Volume 50, Issue 9 - September 2015

Global Update

Glass, Doors and Windows Could be Strong U.S. Exports

A global construction boom and a growing emphasis on green building technologies will create strong opportunities for U.S. building products exporters, including manufacturers of glass, doors and windows.

That’s according to the 2015 Top Markets Report for Building Products and Sustainable Construction from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA).

Global construction is expected to grow around 70 percent from 2014-2020, creating a $12 trillion marketplace, according to the report.

During that time, exports of glass from this country are expected to exceed $1 billion, a slight downturn from $1.1 billion in 2013.

“A trend in the glass sector has seen major U.S. glass companies establishing manufacturing facilities overseas, to serve target markets from more proximate or lower-cost locations,” the report says.

U.S. exports of doors and windows are projected to reach $9.75 billion by 2017, up from $7.9 billion in 2013.
“U.S. manufacturers provide (door and window) products that are high performing in energy efficiency and are known for durability and low maintenance requirements,” according to the report.

Canada is the No. 2 U.S. market for exports of glass and the No. 1 market for doors and windows. Mexico is the No. 3 market for exports of glass from the U.S. and the No. 2 market for doors and windows. Hong Kong is the No. 1 market for glass exported from the U.S.

U.S. Glass Exports,
a Closer Look

• Currently exporting to 165 markets;

• World glass import market
(non-U.S.): $11.3 billion;

• World import market growth: 3.41 percent CAGR 2010-2013; and

• Growth of U.S. exports: 3.75
percent CAGR 2010-2013.

Key Export Market Access Challenges

• Tariffs;

• Regulations;

• Standards and conformity
assessment; and

• Access to market
intelligence, trade
promotion opportunity
information, information on and trade finance.

Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, 2015 Top Markets Report for Building Products and Sustainable Construction

Activar Expands Representation to Middle East

The Activar Construction Products Group (ACPG) has reached an agreement with Insulux Trading DMCC of Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), to represent its Air Louvers brand of vision lites and louvers in the Middle East. Insulux Trading is a member of the Dubai Multicommodities Centre (DMCC), a UAE free trade zone that includes more than 10,000 companies, providing infrastructure, facilities and services to its members. According to a release from Activar, Insulux Trading specializes in architectural fire-rated glazing solutions for commercial construction projects. Insulux will represent Air Louvers products in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. AGPC is a privately held group of companies headquartered in Bloomington, Minn. The group operates manufacturing facilities there, as well as in Commerce, Calif. It has eight additional warehouses throughout the U.S.

Glaston Reports Worldwide Sales; Signs New Financing Agreement

Finland-based Glaston announced it has closed a number of global sales over the past few months. Combined, the deals are valued at more than $10 million USD.

Heat treatment and pre-processing lines were sold to the Spanish company Tvitec–Técnicas de Vidro Transformado S.L. The machines are booked in Glaston’s 2015 second-quarter order book and will be delivered to the customer during the third and fourth quarter of 2015. The order is a follow-up to a deal made in 2013.

The deal also includes a pre-processing line for double-edging. One of the heat treatment lines and the pre-processing line will be installed at the company’s new factory close to Oporto, Portugal.

An FC500 tempering line, ProL laminating line and pre-processing machines were sold to Amjad Scientific of Kuwait. The machines will be delivered during the last quarter of 2015, and the order is booked in Glaston’s second quarter.

Amjad Scientific is a first-time customer for Glaston and is new to the glass-processing business.

In addition, Glaston closed a deal with European glass processor Press Glass SA of Poland, which is booked in the second quarter of its fiscal year. This includes an FC500 tempering furnace and ProBend furnace for cylindrical bent safety glass.

The delivery to Press Glass’ plant in Tychy, Poland, is scheduled for the last quarter of 2015. The order is a follow-up to a deal made in 2014.

In other news, Glaston signed a new long-term financing agreement, which consists of an $11.4 million (EUR 10 million) long-term loan and a $25.1 million (EUR 22 million) revolving credit facility, which can be used for short-term financing and guarantees, according to the company.

Nordea Bank Plc and Pohjola Bank plc are the arrangers of the loan.

DFI Expands Global Agreements

Italbox, a European designer of shower screens, has installed DFI’s Diamon-Fusion coater FuseCube at its headquarters in Portugal. According to DFI, Italbox will utilize a small-model FuseCube, which can apply Diamon-Fusion to both sides of the glass, and all edges, of up to 75 standard size shower panels—amounting to more than 1,800 square feet of surface area.

“[The] integration of the FuseCube will allow us to satisfy the needs of each client as well as increase our standards of differentiation, sustainability and social concern,” says Miguel Sao Bento, financial director of Italbox.

In addition, DFI signed an exclusive distribution agreement with a South African-based company, EasyClean Group. According to Guillermo Seta, corporate vice president of DFI, the move marks a continued growth strategy in expanding the company’s global reach in the African region. The distribution agreement applies to residential and commercial architectural glass, as well as automotive.

Guardian Upgrades Coater
in U.K. Facility

Guardian Industries’ Glass Group invested more than $3.28 million to upgrade the production line at its Goole plant in East Yorkshire, U.K. Pablo Isasmendi, above, is the Guardian Glass U.K. plant manager.

Guardian Industries’ Glass Group has invested more than $3.28 million (3 million EUR) to upgrade the production line at its Goole plant in East Yorkshire. According to the announcement, this gives the U.K.-based facility the capability to make all of the “advanced coatings” for its SunGuard SuperNeutral product series.

“Manufacturing SunGuard glass in the U.K. allows a much greater level of flexibility for Guardian and its customers,” says Pablo Isasmendi, plant manager at Guardian Glass U.K. “To ensure we provide the same level of quality SunGuard products produced by our sister plants in continental Europe, we have also installed a sample-size [tempering] furnace that allows us to inspect the quality of the tempered product during every production run.”

A key part of the coater upgrade was the addition of a Temporary Protective Film (TPF) applicator, according to Guardian. “The TPF is used on all SunGuard SN products to protect the coating before and during processing, helping to secure higher yields through manufacturing,” says Isasmendi.

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