Volume 41,   Issue 3                             March 2006

Company News

Fire at Westshore Facility Closes Office, Plant Remains Open

Westshore Glass in Tampa, Fla., closed temporarily early this year due to what the company described as a “catastrophic” fire in late January. 

The fire was contained to the office area, forcing the company to put order taking on hold until other arrangements could be made; the business was fully functioning by mid-February. The production line was not damaged, though company president Ron Brock told USGlass magazine that smoke and soot has forced the company to move its metal fabricating and insulating glass processing lines to buildings two blocks away. Those lines are expected to be operational within six weeks.

At press time, office personnel were working in temporary buildings erected on the company grounds. 

Brock told USGlass magazine that the company lost two of six buildings but staff members worked to help clean-up those parts of the business that could be salvaged.

“That way no one missed a pay check,” Brock said. 

There were no injuries during the fire, and Brock advises that all business owners pay attention and check on computer battery back-up stations, particularly those underneath desks. He told USGlass that fire investigators believe that may have caused the fire at the facility. 

Pilkington Issues Warning: Beware of “Self-Cleaning” Impostors

Pilkington’s U.K. headquarters have launched a television, newspaper and Internet advertising campaign for Pilkington Activ™ that resounds a warning to glass fabricators and installers: “Pilkington Activ is a permanent, dual action, self-cleaning glass. Beware of imitators!” 

“As you would expect since we launched Pilkington Activ more than three years ago, as the product has become established and created a new niche market, a number of other products that claim to be ‘self-cleaning’ to one degree or another have emerged,” said Matt Buckley, marketing director for Pilkington Building Products UK. “Competition is fine as this can help a new market to develop and grow,” he added but, he says, it is also important for installers to offer only genuine Pilkington Activ self-cleaning glass, when that is what a customer asks for. 

“There seems to be quite a lot of misleading information being claimed by companies offering high performing glasses whether it is in terms of self-cleaning [versus] low maintenance or in terms of solar control and U-value performance and this cannot be good for the industry in the long term,” Buckley added.

Pilkington’s advertising campaign is said to be the largest for a branded flat glass specifically in at least a decade. It is expected to reach more than 30 million people throughout the UK.

The campaign will run from the middle of February through to the end of April and will target homeowners looking for replacement windows and 


J.E. Berkowitz Fires Up New Oven

Glass fabricator J.E. Berkowitz L.P. (JEB) of Westville, N.J., recently installed the Uniglass UGCPlus “UniCharge” flat-glass tempering line with forced convection heating, the first of its type in the United States. The system has a loading capacity of 84- by 192-inches and was purchased by the company to meet growing demand for high-end tempered glass. The Uniglass line will focus on coated glass products.

The new furnace is the third oven JEB has purchased. Uniglass representatives, with the help of JEB’s director of operations James Carroll and his staff, conducted the installation process. 

“After weeks of installation, the first lite came out perfect. We couldn’t believe it,” said Arthur Berkowitz, president of JEB. “The project management support we received from Uniglass was superb.”


Azon Launches Customer Newsletter

Azon USA Inc. of Kalamazoo, Mich., recently published a new, glossy four-page newsletter called The New Standard, to be mailed to its customer base. According to the company, it will be published three times a year, and is designed to educate the architectural glass community about the benefits of the company’s Warm-Light® product.

The first issue featured the technology of thermally-improved spacers, how Warm-Light® was used to improve the condensation resistance factor of the glazed openings in the main façade of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and a profile of J.E. Berkowitz L.P., Azon’s first Warm-Light® certified fabricator.


Coating Materials Division Comes to Tico Titanium

Tico Titanium Inc. has announced the creation of a new division for coating materials. The division was created to allow the company to increase market awareness and market penetration into the expanding field of physical vapor deposition coatings. 

“Tico Titanium will utilize a dedicated staff to help expand our market presence in decorative coating, tool coating and other segments of this growing market. Our company has sold all forms of titanium, niobium, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, zirconium and chromium sputtering targets as a segment of our core business as a global titanium service center over the past 25 years,” said Gary Johnson, president.

Tico Titanium Inc. is headquartered in New Hudson, Mich., and is a subsidiary of Lawrence Holdings Inc. of Wallingford, Conn. The company has a second distribution center in the Houston area. 


The Dwyer Group Celebrates 25th Anniversary in 2006 

The Dwyer Group, parent company of the Glass Doctor, has begun celebrating its 25th anniversary.

“This New Year marks a major milestone for the history of our company and the approximately 2.2 million service calls our franchisees make on an annual basis,” said Dina Dwyer-Owens, president and chief executive officer of the Waco, Texas-based Dwyer Group. “Not only have our franchise brands grown to become leaders in their industries, but also we continue to grow in market share and name recognition as we expand into new territories at home and abroad.”

In addition, Entrepreneur magazine named Glass Doctor to its 27th annual “Franchise 500” and “Top Global Franchises” lists. The magazine, which also ranked the company the “Best of the Best” in its category of home repairs, based its rankings on financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system.


Harmon Relocates Michigan Offices; Gump Glass Name Retired in Colorado 

The Detroit offices of Harmon Inc. have relocated to a larger facility at 133623 Otterson Court in Livonia, Mich. The Michigan office phone number and contact information remain the same. At 22,000-square-feet, the new building nearly doubles the previous facility size. 

The company’s Denver office, which has gone by the name Gump Glass for 80 years, has changed its name to Harmon Inc. The company has been a part of Harmon Inc. for 16 years. 


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