Volume 42, Issue 10 - October 2007

Company News          

Frank Lowe Rubber and Gasket Breaks 
Ground on New Facility in N.Y.

Construction crews began foundation work on Frank Lowe Rubber and Gasket Co. Inc.’s new corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility on August 29. The company plans to move into the new 60,000-square-foot building in Shirley, N.Y., by spring of next year. The new facility is approximately 20 miles east of the current location in Farmingdale, N.Y.

“This project has been in the works for over two years,” says Ira M. Warren, president. “We made the decision to go forward with a new corporate facility that can double the size of our current 35,000-square-foot facility.”

The new plant not only gives the company room to expand its operations, but will also serve to bring the corporate offices and the manufacturing facility under one roof. The company is planning on bringing in additional employees and already has ordered additional machinery for the expanded facility, according to vice president of sales and marketing Randy Cohen.

Established in 1955, the company has been expanding steadily during the past three decades. It moved from its 1,400-square-foot storefront in Queens Village, N.Y., to a 2,500-square-foot Whitestone, N.Y., facility and later to a 5,900-square-foot building also in Whitestone. The company relocated to Farmingdale in 1994 and increased its space from 15,000 square feet to 35,000 square feet in 2004. www.franklowe.com

Bystronic-Glass to Move U.S. Headquarters to Colorado
Bystronic-Glass Inc. has opened a new location in Aurora, Colo., which will become its U.S. headquarters. The company currently is headquartered in Hauppauge, N.Y. 

“We chose Aurora because of its central location, great access to Western markets and excellent airline connections through DIA,” says Dan Clark, vice president of sales and marketing for Bystronic-Glass. “The area has a lot to offer our business and our employees.” 

According to the announcement from the Aurora Economic Development Council, the office opened on June 20, 2007, and will add 28 employees by next year. www.bystronic-glass.com

Venture Tape Sold to 3M Company
The St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M Company has purchased Rockland, Mass.-based Venture Tape Corp. The acquisition is expected to expand 3M’s product offerings in the area of glazing tapes.

“This acquisition broadens our pressure sensitive adhesive tape platform, brings new channels to 3M, and allows us to expand into adjacent markets such as construction,” says Patrick Deconinck, division vice president, 3M Industrial Adhesives and Tapes Division. “Venture Tape has a strong customer-centric business model, which combined with our lean manufacturing practices, technologies and global coverage will broaden and improve our offering to customers.” Venture Tape president Lewis Cohen says the sale will also benefit Venture.

“We see tremendous opportunities to continue to build our business by drawing on the strength of 3M’s resources and technical capabilities,” said Cohen.

Vitro Increases Ownership in Vitro AFG to 100 Percent 
Monterrey, Mexico-based Vitro S.A.B. de C.V.’s Viméxico S.A. de C.V. subsidiary has acquired in its entirety all the capital stock of the Mexican company Vitro AFG S.A. de C.V. (Vitro AFG). The transaction has been approved by the Mexican Federal Antitrust Authorities. 

The company exercised its right to purchase AFG Industries Inc.’s 50-percent stake in Vitro AFG for USD $6 million. 

Vitro AFG owns a float glass manufacturing facility located in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. Vitro AFG was a 50/50 joint venture between Viméxico and AFG Industries, a subsidiary of the Japanese company Asahi Glass Co. Limited. The joint venture was established to supply the United States and Mexican construction markets with a wide range of flat glass products. It began operations in November 2003, with a co-investment of approximately USD $100 million.

 “This transaction will significantly strengthen our market position, as we expect to further benefit from the dynamic growth of the architectural glass market in Mexico,” says Hugo Lara, president of Vitro’s flat glass business unit. “The addition of this significant manufacturing capacity allows us to serve our customer’s requirements and exceed their expectations within Mexico and abroad. Close to 78,000 tons per year of additional capacity of float glass will be dedicated to the Mexican market and exports.” 

Technical Glass Products Builds New Headquarters and Manufacturing Facility 

Technical Glass Products (TGP) has begun construction of its new corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility in Seattle. The company is currently headquartered in Kirkland, Wash. 

The new facility, approximately 15 miles away from the current building, will contain approximately 33,000 square feet of office space and a 97,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. The 89-acre Snoqualmie Ridge Business Park is one of the few places in Seattle that could accommodate Technical Glass Products’ need to house its headquarters and manufacturing plant in one location, according to information from Opus Northwest, which is constructing the facility. 

“Technical Glass Products has been located on the Eastside for years, and Snoqualmie Ridge provides a great opportunity for us to bring all of our operations into one place,” says Mike Moroney, chief operating officer of TGP. “It’s a convenient location for integrating our administration, sales and manufacturing, and it provides plenty of room to grow as our company expands.”

Jeff Razwick, director of business development, says it was always the goal of the company to build a new headquarters. “We’ve always wanted to bring our spaces together in terms of our office as well as our manufacturing,” he says. “The current time is a great opportunity to do that.”

The company broke ground on the building this past spring and expects the new facility to be complete by the end of 2008.

In addition, TGP has redesigned two of its product websites: www.fireglass.com and www.tgpamerica.com. The new sites offer interactive features designed to provide a streamlined process for accessing information about TGP’s fire-rated products and architectural products respectively, education on specs and industry standards and simple steps to purchase glass and framing systems. TGP also is developing online continuing education courses registered with the American Institute of Architects. www.tgpamerica.com

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