Silver Line chairperson and chief executive officer Kenneth Silverman echoed this sentiment. “This decision is a win for Silver Line and for the window industry in general,” he said. “We are gratified not only that the Court saw the logic in our argument, but more importantly, that the judicial system worked in a manner that brings this matter to a complete and unambiguous conclusion.”
SealMaster did not respond to USGlass’s request for comment.

GED Introduces New IG Supplier
Glass Equipment Development Inc. (GED) of Twinsburg, Ohio, has created a new subsidiary—MHS, a GED Company.

According to a news release, MHS will design and build racks and carts, specializing in customization for the end user. GED says MHS is geared to work not only with IG manufacturers, but also those involved with window and door fabrication.

PGT Teams Up with Fla. Alliance for Safe Homes
The Tallahassee-based Florida Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) has named PGT Industries of Venice, Fla., as a strategic partner. In this role, PGT will provide FLASH with technical support and materials and expertise for numerous demonstration projects, including the organization’s Blueprint for Safety consumer and builder educational outreach program. 

“Our expertise in developing impact-resistant windows and doors, paired with FLASH’s excellent outreach program, will provide both builders and consumers with the information they need to ensure homes are built to adequately meet the challenges of Florida living,” said Julie Heinsman, PGT vice president of marketing.

In addition, PGT Industries is offering a CILB registered provider course, titled “Structural Changes in the New Florida Building Code and Designing for Wind-borne Debris Protection” to builders, contractors and building officials. The course is offered at the company’s headquarters in Venice.

Enclos Tests Curtainwall for New York Court

Minneapolis-based Enclos Corp. is scheduled to perform a full-scale blast resistance test on a curtainwall it designed for the New Bronx Criminal Court Complex in New York. The tests will be conducted at White Sands Missile Base in New Mexico in late summer. The full-scale mock-up will test the design’s resistance to the project’s specified blast loads.

Engelhard Acquires Part of O. Hommel Co.
The Engelhard Corp. of Iselin, N.J., has acquired the ceramic coating business of Pittsburgh-based O. Hommel Co. According to the company, the new business complements its existing glass coatings line and will allow it to offer customers a wider range of products and technologies.
The O. Hommel ceramic coatings business has an international customer base for glass-fired enamels and other glass coating products, which serve the automotive, decorative, flat and specialty glass industries.

"The addition of O. Hommel's ceramic business gives Engelhard a unique ability to serve customers in the automotive glass and decorative glass industries from one source," said Paul Hameleers, business manager of Engelhard's engineered coatings group. "This dynamic combination of coating resources will yield immediate efficiencies and produce advanced products in the near term."
For more info, circle card #71.

Kawneer Announces Expansions
Norcross, Ga.-based Kawneer Co. Inc. has announced a $16-million expansion of its Hernando, Miss., facility. The changes come as part of the company’s program of re-engineering and realignment, which it says it designed to better meet the needs of its customers.
The 285,000-square-foot facility is being expanded by 75,000 square feet. Kawneer plans to double the work force at the plant by early 2003.

The newly expanded Hernando facility will now produce entrances, framing products and windows. “These moves are part of the steps being taken to meet our overriding goal, which is to ensure that our customers succeed in the marketplace by providing the best products and services in the industry together with single-source responsibility,” said Bill Cralley, president of Alcoa Architectural Products, Kawneer’s parent company.

Security Lock Distributors Switches Headquarters
Security Lock Distributors is relocating its headquarters to a new facility in Westwood, Mass. Formerly, the company was based in Needham Heights, Mass. In addition, the company has expanded its regional facilities in Las Vegas and Pompano Beach, Fla. 

Archiglaze Enters U.S. Market
Italy-based Archiglaze has decided to expand into the United States with a subsidiary company, Archiglaze USA. The subsidiary will be based in Scottsdale, and will specialize in designing and installing point-fixed glass facades, canopies, fabric structures and structural glass flooring.


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