Volume 46, Issue 8 - September 2011


Trulite Announces Upcoming Consolidations, Facility Accident Occurs

Trulite Glass & Aluminum in Tamarac, Fla., is consolidating sites belonging to its recently merged businesses: the former Vitro America, United Glass Corp. and Arch Aluminum & Glass (see August 2011 USGlass, page 16). Which sites, however, it has yet to say.

“Consolidating the three companies involves the reduction of overlapping footprints,” says Ben Thomas, director of strategic marketing for Trulite. “We are eliminating redundancies by evaluating both their sites and footprints and making our selection based on capabilities and cost to run the location. There will be fewer total sites than the three companies had on their own, but the same geography will be covered. Obvious consolidations will occur, but our customers will have the same coverage.”

Which locations will be affected?

“This is an ongoing project and, as such, many of the answers to those questions are still being worked out,” Thomas adds. “For both that reason and [because] it is centric to how we run our operations I am unable to elaborate further.”

It’s unknown whether or not the plant in Youngsville, N.C., will remain open or close. That location was the site where, on August 5, an electrician was killed by an accidental fall. Eric Eugene Black, 31, with Act Electric of Wake Forest, N.C., died at the plant.

“Preliminary findings indicate that the electrician was working on a lift, and a crane moving glass collided with his lift,” says Dolores Quesenberry, a spokesperson for the North Carolina Department of Labor in Raleigh, N.C. “He fell about 25 feet and died.”

The investigation will involve talking to eyewitnesses and employees, and checking training records. Typically such investigations take between three and four months to complete, she adds.

“Unfortunately this is not something we could comment on as an investigation is underway,” Thomas says.

Acralight Acquires Mfg Rights for Certain Naturalite Products
Acralight International Skylights in Santa Ana, Calif., has acquired from Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope™ the assets and manufacturing rights to produce standard skylights, smoke vents and related products formerly produced by Naturalite.
Lance McCabe, chairman and chief executive officer of Acralight, says the acquisition did not include the Naturalite name, which is still owned by Oldcastle. The acquisition was finalized July 12. As the acquisition did not include the facility in Terrell, Texas, Acralight has moved into a facility nearby.

Operating as Acralight International Skylights, Texas Division, McCabe says the acquisition establishes the company as the only full-line manu-facturer of skylights in the United States with manufacturing and shipping locations east and west of the Rocky Mountains.

Also as a result of the acquisition, Acralight has hired Jeff Rutledge, who had been the general manager of Naturalite for many years. Rutledge will serve as vice president/general manager for Acralight’s central and eastern expansion.

KL-megla America Acquires CHMI Assets

KL-megla America LLC in Oxnard, Calif., has finalized a deal with Touch Red Inc. and State Central Bank of Keokuk, Iowa, to purchase the assets of Custom Hardware Manufacturing Inc. (CHMI).

The purchase gives KL-megla, among other things, exclusive ownership of CHMI’s portfolio of intellectual property. The new owner will continue to manufacture and distribute much of the CHMI hardware. In addition, the company is adding a Midwest
regional distribution and custom fabrication facility.

“The acquisition is a timely opp-ortunity that will inject stability and confidence into the market,” says Peter Reinecke, chief executive officer.

CHMI closed in late 2009 due to financial insolvency, according to KL-megla.

Fletcher-Terry Co. Moves to New Corporate Facility

Fletcher-Terry has relocated to a new operating and manufacturing facility in East Berlin, Conn. The new 47,000-square-foot facility houses its manufacturing, warehousing, sales and marketing, customer service and the senior management team.

The new facility features a product display area allowing the company’s distributors and customers to experience firsthand the performance value that Fletcher substrate cutters provide to users.

Bohle America Forms New Department
Bohle America Inc. in Charlotte, N.C., has formed a new Bohle Industrial Automatic Glass Cutting Technology and Chemicals Department in Harwinton, Conn. This new department, led by Dana Barberet, director of cutting and chemicals for Bohle America, will focus on developing and introducing new glass cutting technology from the company’s manufacturing headquarters in Haan, Germany.

Barberet will lead the department with Shawn Zenuh; both are veterans with more than 30 years of experience in the U.S. automatic cutting industry.

Masonite Acquires Marshfield DoorSystems
Masonite Inc., headquartered in Tampa, Fla., has acquired Marshfield DoorSystems Inc. Representatives say the acquisition will allow the company to offer a wider range of products for
the commercial market.

Marshfield is a provider of doors and door components for commercial and architectural applications; its 2010 revenue exceeded $100 million dollars. No other financial details of the acquisition have been disclosed. It employs approximately 600 people, with a primary facility in Marshfield, Wis., and two smaller locations in Greensboro, N.C., and Largo, Fla.

FeneVision Hosts Glass Processing Automation Day 2011
Aurora, Ohio-based FeneTech, producers of FeneVision software, hosted its first Glass Processing Automation Day in June. More than 40 attendees from ten different countries representing 25 companies attended.

Sessions were conducted by Horst Mertes, director of global sales, and Craig Morris, director of engineering, both of FeneTech. They introduced the company’s version 7.6 software featuring the “Dashboard,” a one-stop location for obtaining business metrics in real time. Mertes also explained the advantages of using the iPad version.

“When glass breaks on the jobsite, contract glaziers can immediately reorder on their iPad, instead of having to wait until they are back in their offices,” he said.

The software’s production tool develops a work plan for each item ordered, and operates on batch optimization. Its Opti-Break system shows releases displayed by glass type and works through a touch screen for easy use in the plant.

Morris presented the company’s iPad programs, stating, “Tablets are taking off as acceptable business tools. The benefit to the user includes the ability to check the status of each work cell, whether in the plant or out.”

Partner company presentations included Bystronic Glass’ new speed’cut advanced glass cutting technology. Scott Knisely, president of Bystronic, discussed the available configurations of different cutting machines that run on FeneVision software. Knisely’s presentation demonstrated one of the features of the company’s newest technology, the ability to change out a wheel for different glass thickness totally through automation.

Quality control inspection was discussed by Christian Krenn, sales director of Soft Solution in Austria, and Nate Huffman, FeneTech’s application engineer. Through a joint partnership, they provide sensors, light sources and software for detecting defects.

briefly ...

Zeledyne has ceased production at its two remaining plants in Tulsa, Okla., and Juarez, Mexico. The float glass manufacturer exited the commercial glass business in 2010, but had maintained its auto glass operations until the closures.

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