Volume 50, Issue 7 - July 2015


Veterans Form Curtainwall Company and Take on Rejuvenated Market

Glass fabricating company sedak was established in 2007 to provide oversized, high-quality lites of glass for niche projects. But a growing market and increased demand for large applications of glass—led in part by the efforts of Apple, and various architectural projects—is driving the company to up its production.

The German-headquartered sedak previously operated as an arm of seele group but now is run as an individual company. Over the past year in particular, sedak has established itself as an independent glass supplier of oversized safety and insulating glass, which has allowed it to broaden its market and work with builders and contract glaziers all over the world.

The European market has given sedak plenty of work over the past near-decade, but the company now has its sights set overseas.

“sedak’s focus is on the American market,” says Maic Pannwitz, senior sales engineer and project manager, North America, adding that the company has “intensified its sales activities” in the region. Pannwitz is leading sedak’s American campaign.

The company has taken on some unique projects in the U.S., including a facade for an office building lobby in Salt Lake City that originally called for 10-foot-tall lites of glass. SOM, the architect, became aware of sedak’s capabilities and ended up specifying lites that span 30 feet.

What makes the project more unique than others is that the massive glass had to meet stringent earthquake safety requirements. “This type of project is unusual for this area,” says Pannwitz. “The project also confirmed the trend in the U.S. to big glass, and façade design with maximum transparency.”

Perhaps sedak’s biggest splash in the American market is—or will be—the new Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. The company produced more than 800 oversized lites, with the largest spanning nearly 46 by 10½ feet. The company also delivered 2,400 canopies for the project.

The company currently has approximately 150 employees worldwide and recently fired up its new insulating glass line, a 145-meter-long production unit—which Pannwitz says has enabled faster and more reliable delivery worldwide, including to the U.S.

PPG Stays Focused
on Sustainability

PPG Industries is making progress toward achieving its 2020 sustainability goals, which are outlined in its recently launched 2014 Corporate Sustainability Report.

According a statement, in 2014, the company increased energy efficiency and improved employee safety, health and well-being. The company also achieved 27 percent of its sales from sustainable products during the year, increasing from 21 percent in 2013.

briefly ...

Shirley, N.Y.-based Frank Lowe Rubber and Gasket Co. Inc. successfully passed a renewal audit for its ISO 9001:2008 standard certification … The Tubelite Inc. facilities in Walker and Reed City, Mich., successfully meet ICC Evaluation Services LLC (ICC-ES) Acceptance Criteria for Quality Documentation (AC10), as recently verified by third-party inspector
Architectural Testing Inc./Intertek … Winco Manufacturing Co., a St. Louis-based, family-owned manufacturer of heavy commercial doors and windows, was recognized for 50 years of continuous membership with the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) at its 78th Annual Conference Awards Banquet earlier this year. Winco is also celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year … Menck Windows celebrated the grand opening of its new Chicopee, Mass., manufacturing facility for custom energy-efficient doors and windows in May … Bayer announced last September that its MaterialScience business would become a separate company. Effective September 1, the company will be established under the name Covestro. n

Veterans Form New Curtainwall Company

The market for curtainwall is on the rise in North America, and a band of longtime industry members have come together to help meet the demand.

Jim Mitchell, former president of Gamma Window & Walls, has joined industry veterans Bob Chafee, formerly of Antamex International; Elliot Kracko, formally of Gamma; and Ed Ruzic, formerly of Antamex, along with Christopher Liberta of Ontario-based State Window Corp., to form Integro Building Systems.

Integro, which includes other investors as well, will design, manufacture and install curtainwall systems in the United States and Canada.

The new company was formed in early March when the shareholders purchased the former Alumiglass facility in Boynton Beach, Fla. Mitchell left Gamma at the end of March and did some consulting work with Integro before joining as president and CEO May 11.

During his consulting work, Mitchell says there clearly was a strong demand for curtainwall companies, particularly in the Northeast, but also throughout the country. “I don’t think it’s any secret that the top four or five curtainwall companies are booked solid with work,” he says.

Integro plans to have a strong presence in the Northeast, targeting the New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., markets, among others. Mitchell says the company will work in Canada, including the Toronto area, as well as British Columbia and Alberta.

“We’ll be looking at the Florida market,” says Mitchell. “And we’ll be looking at opportunities through relationships in the Southwest, mainly California.”

Integro’s Florida plant is currently operational and will gear up to full operation later this summer, when its first major project goes into production. It does, however, have a couple of smaller jobs in Florida on the map, where it is working to resurrect some work that was left by the previous owners of the Alumiglass facility.

Alumiglass was owned by a South American company but had been winding down its business and selling off its assets in the United States prior to selling the facility and equipment to Integro.

Mitchell says the facility is “top-notch” and has been running for 15 years. “We did some updating of equipment, but aside from that, it’s ready to go,” he says.

Currently, Integro has retained 10 employees from the former operation—a combination of administrative, sales and plant workers. Former Alumiglass employee Mike Thomas, for example, will be overseeing facility operations. Jaques Godin will oversee plant and manufacturing operations at the Florida location.

The corporate headquarters will be in Toronto, which will house the administrative group, as well as the design and engineering team. The group, which combines well over 100 years of experience, includes Mitchell as the company’s president and CEO, with Ruzic its chief financial officer. Kracko, Chafee and Liberta are directors of the company.

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