Volume 45, Issue 4 - April 2010


Glasslam to Open Three New Locations This Year; Closes Bahamian Plant

Glasslam N.G.I. Inc., headquartered in Pompano Beach, Fla., has announced worldwide expansion plans for the company’s Air-Tight™ insulating glass foam spacer products. Glasslam has approved the investment for three new manufacturing facilities.

Among the new facilities is Air-Tight UK Ltd. in Kent, UK. This factory will service existing and new accounts in the European market. Air-Tight™ UK Ltd. is scheduled to open this summer. According to information from the company, the first of three extruding lines are almost complete and staff training currently is underway.

In the third quarter of 2010 the company plans to open Air-Tight™ Asia Ltd. in Kowloon, Hong Kong. This new facility, in partnership with Glasslam Asia Ltd., will produce foam spacer products for use in Asian markets.

Completing the company’s 2010 expansion plans will be the fourth quarter addition of a new Air-Tight™ foam spacer plant in the Southeastern United States. Site search is underway in the Carolinas for the best location for the new facility. The company’s new Air-Tight™ Smart Edge™ will be the focus of the new operation.

This last announcement follows a March 14 editorial in The Bahamas Weekly, in which Steve Howes, chief executive officer of Glasslam N.G.I./ Fenestration and Glass Services Ltd. announced that FGS would be closing its facilities in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, and relocating that facility to North Carolina.

Howes attributes the closure to challenges in working with the Grand Bahama Power Co., writing, “Ever since we started to build our factories and then opening and running of our business on this island we have been tricked, lied to, overcharged and had our equipment destroyed over and over again to the point of having to run on our own generator to power our factories.”

He further notes, “… One of their lawyers has sent us a threatening letter and a cease and desist demand stating that we can not run our own generator to power our factories and yet they (the power company) can’t supply us the power we need without spiking our equipment and stopping our production.”

Howes says that the company will retain a small satellite window factory on the island but the closure will mean the loss of more than five hundred jobs.  

The factory has built hurricane protective windows, security glass and decorative glass for doors for three years on the island.

SCHOTT Modernizes Corporate Headquarters with Glass
The 45-year-old administrative building at the SCHOTT main headquarters in Mainz, Germany, has been renovated and expanded over a 15-month period—and now features an eye-catching 37,000-square-foot glass façade.

“Our intention was to create a representative corporate headquarters that focuses on glass as the main building material in modern transparent architecture,” says Frank Bollmann, head of real estate management at SCHOTT. “With respect to the interior design as well, we gave special attention to transparency parency and designing open, modern offices.” Another objective was to bundle the central group functions at a single location.

The expansion of the office complex has resulted in an increase in the gross floor space of around 53,000 to 129,000 square feet. A fourth and a fifth floor were both added on top of the 45-year-old administrative building. In addition, a new glass building was built facing the street. An atrium that stretches out across all of the floors that is used to present products, among other things, also was added inside this new section of the building.

The architects integrated the original external façade of the administrative building into the atrium area. SCHOTT then had the new glass façade glazed up to a height of 9.8 feet with Amiran anti-reflective glass. Solar protection glazing was installed up above it, while 3,000 square feet of semi-transparent thin-film photovoltaic modules form the flat roof of the atrium. They cover a share of the electrical power needs while permitting sunlight to pass through. In addition, they offer protection against thermal overheating as a result of direct sunlight.

Sphinx Glass Starts Production at New Float Glass Factory
Sphinx Glass has started production at its two million square foot greenfield float glass factory. Company representatives say that the $200 million USD facility, with its production capacity of 600 tons per day, is one of Egypt’s largest producers of float glass.

Sphinx Glass is 51-percent owned by GlassWorks and 49-percent by the Dubai Group. The new factory, which broke ground in October 2008, is being licensed by PPG Industries in Pittsburgh. The contractor for the factory was Ianua S.p.A.

“We are very proud to have collaborated with the best in the industry in both contracting and technology. The plant will be manufacturing glass under a licensing agreement from PPG Industries,” says Mohamed Khattab, Sphinx Glass chief executive officer.

Sphinx Glass will supply the local market with high-quality float glass and export to the Middle East and Africa. In addition to clear float glass, Sphinx will be the first factory in Egypt and North Africa to produce colored and coated float glass. The factory’s output will primarily be for applications in the construction and automotive industries.

“GlassWorks’ investment in the Sphinx Glass plant reflects our belief in Egypt and the region’s strong competitive advantages in the global glass industry,” says Hisham El-Khazindar, managing director and co-founder of GlassWorks’ parent, Citadel Capital.
“With a large supply of high-quality raw materials, low energy and labor costs and a geographic location that easily supports exports, the country is perfectly suited to become an important manufacturer and exporter of both float and container glass.”

FeneTech to Open European Operation
FeneTech, the Aurora, Ohio-based software manufacturer of FeneVision® ERP software, has opened its European operation, FeneTech Europe SARL, based in Strassen, Luxembourg. The company will handle all sales, implementation, support and training services for its European customer base from this office. Local engineering staff has been hired and additional positions will be added on an ongoing basis.

“FeneVision is truly exceptional software, but to do even more business in Europe, to offer the best customer service, the implementation teams must speak the local languages, understand the different manufacturing methods in order to provide excellent support to our customers. This is the reason the company was formed,” says Horst Mertes, managing partner of FeneTech Europe SARL.

In addition, the company has launched a German language website, www.fenevision.com/de, to better serve all the interested companies in the German speaking parts of Europe. The site follows FeneTech’s partnership with Austrian-based SoftSolution GmbH.

© Copyright 2010 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.