Volume 42, Issue 5 - May 2007

Company News

ACH Glass Unit To Be Sold to Private Businessman in Oklahoma
Ford Motor Company and Glass Products, a Tulsa-based company solely owned by Oklahoma businessman Robert Price, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) as the first step in Ford’s sale of its Automotive Components Holding (ACH; formerly Visteon) glass operations in Tulsa, Okla., Nashville, Tenn., and its subsidiary in Juarez, Mexico.

“We are particularly pleased to announce an MOU for the sale of glass operations,” said Al Ver, ACH chief executive officer and chief operating officer and Ford vice president. “Sale of these operations has been in various stages of discussion and negotiations for many years. We believe this agreement represents the best option for the continued success of these facilities in the years ahead.”

ACH, a temporary business managed by Ford, was created in 2005 to ensure the flow of critical components to Ford and to significantly reduce Ford’s material costs over time. For the past year reports have been circulating that Ford was in talks with investors for the sale of its ACH segments, including its glass operations. 

Robert Price, a Tulsa-based private investor, created Glass Products, the company with which Ford signed the MOU. According to Hilary Kitz, a Glass Products spokesperson, the company was formed for the purpose of acquiring domestic glass operations. “Mr. Price is the sole owner of Glass Products and works with various investment banking firms during business acquisition transactions,” says Kitz.

Kitz explains that Price is pursuing the acquisition based on his experience in many diverse businesses (including oil, gas and commercial real estate).

“Mr. Price believes there is significant opportunity for growth and expansion of the domestic glass manufacturing sector,” Kitz says.

The final agreement of the sale is contingent upon a new and competitive agreement with the UAW, as well as state and local government incentives.

Kitz, however, says Price is confident in the sale.

“However, this is a complex transaction and there are many details to be worked out over the next several months,” Kitz says.

Price received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado in 1985 and his Jurist Doctorate degree from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 1989. In 1991 he formed Brooks Energy Co., which serves as a holding company for his oil and gas interests. He also owns a real estate holding company that owns and operates commercial real estate. www.versaluxglass.com

Intertek Launches Blast-Resistance Products Certification Program
Intertek recently announced the development of a certification program for blast-resistant products. Through the new program blast-resistant door and window assemblies will be tested and certified in accordance with ASTM F 2247-03, Standard Test Method for Metal Doors Used in Blast Resistant Applications and ASTM F 1642-04, Standard Test Method for Glazing and Glazing Systems Subject to Airblast Loadings. Products that pass the standards testing will bear Intertek’s WH Mark.

“Prior to market entry manufacturers of conventional building products are challenged with the task of validating that their products withstand dynamic load blasts,” Jeff Turcotte, vice president of Intertek, says. “This program provides manufacturers with the means to determine if products are fit for use where explosions might occur.”

Also part of the program, Baker Engineering and Risk Consultants Inc. of San Antonio will be conducting necessary testing for the development of product performance ratings. Once testing is completed, Intertek will certify the product and perform the ongoing follow-up inspections to ensure the certified products maintain the properties of their original designs. www.intertek.com

Edgetech I.G. Earns Three Safety Awards
Boasting an entire year without a lost-time injury, Edgetech I.G. in Cambridge, Ohio, received three safety awards at the Guernsey-Noble Safety Council Annual Awards luncheon held on March 28.

The company received the 100% Award for operating the entire year of 2006 without a lost-time injury, the Group Safety Award for contributions by employees at all levels and the Special Award for the company’s count of 687,301—and counting—hours without a lost-time injury. The lost-time injury streak began September 17, 2004 and as of April 3 was still intact.

“At Edgetech, every meeting begins with a safety discussion,” says Edgetech I.G. safety chairperson Tom Matthews. “We have an amazing group effort in place and every concern is immediately addressed to ensure a safe work environment.”

The Guernsey-Noble Safety Council is sponsored by the local Chamber of Commerce and Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation. It serves to bring together businesses in Guernsey and Noble counties of Ohio to discuss safety issues and share ideas.  www.edgetechig.com

Salem Named Carolinas Chapter ESOP Of The Year
The Carolinas Chapter of the National Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) awarded the title of 2007 Company of the Year to Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Salem Distributing Co. 

Now in its third year of 100-percent employee ownership, Salem Distributing is comprised of four business units including Salem Flat Glass, Salem Vision, Salem Advanced Surfacing Materials and Salem Stone.

Regional winners of the ESOP of the Year distinction are eligible for the National ESOP Association’s National ESOP of the Year award, to be announced at the association’s national conference in May.  www.salemdist.com 

Go-Glass Celebrates 25th Anniversary 
In recognition of its 25th year in business, the Go-Glass Corp., headquartered in Salisbury, Md., held a series of events throughout April as a way of saying thank you to its employees and clients.

“We are grateful for our longevity and success as we move the company that my father founded further into the 21st century,” says president Doug Linderer.

Go-Glass has been a family-owned, independent glass shop since 1982 when Larry Linderer purchased the flagship location from PPG Industries. Linderer subsequently sold the business to his son, Doug, in 1993.

Go-Glass serves auto, home, business and builder segments from its eight locations in parts of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. www.go-glass.com

Patio Enclosures Inc. Becomes 100-Percent Employee-Owned 
Patio Enclosures Inc. in Macedonia, Ohio, joined the ranks of a small percentage of firms that have become 100-percent employee-owned through employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).

“It is a real milestone for our company and the employee-owners of Patio Enclosures Inc.,” says Ken Sekley, president and chief executive officer. “This event was made possible by our employee-owners’ commitment to delivering quality products and satisfying our customers.”

Patio Enclosures Inc. was founded in suburban Cleveland in 1966. In 1996, owner Robert Schneider took the first steps in passing the company on to its employees when he announced the formation of the ESOP.  His vision became reality on December 29, 2006. www.patioenc.com 

Azon Celebrates 30 Years in the Business
Azon USA Inc. in Kalamazoo, Mich., celebrated its 30th year in business in late February. Azon has offered green building technology and machinery for manufacturers of aluminum windows, doors and skylights under the motto “Azon Saves Energy.” 

“As Azon surpassed its 30-year mark,” says Azon co-founder and chairperson Jim Dunstan, “and it is not in our crystal ball to imagine the breadth of our outreach, considering our start from such humble circumstances.” 

As an additional cause for celebration, Dunstan celebrated his 80th birthday in February with an employee luncheon. Later, friends and family held a surprise party in his honor. 

Dunstan, who has been in the polyurethane thermal barrier industry since the beginning of pour and debridge technology in the 1970s, stepped down as chief executive officer of Azon in 2001. He remains active as chairperson of the board and of the global Azon companies, and is still involved in long-term marketing and vision planning. www.azonintl.com

web watch 
The Next Online Step for Solar Innovations
Solar Innovations in Myerstown, Pa., launched a new website at www.solarinnovations.com

The updated site features improved user interactivity, product information and high-quality product photos. The site offers support and information broken down and specifically targeted to dealers, architects/designers, builders/contractors and directly to the end users. Users can login to view information specific to their field of expertise. 

Viewers can maneuver through the searchable, interactive photo gallery featuring the company’s conservatories, sunrooms, greenhouses, folding glass walls and much more. Visitors can also download specifications and or configuration guides per product. www.solarinnovations.com

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