Volume 43, Issue 3 - March 2008

Company News

Asahi and Nippon Accept 
European Commission Fines for Price-Fixing

Both Asahi Glass Co. Ltd. and Nippon Sheet Glass Co. Ltd. have made announcements that they will pay the fines levied by the European Commission in its decision concerning anticompetitive behavior in the flat glass sector in Europe (see December 2007 USGlass, page 36). Asahi and Nippon, along with Guardian Industries and Saint-Gobain, were fined for alleged price fixing in November.

Asahi, parent company of AGC Flat Glass Europe SA (formerly Glaverbel), stated in a news release that after careful consideration of all relevant circumstances, including the fact that the European Commission in the decision has taken into account some of the companies’ key arguments and reflected this in the calculation of the amount of the fine, the companies decided not to lodge an appeal against such decision before the Court of First Instance of the European Communities. Asahi was fined EUR 65 million (USD $96 million).

Nippon Sheet Glass Co. Ltd. confirmed that its subsidiary Pilkington Group Ltd. will not file an appeal against the civil fine of 140 million (USD $206.8 million), as stated in a November 2007 press release. Both companies have reflected the fines in their financial statements.

Quanex Separates Building Products and Vehicular Products Businesses
Houston-based Quanex Corp., which owns Truseal Technologies, Mikron Industries and Homeshield, has announced that it will spin off its building products business to its shareholders as a stand-alone company called Quanex Building Products. Quanex’s Building Products business consists of Engineered Products, which includes door and window products and components, and Aluminum Sheet Products, which primarily supplies the building and construction market with mill-finished and painted aluminum sheets. www.quanex.com

J.E. Berkowitz Becomes First PPG-Certified Laminator in the Northeast
J.E. Berkowitz L.P. (JEB) in Pedricktown, N. J., has been accredited by PPG Industries of Pittsburgh as a member of the PPG Certified Laminator Program (PPG/CLP). According to PPG, the goal of the PPG/CLP is to promote fabricators within the program that efficiently produce high-quality laminated solar control low-E glass products. Members are audited on a yearly basis to ensure every aspect of the fabrication process, from PVB interlayer storage to shipping of the finished product, meets required production standards. www.jeberkowitz.com

Vitro America Name Now Covers Two Subsidiaries 
Memphis, Tenn.-based Vitro America has announced that as of January 1, subsidiaries ACI Distribution and Binswanger Mirror will be known as Vitro America. Binswanger Glass and Super Sky will continue to operate under their existing names.

“Our name change enables us to better align with our parent company and to share resources more efficiently as we look to strengthen our market position and grow in North America,” Luis Gonzalez, president and chief executive officer, stated in a letter about the announcement. “Although we are changing our name, our priority and focus is still to strengthen our partnerships with suppliers. Furthermore, as we reinforce our position in the market as Vitro America, you will see greater focus on providing our customers and suppliers with the tools and resources they need to make working with us even easier.” www.acidistribution.com

AGC Announces Layoffs at Kingsport, Tenn., Branch
AGC Flat Glass North America Inc. is reducing its workforce in Kingsport, Tenn.

The company cited “difficult market conditions” for the reduction in an article from The Kingsport Times-News. The company has 4,300 employees nationwide. As of press time, AGC could not be reached for comment. www.afg.com

free literature
PPG White Paper Compares Coating Applications for Aluminum 
Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries’ industrial coatings business has published a white paper comparing the environmental, economical and performance advantages associated with the application of liquid and powder coatings on architectural aluminum.

The eight-page technical document reviews historical factors that have made liquid coatings the prevailing choice of North American architects and powder coatings the preferred option in Europe. It also examines environmental advantages associated with powder coatings and the design and custom-color benefits of liquid coatings. The paper notes that differences between the two types of coatings may be narrowing, offering architects and building owners a wider range of design and technology choices.

Henry L. Lowman, PPG director of sales for extrusion coatings, says the white paper was published to provide an objective comparison of liquid and powder coatings in light of recent technological advances.

“PPG manufactures both liquid and powder coatings,” Lowman says. “Our goal with this white paper is to give architects, building owners, specifiers and curtainwall consultants an unbiased view of the expanding design and technology choices for architectural aluminum coatings. We also want to reduce the levels of risk and uncertainty these professionals feel when specifying one technology over the other.” www.ppgideascapes.com 

Entrepreneur magazine listed Glass Doctor number 318 in its 2008 “Franchise 500” list.  www.glassdoctor.com … St. Louis-based Solutia Inc. has been named a Top 50 company shaping the future of St. Louis by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA). The Top 50 award was presented at a ceremony in December 2007. www.solutia.com… 

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