Volume 47, Issue 9 - September 2012
Among these, PPG Industries instituted a 5 percent price increase on its Sungate 500; 7 percent on its Starphire ultra-clear glass; 9 percent on its clear glass, Atlantica, Azuria, Caribia, Graylite II and Pacifica glasses, all Vistacool coated glasses, and all Solarcool coated glasses; 12 percent on its Solarbronze, Solargray, Solarblue and Solexia glasses, and 12 cents per square foot on its Solarban 60 and Solarban 60VT on 6-mm clear glasses. The PPG price change took effect on August 6.
Company officials have attributed the hikes to “significant increases in the cost of raw materials associated with the production of [its] glass substrate products, as well as labor, healthcare and transportation-related costs.”
“PPG has undertaken numerous operational initiatives to mitigate the impact of inflationary costs, but they continue to outpace the improvement efforts and pricing trends in the marketplace,” wrote Mark Seeton, director of sales and marketing for Pittsburgh-based PPG Flat Glass in a letter that went out to customers. “As a result, we find it necessary to increase pricing on several of our primary glass products.” PPG officials declined to comment further on the changes.
Guardian Industries has notified its North American customers of several increases as well, which took effect on August 1. The company increased the price of its tempered products by 15 percent; all clear, tinted and textured glass products by 11 percent; UltraWhite low-iron and electronics grade glass products by 11 percent; all SunGuard, ClimaGuard and DiamondGuard coated and SatinDeco acid-etched products by 9 percent; and all mirror and laminated products by 7.5 percent.
“As I’m sure many of you are experiencing, costs continue to escalate, especially in the areas of freight, labor, raw materials and utilities,” wrote Bill Widmann, vice president of North American sales and marketing for the Auburn Hill, Mich.-based company, in a letter to customers. “Despite aggressive efforts, we have not been able to fully absorb these costs.”
Viracon also has raised prices on a number of products. Kevin Anez, director of marketing and product management, advised USGlass magazine that the pricing hikes stem from increases it has seen. “We can confirm that there is a price increase,” says Anez. “Basically our suppliers are asking for price increases and we’re absorbing [what] we can.”
Viracon’s Statesboro, Ga., Facility Re-Opens
The renovation of the Statesboro facility included 16 specific capital upgrades, and all major pieces of equipment received extensive maintenance. Most notably, the coating process was streamlined, according to the company.
The building’s roof was also replaced and the HVAC system was updated to yield a more controlled environment. Additionally, approximately 90 skylights have been installed to enhance natural lighting in specific areas of the factory, and to reduce energy usage during the day.
Viracon’s Statesboro facility is bringing back its workforce back in three phases and is scheduled to complete this in late September.
Benada Aluminum Files for Chapter 11
The company was formed as a Florida limited liability corporation on June 15, 2011, to purchase the assets of two aluminum products manufacturing companies: Florida Extruders International and Benada Aluminum of Florida Inc. (BAF).
The Chapter 11 filing cites weak sales that have led to cash flow problems and have required the company to purchase inventory cash on demand from all of its suppliers as a contributor to the filing. Additionally, the petition cites the fact that the company has faced an “impending inability to purchase raw materials for the past two months.” The largest industry unsecured creditors, according to court documents, include American Douglas Metals ($25,800.06) and Hydro Aluminum ($1,361,295.77).