The occasion is being marked by an official ceremony attended by Employment minister Monica De Coninck and numerous other prominent people. The factory was opened in 1922 and quickly developed into a specialist facility for making high-quality glass. Today Mol continues to innovate, offering products that meet the most stringent requirements for comfort, safety and the environment. A powerful illustration of this forward-oriented thinking is the production of glass for the Tesla, the electric car of the future.
Innovative force thanks to a broad view of technology
AGC in Mol has always been an innovation leader, thanks to a mix of people, expertise and technology. Already in 1948 Mol showed its innovative strength with the production of Thermopane, the first double glazing, which represented a breakthrough in building insulation.
Today the plant responds to the growing demand for new materials and the need to use less inputs. One example of this is the super-thin high-quality flat glass with a thickness of 0.5 mm – no thicker than a sheet of paper – used mainly in touchscreens. AGC in Mol is the only one in Europe to make and export this product.
Other examples of innovation are clear glass with the highest energy transmission in the world, used for parabolic solar mirrors; glass for energy-saving, quick defrosting windscreens with a triple silver coating, which reduces the weight of the car and lowers consumption and CO2 emissions; and glass for self-dimming rear view mirrors for increased driving safety. Finally, Mol is the only plant in the Benelux to produce “Thermobel Green” insulating glazing, which is not only environment-friendly and fully recyclable but also beautiful in appearance.
Call for labour competitiveness
With this attention to innovation AGC seeks to remain at the forefront. In particular it calls on the authorities to promote labour competitiveness. “We plead for the authorities to support initiatives by employers and employees alike to seek ways of creating new forms of work,” says Jean-François Heris, CEO of AGC Glass Europe. “We have to think in terms of longer careers, as well as training and innovative forms of work organisation. Examples might include less rigid employment legislation, with the number of working hours calculated over a period of a year so that we can react to the seasonal variations in demand that are typical of the glass industry. This would give us more flexibility to cope with peak periods.” The company also pleads urgently for legislative measures to lower wage costs while nevertheless assuring a sufficient net income for employees.
Plant manager Ronny van Broekhoven adds that the strength and success of Mol lie not only in technology but also in the know-how that people share with each other on a daily basis. “Thanks to our ‘agile’ organisation and the commitment of employees we are constantly able to meet new challenges, keeping us at the forefront of the technological innovation and changes that the future brings. In the latest example of this, we are proud to announce that we in Mol are producing the glass and the coating for the amazing electric car of the future, the Tesla.”
AGC Glass Europe, a European leader in flat glass
Based in Brussels, AGC Glass Europe produces, processes and markets flat glass for the construction industry (external glazing and interior decoration), car manufacture, solar power applications and various specialised industries. It has more than 100 production, processing and distribution facilities throughout Europe, from Spain to Russia.
It is the European branch of AGC Glass, the world’s leading producer of flat glass.
www.agc-glass.eu (corporate site)
www.yourglass.com (glass for the construction industry and interior decoration)
www.agc-automotive.com (automotive glass)
www.agc-solar.com (glass for solar applications).