It was clear to all of those attending that Guardian’s presence in the UK market is well supported by all areas of our industry.
Scott Thomsen – President of Guardian’s Global Flat Glass Division gave the keynote speech for the event, talking about the industry on a global scale and explaining his idea’s and views on innovation and adding value to the flat glass products so intrinsic to our businesses. Scott then went into some detail about Guardian’s new magnetron glass coater and how vacuum sputter coaters offer the pinnacle of modern glass coating technology and represent the future for all new flat glass coatings. Scott finished by explaining how Guardian has always worked to support the independent glass & glazing industry and the mutual benefits of working closely together as a long term strategy to help both our business and our customer’s businesses grow. Scott stated “We know that our success is based on your success. We are doing what we can to help you grow your business and we know the benefits are mutual. We keep our eyes on that fact.” Scott then reminded us of something Bill Davidson had said when Guardian’s UK plant was opened, “Bill Davidson, our late founder and CEO, told you back when we opened the UK plant that we are the independent supplier serving the independent customers. We reminded you of that pledge when we met five years ago and launched the Lami line and the Glass Room. We continue that commitment to you today”.
Scott's speech was then followed by Mark Bristow – Regional Manager for Guardian’s Flat Glass Division in the UK & Ireland, Mark spoke about the history of the UK plant and the way it has diversified and grown over the last 10 years, he talked about the hurdles Guardian had to leap to establish itself in the UK and the mutual support between Guardian and the independent businesses around the UK and Ireland. Mark finished by looking to the present and the future, talking about Guardian Glass UK’s magnetron glass coater and its most recent innovation – Guardian Plus and how it has taken Guardian’s long term “best in service” approach to the next level by providing an unparalleled system of industry support both technically and from a sales and service perspective. Mark stated “The success to date of Guardian Plus has exceeded our expectations. Already we have over 850 Guardian Plus Members. Over 12,000 unique visitors have now visited the site and more than 8000 pieces of literature, technical data and specification tools have been downloaded.” Both Scott Thomsen and Mark Bristow’s speeches were warmly received and set the scene well for the cutting of the ribbon when the coater was officially opened by Scott.
After lunch tours set off all around the vast float glass plant, visiting the facilities with detailed explanations of all the equipment and machinery required to service the UK market. Finally the day was concluded with a tour of the Glass Room and Guardian’s Innovation room which presented new products launched by Guardian alongside older, popular products which have carried the test of time. Guardian’s SunGuard EC was on display showing advanced electrochromic technology, as well as other new products such as ClimaGuard Dry – Anti External Condensation Glass, which may not be the product for today, but is sure to be a product for the future as more highly efficient IGU’s and triple glazing become common place in the market! All in all the day was a resounding success and well received by all those that attended.