Volume 50, Issue 5 - May 2015


AGC Glass Europe to Close Facility
in South Belgium

AGC Glass Europe announced at an extraordinary meeting of the Athus Works Council that it will close its South Belgium plant. The Athus plant, which specializes in the production of laminated glass for the construction industry, “is faced with prohibitive handicaps of competitiveness,” according to AGC.

“Operating in a market affected by contracting demand and falling prices, the Athus plant is faced with the dual handicap of a lack of industrial integration and its remote location with respect to its market,” reads a company release. “Neither the efforts to improve productivity (cost cutting and greater flexibility) [nor] the improvements in the commercial offering (expansion of the range and raising of the service level) have managed to offset this competitive deficit. While in the 1990s it pioneered the production of laminated glass in large sheets, the Athus plant now faces competition from similar plants in various parts of Europe.

“Unlike Athus, however, these are located within glassmaking complexes and so benefit from local upstream sourcing of glass. Furthermore, with the emergence of this new capacity, Athus has seen its market shift progressively toward the North of Europe from which it is geographically remote.”

According to AGC, the laminated glass production activities may be relocated to the float glass production plant in Moustier.

“Relocating the activity to Moustier would enable it to make up for these competitive handicaps: apart from being closer to the customers, the Moustier plant has the advantage of producing its own glass and also operating as a distribution center,” reads the release.

The Athus plant currently employs 85 people. A redundancy plan and accompanying support measures would have to be discussed with the Works Council and the labor unions.

DFI Announces
New Agreements

Hawaii-based Reflections Glass has signed an exclusive agreement to offer Diamon-Fusion protective coatings as a standard feature on its shower doors.

“We want to make an impact in our industry by being the first and only company in the state of Hawaii to offer its customer base the added value of protective hydrophobic coatings for every shower door that leaves our facility,” says Eric Carson, president and CEO of Reflections Glass.

In other news, DFI and IGE Glass Technologies, along with The Original Frameless Shower Doors (OFSD), announced the first FuseCube to be installed in the Eastern U.S. by a shower door manufacturer. As part of the announcement, the OFSD said it will offer the Diamon-Fusion hydrophobic coating as a standard feature across its entire inventory.

“We want to make a big statement with our new offering,” says Mike High, vice president of operations at OFSD. “We want consumers to see that [our company] is adding a huge amount of value at a very compelling price point. DFI, their FuseCube and the Diamon-Fusion coating are helping us deliver on our vision.”

Late last year, DFI announced that it’s the first hydrophobic protective coating company to have its products specifically reviewed for compliance in association with USGBC’s LEED rating system.

Schuco Opens New York Showroom

Schuco USA opened its New York showroom for architects, consultants, fabricators, contractors and developers to get an up-close look at the company’s products.

The showroom, located in Midtown Manhattan, showcases Schuco’s curtainwalls, windows and doors, and a team of architectural advisers is available at the location to discuss design options, according to the company.

“The architectural and consultant community in New York is very important us,” says Attila Arian, president of Schuco USA. “Many of our domestic and international projects were designed in New York. With the showroom in New York, we created a place where people can go to touch and feel the Schuco products.”

More than 65 architects and façade consultants attended the grand opening of Schuco’s New York showroom.

Glasslam Announces Nedex Partnership

Nedex, a chemical and accessory producer for insulating glass (IG) based in Istanbul, Turkey, is now Glasslam’s exclusive partner in the U.S. and the Americas for its line of IG components. While Nedex has been active in the European, Middle Eastern, North African and Asian IG markets for the past 15 years, this marks its first move into the U.S. and Central and South America.

The company’s primary product groups are molecular sieves, polysulfides, hot melt, butyl/PIB, aluminum, warm-edge spacers and insulating edge solutions.

Glasslam, in Pompano Beach, Fla., offers technologies for in-house laminating of high-performance safety and security glass products. The company also offers colored glass, decorative doorlites and flexible warm-edge spacer technology.

Crystal Celebrates 25 Years

Crystal Window & Door Systems celebrated its 25th year anniversary in February with a gala banquet. Nearly 1,000 people attended the event, held at the Royal Queen Banquet Hall in downtown Flushing, Queens.

“The 25th anniversary milestone is indeed a happy occasion for Crystal Windows,” says Thomas Chen, CEO and founder. “However, I would be remiss if I didn’t note the two most important factors that have driven our success to date and will drive our future success in the decades to come. All of this would not have been possible without the support of all our truly wonderful customers and the efforts of our dedicated employees. They are the best in the world, and I thank each and every one of them.”

Many local elected officials joined the celebration, including U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, and former borough president Claire Shulman. New York State Senator Tony Avella was recognized as Crystal’s special guest of honor for the evening.

The immigrant Chen family started Crystal a quarter century ago as a small operation that fabricated aluminum windows for the local Queens neighborhood. Today the Crystal family of companies has more than a half-million square feet of manufacturing space in New York, Chicago, Missouri and Southern California. The company, through subsidiaries, has expanded beyond window production into aluminum extrusion and finishing.

Steve Chen (left), Crystal COO and Thomas Chen CEO (right) with Queens Borough president Melinda Katz (center).

Intertek Expands
U.S. Presence

Intertek says it plans to invest more in the U.S. than it ever has before, increasing its facilities and adding new testing devices.

“Intertek remains committed to expanding our North American service offerings to better help customers bring products to market and respond to relevant regulations and requirements,” says Gregg Tiemann, chief executive of products. “We see robust growth over the next three years in the building products sector, and these investments are just a few of the latest that illustrate our continued commitment to the building products industry in the United States.”

The company’s new facility in Plano, Texas, will expand mock-up testing with more space, updated equipment and new services with room for future expansion.

The company has also doubled the size of its mock-up facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., and added four new regional offices in Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Denver and Los Angeles.

In addition, its existing fire-testing facility in Elmendorf, Texas, now provides verification and certification to Canada’s CAN/ULC S134 standard, the counterpart to NFPA 285 in the U.S.

“The expansion of the Plano and West Palm Beach facilities, new regional offices, and CAN/ULC testing capabilities are just some of the latest advancements we’ve made since the acquisition of Architectural Testing,” says Gavin Campbell, senior global vice president for building products. “These recent developments are part of the ‘Building Better Together’ mantra we’ve adopted in order to provide more viable solutions to the market through testing innovations, greater flexibility, and a customer-focused staff dedicated to meet and exceed the high standards
expected of us as a leader in building performance testing.”


Firestone Building Products Co. LLC’s Salt Lake City manufacturing facility completed 1 million man-hours without a lost-time accident. According to the company, its safety program includes training, evaluation of basic systems, internal audits and continuous improvement. Additionally, daily, monthly and quarterly meetings focus on workplace safety and process safety management … Erie Architectural Products and PPG Industries received “Vendor of the Year” awards from the American Subcontractors Association of Metro Washington.

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