US manufacturer Guardian Glass has spent €50 million on environmental technology and emissions control at its European plants.
The global flat glass manufacturer based in Michigan, United States, has invested more than €50 million in the last five years to equip all of its float facilities in Europe with the best available technology and emissions control systems that reduce emissions by 80-90% for certain pollutants from the float glass process.
The investments to meet the global demand are much higher.
Kevin Baird, President and CEO of Guardian Glass said: “There has been very strong demand in the last several years, which is still increasing, for low iron glass.
“The difference between UltraClear low-iron glass and glass with more or an ordinary amount of iron is pretty remarkable when they are side by side.
“And [the demand is] also mostly for interiors; for textured and patterned glass.
“So given our focus on product or process innovation, we do invest heavily in R&D.
“This will be the biggest investment year in Guardian history.
“Some of the investments include a new jumbo-coater that will launch in the US in a couple of months, maybe in September.
“Of course, we are doing cold tank repairs throughout the world.
“We finished one in Brazil earlier this year, we’re in the middle of one in Poland and we will start one in the US later this year.”
Since 2016, Guardian Glass has seen healthy demand for glass, and it believes that over the next five years, glass will continue to grow by 4% a year.
Guus Boekhoudt, Vice President of Guardian Glass and General Manager of Guardian Glass in Europe, said: “I’m very proud that the biggest investment of Guardian Glass is going to be in Poland.
“It’s a thousand-tonne tank and will be 16 million m2.
“The plant will start up in the third quarter of 2019 and will create around 50 new jobs, so I think that’s important.
“With this investment, I hope that we will strengthen our position in the European market as a leading producer of float, coated and laminated glass.”
Guardian Glass has also opened a new research centre in the last year based in Luxembourg. The aim is to create 'beautiful glass products' that are energy efficient and sustainable.
Sheldon Davis, Vice President of Science, Technology and Innovation at Guardian Glass, said: “I’m very happy and pleased.
“We’ve done this because Europe is a very important market to us.
“And I think that it’s important to us in a number of ways.
“Not only is it a place where business is good and markets are growing, but it’s a place where we really need to be in touch with our customers.
“So we have created a centre in part to satisfy the needs of those customers, get to know those customers and be able to take our global technology and bring it to the European context in a more effective and efficient way.”
Guardian Glass will be exhibiting at glasstec 2018 on 23rd-26th October in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Pictured: Kevin Baird, President and CEO of Guardian Glass