Volume 42, Issue 7 - July 2007

Company News       

Southern Stretch Forming Moves Northeast With New Plant in Pa.

A stretch forming company is making its product more readily available to customers in the Northeast as a result of a new division located in Northwestern Pennsylvania. Charles Michie, national sales and marketing manager for Southern Stretch Forming, says the company’s new plant in Zelienople, Pa., near Pittsburgh, has opened a bigger market for its product. 

“The expansion [of the Zelienople plant] wasn’t too difficult,” says Michie. “We actually purchased equipment from another company located in Butler, just about 20 miles from our new location.” 

“We made a lot of changes and improved efficiencies such as increasing the number of standard dies [for their products] and installing a 30-foot oven for annealing and tempering the metal,” he says.

Now that the new division has been operating for nearly a year, Michie says the company is reaching out to more customers. “Southern Stretch has been able to better service our existing customers in the Northeast, and we’ve added a significant number of new customers, too,” he says. 

The company’s two other facilities are located in Denton, Texas, and Modesto, Calif. www.southernstretch.com

Craftsman To Begin New Laminated Glass Production Line
Craftsman Fabricated Glass Ltd. in Houston will begin operation of new laminating equipment in September. The line will feature advanced robotics and automation to reduce glass handling and help ensure quality and also will be equipped with a digital PVB optimizer and upper level PVB selector and storage system. The autoclave will have a capacity of 102 x 196 as well as full heat-soak capabilities.

“We wanted to expand our product offerings to include impact-resistant, sound control, decorative [and] blast-resistant, as well as high-performance laminated glass,” says Bob Larson, vice president of sales and marketing. “Our goal continues to be to offer our customers the products that they need and the quality that they expect.” www.craftsmanfab.com

Partnership Emerges for CyberFlex Software
CyberFlex Software entered into a partnership with Albat+Wirsam North America Inc. (A+W), in Bellevue, Wash., which, as of July 2, became a new subsidiary of Glaston Corp., based in Finland. 

The CyberFlex and A+W partnership grants A+W non-exclusive rights to support CyberFlex’s Flexeshower product ranges throughout North, Central and South America. 

“We have had an incredible amount of interest from the glass industry for Flexeshower to be fully integrated and automated with CNC machinery, which really drove our partnership with Albat+Wirsam. We are very pleased that after extensive research by A+W that Flexeshower was chosen and will be made available to thousands of prospective customers via this partnership,” says Rick Wheeler, president and chief technical officer of CyberFlex Software. www.cyberflex.com.au  www.flexeshower.com  www.albat-wirsam.com

Viracon Opens Utah Plant
Viracon in Owatonna, Minn., opened a new fabricating facility in St. George, Utah, in late May. The 236,000 square-foot facility cost $35 million. “In recent years, we have had customers asking for glass availability in this area as the population continues to escalate in the South and Western United States,” says Brad Austin, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “This new facility will enable us to meet those needs.”

The facility is expected to increase Viraon’s glass fabrication capacity by about 20 percent. Employees at the St. George facility are already working on the company’s first major project, the 76-acre multi-use mega development called CityCenter on the Las Vegas strip. www.viracon.com

TRACO Receives Honors from PPG
TRACO, based in Cranberry Township, Pa., received two Certified Fabricator™Program Awards from PPG Industries’ performance glazings business. TRACO was named an Outstanding Member of the PPG Certified Commercial Window Fabricator™ program, which it received for selling more than one million square feet of PPG’s Solarban solar control low-E glass in 2006. TRACO also received a Pinnacle Award for achieving the largest percentage-based increase in Solarban glass sales during 2005 and 2006. www.traco.com 

General Glass International Expands in the West
Secaucus, N.J.-based importer and distributor General Glass International has made a number of changes recently. It has expanded its presence in the West with the addition of a new warehouse in Othello, Wash.; it had added new fabricating equipment at its operation in New Jersey and expanded floor space devoted to decorative and fire-rated glass for fabricators and installers throughout the country.

On the fabrication side of its business, the company has added a Bottero router and a Forvet drill at Secaucus.

“Our fabrication division services the expanding need for heavy fabricated and decorative specialty glass,” says David Balik, president.

General Glass has added 15,000 square feet of additional space for inventory of its decorative and fire-rated glasses. “Having these two types of glass in ready access is the lynchpin of our ‘mixed truckload’ service where fabricators and contract glaziers can get both in one delivery,” Balik says.

Balik says the company has formed a partnership with Schott for distribution of its fire-rated ceramic glass. “These new logistics have expanded our capabilities significantly,” he says. “However, it is a non-stop challenge to remain an independent company and available to customers who are looking for someone to count on.”

He also pointed out that the company has been importing glass from China since 1979. “We were one of the first companies to do that,” Balik says.

And he’s not through yet. “We have more expansion planned,” says Balik, “but I can’t say anything about those plans just now.” www.generalglass.com

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