Volume 42, Issue 12 - December 2007

Distribution & Production

Guardian Industries Closes Its 
Fullerton, Calif., Manufacturing Plant 

Guardian Industries in Auburn Hills, Mich., has announced that it will close its patterned glass manufacturing plant in Fullerton, Calif. Guardian has operated this facility since it was acquired in the early 1980’s and has produced glass for use in the shower door, patio furniture and solar energy markets. The plant currently is in need of significant refurbishments, but the company has decided that business conditions do not justify additional capital expenditures at the plant.

“The South Coast Air Quality Management District has insisted that the facility install extremely costly pollution control equipment at the next furnace rebuild rather than allow us to purchase emission credits to offset emissions from the new furnace,” explained Peter Walters, Group vice president. “The Fullerton plant could not recover this substantial additional cost, and would have to operate at a continuing loss. No business can operate in this fashion. We regret that we have not been able to persuade the district to allow us to continue to operate through this commonly accepted market-based approach to environmental issues.”

Guardian has additional patterned glass manufacturing capacity on the East Coast and will continue to serve all of Fullerton’s customers with product shipped from this alternative manufacturing site. The Fullerton plant employs 41 people and over the coming weeks, Guardian will be working with its employees to minimize the impact. It is expected that the plant will close this month. Product production had been scheduled to end in November. 

On October 15, Guardian Fiberglass broke ground on a new manufacturing plant in Moses Lake, Wash. The 500,000-square-foot facility will manufacture Guardian’s full line of fiberglass insulation products for residential and commercial applications.  www.guardian.com

Doralco Hosts Open House in New Facility 
Doralco hosted an open house on October 17 to celebrate its brand new 80,000-square-foot facility in Alsip, Ill. The new plant is fully operational and houses the company’s four divisions: composite panels, sunshades, entrance metal and the machine shop. 

Doralco showcased its expanded manufacturing capabilities with demonstrations of its composite panel machine, sunshades, polishing equipment and water jet. The company’s custom work, which includes stainless corner guards, flat decorative panels, slim line door rails, top-hung sliders, entrance cladding and sunshades, were available to view throughout the corporate offices. www.doralco.com 

Craftsman Fabricated Glass Licensed to Offer SPD-Smart Laminated Glass
Craftsman Fabricated Glass Ltd. in Houston, Texas, has acquired a license from Research Frontiers Inc. to make SPD-Smart™ laminated glass and plastic products using Research Frontiers’ patented SPD light-control film. When integrated with glass or plastic panels, SPD-Smart film gives users the ability to rapidly, precisely and uniformly control the amount of light passing through glass or plastic. 

Craftsman also recently completed the installation of a new lamination line at its 230,000-square-foot facility in Houston (See October 2007 USGlass, page 14). The line features advanced robotics and automation to reduce the handling of glass, thus ensuring high quality. Additionally, the line is equipped with a digital PVB/PU (polyvinyl butyral/polyurethane) optimizer and upper level PVB/PU selector and storage system. 

“I’ve been watching Research Frontiers’ SmartGlass announcements for a few years and knew that this could be an extraordinary product to compliment our new laminated line products,” says Bob Lawrence, president of Craftsman. He explains, “SmartGlass gives your customer the ability to dim the amount of transparency in their windows. For example, they can control the amount of shade they need, or even get total privacy. Think of all the lake houses that have a great view, but there are hours during the day when the sun and reflections will run you out of that room. From simple light control, to having a private meeting in a conference room … here is the solution. This laminated product even has sound control qualities by default. So yes, this was on our minds long before we purchased the laminated line,” he says. www.gwiweb.com

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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.