Volume 39, Issue 8, August  2004


Alcoa Decides To Not Sell Kawneer; Becomes Part of European Operations

Eighteen months ago Alcoa announced it was going to sell its Kawneer North America business. Since that time numerous rumors have circulated about potential buyers. Alcoa has put an end to those rumors with its announcement July 9 that it has decided to not sell Kawneer, but rather to make it a part of Alcoa’s European operations.

“The success of a similar Alcoa business in Europe, where we have quadrupled revenues and exceeded our financial targets over the past five years, convinced Alcoa to review its original decision … to sell Kawneer in North America,” wrote David W. Schlendorf, president of Alcoa Building and Construction Systems, in a letter to customers dated July 14.

Alcoa has instead created a new Building and Construction Systems business that will combine its European building and construction systems business with the Kawneer operations. The new business will be based in Geneva, Switzerland and will report to Schlendorf. It will be part of the Alcoa Europe group of companies.
“The new business combines our capabilities from both sides of the Atlantic to put Alcoa in the position to serve customers and capture opportunities on an international scale,” said Schlendorf.

Current Kawneer employees will remain employed by Alcoa. Bill Cralley, who served as president of Kawneer, is no longer employed by the company. 

Oldcastle Glass Announces New Laminating Line

In order to meet increasing demand for impact-resistant glass by wood window manufacturers, Oldcastle Glass has added a laminating line to its plant in Wausau, Wis. The 20,000-square-foot expansion began operating in May.

“Oldcastle Glass specializes in hurricane-resistant glazing and wanted to respond to the rapidly growing market for impact-resistant windows along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts, from Brownsville, Texas, to Long Island, New York,” said John Bush, director of laminated products. “We saw there was an acute shortage of high-quality, impact-resistant glass. By expanding our existing plant in Wausau we are now able to better serve this burgeoning market.”

The new line is producing Oldcastle Glass’ StormGlass™ hurricane-resistant product.
Info www.oldcastleglass.com or call 866/653-2278.

AZON USA Inaugurates New World Headquarters

With 250 supportive guests looking on, Kalamazoo, Mich.-based AZON USA inaugurated its new world headquarters in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 24. The new headquarters building, which consists of 19,000 square feet on two levels, was built in 1962. AZON acquired the building in 2003 and completely renovated it with energy conservation a top priority.

As part of the renovation, AZON wanted to create an energy-efficient building. The new aluminum windows, for example, incorporate AZON’s thermal barrier technology, as well as its Warm-light air spacers between the lites of glass. Other energy-saving elements include lighting, computer-controlled air handling and skylights. The building also features an R-19 spray foam roof, and the entire inside perimeter was framed with 2-X-6 framing filled with sprayed-in cellulous insulation.

The new world headquarters include administrative and sales offices, a media studio, auditorium, executive suite and more. An employee fitness center is scheduled for completion this winter.

Dover Bridge Features Innovative Glass Bridge

Dover International Speedway is now home to the DuPont Monster Bridge, a glass-enclosed seating structure that extends over the track for an up-close view of racing. The bridge stands 29 feet above the center of the track, strategically located on the back straightaway heading into turn three of the speedway. Measuring 110 feet in length and with an interior width of 13 feet, approximately 2,500 square feet of safety glass fills the vertical surfaces of the bridge. 

Cardinal Glass Industries, based in Eden Prairie, Minn., fabricated the laminated glass used in the bridge with its Lo-E2-170 to help maintain comfortable temperatures inside the bridge and also reduce HVAC-related energy costs. DuPont’s SentryGlas Expres-sions decorative interlayer, illustrated with the “Monster Mile” brand graphics, was used on the inner laminate of the panels, while SentryGlas Plus structural interlayer was used for the outer laminates. The laminated glass withstood lab tests in which NASCAR-sanctioned lug nuts were fired at the glass at 200 miles per hour. 

“We basically integrated all of the features available for impact, energy performance and decoration,” said Mike Wolthe, plant manager for Cardinal’s laminated glass facility. 

Installation was done by Custom Storefronts and Skylights Inc., of Fruitland, Md. 


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