Volume 46, Issue 5 - June 2011


News at the Speed of Lite
My career in the glass industry began just a few months after college graduation, which I did early and at a young age. In fact, March 2011 marked my 30th anniversary of covering the glass industry. Like many of you, I have grown up in it. No part of my adult life exists without it.

My history with publications goes back even further—back to second grade when I convinced Sister Rosario that we should have a school newspaper and that I should be the editor. Through grammar school, high school, college, graduate school and on into life, reporting the news also has been part of my life.

I mention this because the pace and depth of news that has gripped this industry in the past few months is beyond stunning; it is breathtaking. Consider the following news stories, all of which have taken place in the past ninety days:

• Zeledyne closes Tulsa, Okla., plant; auto glass operation sold to Carlex;

• Quanex buys Edgetech;

• Romag closes;

• U.S. Aluminum closes, files Chapter 7 bankruptcy;

• Cristacurva announces consolidation of some services;

• United Glass Corp. purchased by Sun Capital;

• Arch Aluminum exits mirror manufacturing; and

• Vitro America assets sold to Sun Capital as well.

Each of these is a big story in its own right; to have all of them hit within the past ninety days is indicative of a new world order in the glass industry. Reporting news is the business of reporting change. And we have been reporting more concentrated news in the past ninety days than I can remember in all my years of covering the industry. (You can find more about this topic on our daily e-news service, usgnn.com™.)

Much of this is business evolution in response to the changing economic environment. Some species (companies) will emerge bigger and stronger. Others will evolve with different characteristics that enable them to survive. Some will simply become extinct.

We have some great articles this issue that should help you prepare for this new business environment. First up is the Annual Guide to New Products on page 24. In it you’ll see items designed to help you survive and grow in the future. You’ll also see an analysis of the changing mirror market (that we just mentioned above) on page 38. And check out page 40 for a detailed look at what’s happening to pre-fabricated curtainwall. All are designed to help your business in a world with change at the speed of lite … er … light.


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