Volume 43, Issue 9 - September 2008

Global Update

Pilkington to Cease Production
of Pyroshield™ in the U.

United Kingdom-based Pilkington plc has announced it will be ending production of the Pyroshield wire glass product at its Doncaster location by the end of the year and will be suspending production of the product at its St. Helens facility.

“Manufacturing costs for wired have been increasing whilst global market prices have been reducing in a market which is increasingly competitive for a relatively small volume demand. These pressures meant that the existing supply model needed to be thoroughly reviewed,” says Guy Roberts, rolled and wired product manager for Pilkington.

According to a company announcement obtained by USGlass, the decision “reflects the decline in demand over recent years for the rolled and polished wired glass products manufactured at the plant. Efforts to identify new business and alternative markets for the product range have been unsuccessful.”

The Doncaster facility had produced polished wired glass, Roberts says. He adds, “In the case of the furnace in St Helens, where raw wired glass is produced, we have decided to cool the furnace. This is because we have high stocks and it gives us the opportunity to repair parts of the furnace. If need be it could be restarted in the future.”

According to the company announcement, the closure will result in the loss of 37 jobs at the Doncaster plant, although the company will provide full out-placement facilities on-site to assist employees in search of alternative opportunities. The location will continue as a warehousing operation for the foreseeable future. ❙❙➤ www.pilkington.com

Luxury Windows Closes China Manufacturing Plant
While many manufacturing jobs are moving overseas, one has returned to the United States. Luxury Windows closed its manufacturing facility in Shenzen, China, in May. Production will now take place at another vinyl door and window manufacturer’s facility in southern California.

According to president Karl Krumme, the company’s plant manager in China died unexpectedly last year of kidney failure and, since then, the company has experienced longer lead times and has received scratched glass in its products from the Chinese facility. Production at the new facility was scheduled to resume on July 4.

Uniglass Breaks into
China with 250th Turbo Unit
Uniglass Engineering Oy in Finland reports that it has now delivered more than 250 turbo units for flat glass tempering furnaces to customers around the world. The 250th unit was delivered to Saint Glas Ltd. in Hong Kong, China, which represents a new area for the machinery manufacturer.

“The key to Uniglass success is our patented turbo technology used for convection in flat glass tempering. Our customers rely on this technology when tempering challenging soft-coat glass qualities,” says Jouko Aula, managing director. ❙❙➤ www.uniglass.com


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