Volume 43, Issue 6 - June 2008
Frank Lowe Rubber & Gasket Doubles Space with New Facility
“This project has been in the works for over two years,” says Ira Warren, president. The company broke ground on the facility in August 2007 (see October 2007 USGlass, page 18). Warren adds, “The new location offers Frank Lowe Rubber & Gasket Co. Inc. room to expand our operations, increase our efficiencies and further enhance our commitment to our customers.”
Along with this new space—the new facility is nearly double the size of its current location—the company is planning for several upgrades.
“The new facility incorporates capital investments ranging from a new advanced business communication system and IT upgrades to a new high speed automated die cutting system,” says Randy Cohen, vice president of sales and marketing.
In addition to the facility upgrades, there will be new additions to staff in the near future.
While the company hasn’t changed its web address, it has made some additional changes there as well. The website, www.franklowe.com, has been re-launched. The new design is intended to be more user-friendly. Among other things, custom drop-down menus provide users with a clear view of the company’s products, services and capabilities. www.franklowe.com
PPG Acquires Nano
The nanoparticle technology company holds patents and operates pilot facilities for the development and manufacture of unique nanoparticles.
“This acquisition significantly strengthens PPG’s nanotechnology patent portfolio and positions us as a world leader in nanoengineered materials,” says James A. Trainham, PPG vice president of science and technology. “With these new materials, PPG can offer its customers and development partners unique, high-value solutions. PPG will also license nanotechnology solutions, particularly in areas outside its existing businesses.”
PPG’s nanotechnology solutions include a number of patented innovations such as thin-film, optically clear nanocomposites for scratch-and-mar protection as well as the reflection of infrared and ultraviolet light.
In addition, the company has volunteered to participate in the basic program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program. The voluntary program aims to gather scientific information to help it assess, and where appropriate make decisions on, chemical nanoscale materials in or slated for production. www.ppg.com
“This [was] quite an event for us,” says David Arnold, sales and marketing manager of the gala. “We have annual parties, but not anything to this extent. It’s just a way of saying ‘thank you’ to everybody.”
With 50 years behind the third generation family-owned company, continual growth is on the horizon.
In 1996, the company expanded its operations with a new facility in Crafton, Pa. The original location in McMurray, Pa., still stands, and received an extensive renovation in 2000-2001. “We’re looking at some additional stores; we have two right now,” Arnold says.
As a matter of fact, Rex Glass was recognized in 2007 by the Inc. 5000 group as one of America’s fastest growing companies. As Arnold notes, the company has employees who have reached their 20- and 25-year landmarks with the company, and new employees join the company continually. “We don’t have a lot of turnover but our growth has really spurted in the last 20 years,” he says.
In addition, in the last six months the company was listed by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as one of the Top 50 Best Places to Work for companies under 50 employees, making 50 the big number for this glass company. As Arnold says, “A lot has happened this year.”
Although its focus may be on employees during its semicentennial celebrations, company president Don Rectenwald Jr. says the company’s success is due to its customers.
“The foundation of our success is building consumer confidence,” he says. “Dedicated customer service, coupled with quality products is our formula.” www.rexglass.com
.National Glass Industries, a fabricator with facilities in Woodinville, Wash., has been a vendor to Sound Glass for more than 20 years and, as Lubin notes, “I watched them grow from their original small shop. [Chief executive officer Warren Willougby] has just made some great decisions and now he’s listed in the Big Book of Lists there as one of the top glazing contractors in the country” (see March 2008 USGlass, page 36). Lubin adds, “It’s quite a celebration for Sound Glass.”
Although Sound Glass did not have plans to celebrate the occasion, Lubin said he was motivated to do something special for the company.
“They didn’t want anything for themselves and I thought this would be a good way to at least honor them and have someone benefit from it,” Lubin says.
Shortly after WGA’s announcement about the scholarship in honor of Sound Glass, another $500 scholarship was gifted in honor of Sound Glass, this time from an anonymous donor. www.wg-a.org