Volume 38, Issue 2, February 2003


Guardian Industries Celebrates 70th Anniversary by Focusing on the Future
Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Guardian Industries Corp. is celebrating 70 years in the glass business and says it is now focusing on future initiatives. 

The company was launched in 1932 as Guardian Glass Co. when a group of investors purchased a small automobile windshield maker in Detroit. In 1970, after firing up its first float line, the company changed its name to Guardian Industries Corp., and in 1981 Guardian entered the Western European float glass market with a new plant in Luxembourg. By the 1990s, Guardian’s international 

reach extended throughout Europe and into Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Venezuela. It also opened distribution centers in Argentina, Colombia, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. Today, Guardian operates 22 float lines worldwide.

GUARDIAN With recent accomplishments such as the opening of its Science and Technology Center (S&T), the company says it has positioned itself to “take the lead” in research, development and design of innovative glass products.

“At Guardian, the past is prelude,” said William Davidson, Guardian president and chief executive officer. “Guardian’s first 70 years are defined by our growth as a global manufacturer. We are positioned to have our next 70 years defined by our emergence as an innovator and inventor.”

According to a news release, the company is concentrating on research at the S&T. By developing new coatings and manufacturing processes, Guardian says it is poised to continue its global growth and continue to increase product offerings.

Some of the products developed recently at S&T include Inspiration Glass™, an Ultra Violet-blocking 

glass for the picture framing industry; DiamondGuard® SR, scratch-resistant coatings for the display, tabletop and furniture industries; Sun-Guard® coated glass; and temperable, high-performance low-E.

From left to right: Kenneth Hays, Masonry Arts; Glenn Ruskin, Solutia; Russ Huffer, Viracon; Aren Almon-Kok, Protecting People First; Brett Eaton, Pentagon Renovation Program; Peter Murphy and Robert Hogue, Counsel for the Commandment of the Marine Corps.

Protecting People First Honors Companies for Pentagon Repair
Aren Almon-Kok, founder of Protecting People First, presented a safety award to Pentagon officials November 21 for having blast-resistant windows installed in the building.

In addition to Pentagon officials, the ceremony recognized Viracon, Solutia and Masonry Arts. All were also presented an award for working to “raise awareness” of the potential dangers of flying glass.

Velux Acquires Sun Tunnel Systems Inc.
Velux America Inc. of Greenwood, S.C., has announced the acquisition of Sun Tunnel Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif., a manufacturer of flexible-tube skylights. The acquisition, which was effective December 6, includes company stock, trade names, patents, inventory and its manufacturing capabilities.

“Sun Tunnel has a well-established product program and is a leader in flexible-tube light delivery systems,” said Tim Miller, Velux America president. “This acquisition enables Velux to offer yet another option for bringing natural light into residences and commercial structures.” 

According to Miller, Velux will offer Sun Tunnels in addition to its skylight, roof window, flashing kit and accessory product selection. “There are instances where Sun Tunnels can be a very effective part of the lighting mix,” he said and added that dealers currently purchasing Sun Tunnel 
products will have access to Velux’s full product line.

Dwyer Group in the News
The Dwyer Group, based in Waco, Texas, has received several honors recently.
The company was listed in Franchise Times magazine’s “20 to Watch” list for 2003.

“We are extremely proud to be honored by Franchise Times, and we will enjoy sharing this distinction with some remarkable peers,” said Dina Dwyer-Owens, president and chief executive officer for the company.

Likewise, Glass Doctor franchise company was named in Entrepreneur magazine’s “Franchise 500.” Glass Doctor was ranked number 237.

The Dwyer Group also announced that its franchise subsidiaries will spend more than $4 million this year on national television advertisements on selected networks. Commercials will be seen on NBC’s “Today Show,” ABC’s “Good Morning America,” CBS’ “Sunday Morning,” as well as A&E, TNT, the Discovery Channel, HGTV, Lifetime, Food Network and more.

Hydro Aluminum N. A. Relocates Baltimore
The Baltimore Washington International Airport Central Business District is now home to the new headquarters for Hydro Aluminum North America. According to the company, the move consolidates three offices into one corporate location. The company’s new Linthicum, Md., facility will also house Hydro’s metal hedging and risk management operations.

“With the consolidation of these three offices, this is an opportunity to reduce costs,” said Martin Carter, president, “but also an opportunity to create a work style that is flexible, open and encourages teamwork.” 

The company has also launched a website, www.hydroaluminumNA.com.

L.F. Driscoll Honored by OSHA with Merit Award
L.F. Driscoll Co., a construction management firm, received a Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) merit award from the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) for its construction jobsite at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“Safety is our moral obligation,” said Donna File, corporate safety director for L.F. Driscoll. “This partnership recognizes our dedication to that obligation of safety for everyone on the job.”

A VPP is awarded to corporate safety programs that enforce, encourage and maintain proper OSHA safety procedures to ensure the safety of everyone on the jobsite.

APT Forms New Company In Spin-Off
Applied Process Technologies (APT) of Tucson, Ariz., has launched a new entity, LiteSentry Corp., a spin-off of its LiteSentry™ glass inspection business. The new corporation will operate a manufacturing and development facility in Dundas, Minn., where it will develop visual inspection systems for the glass industry. Product applications for the company include on-line measurement of roll distortion, thickness, size and coating.

According to the company, its new location in Minnesota is in close proximity to its clientele of glass and window manufacturers.

Quality Wholesale Announces Name Change
Rob Bowden, who previously worked in sales for Quality Wholesale Hardware of Hazel Park, Mich., has purchased the company and changed its name to Quality Hardware Corp. While Bowden will be overseeing all day-to-day operations, Nelson McKinnon will continue to be active with the company.

“I am excited to be doing this,” said Bowden. “We will continue to give our customers the quality service they expect and require.”

Association News

PGMC Votes to Disband; GANA Forms Flat Glass Division
The Primary Glass Manufacturers Council (PGMC) voted at its December 3 board of directors meeting to dissolve the organization, effective December 31. Five of the six flat glass manufacturers in the United States originally made up the organization: AFG Industries, Guardian Industries, Pilkington North America, PPG Industries and Visteon Glass. Two years ago both AFG and Visteon pulled out.

According to Stanley Smith, Glass Association of North America (GANA) executive vice president and former administrator for the PGMC, the decision was made to dissolve because members felt that three companies did not adequately represent the U.S. flat glass manufacturers.

However, during the recent Glass Week (see related story, Roger Kennedy) GANA’s board of directors voted to install a new division for the flat glass industry. The new division will be made up of five companies: AFG, Guardian, Pilkington, PPG and Visteon.

Art Glass Association Announces Name Change
The former Art Glass Suppliers Association has announced a name change and will now be known as the Art Glass Association. 

According to the association, the new name better represents its membership, which includes manufacturers, publishers, distributors, retailers, studios and art glass enthusiasts. 

In addition, the association has a new logo that it says reflects the “sophistication and cutting-edge style of today’s art glass products and projects.” 


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