New AFG plant to be in Abingdon

AFG Industries, Kingsport, Tenn., said Wednesday that it has selected a site in Abingdon for its new $30 million coating plant.

The 150,000-square-foot facility will be built in the Oak Park: Center for Business and Industry and will employ approximately 80 workers upon its completion, projected for mid-2004.The new plant will house a vacuum coater used primarily to fabricate AFG’s Comfort Ti products for the residential and commercial window markets, according to Frederick E.Wallin, vice president of marketing and business development for AFG Glass.

Comfort Ti Laminated is AFG’s new glass designed for high-wind environments, with this particular line “hurricane approved.” The line also includes Comfort Ti-AC 36 and 40, glasses named for their solar heat-blocking ability, and Radiance Ti, a self-cleaning glass.

AFG’s coaters are also used to coat front-surface mirrors, such as projection televisions, touch panels; plasma displays and solar panels for geothermal (heating) and photovoltaics and electro-chrome coatings for smart windows.

AFG also owns and operates coating facilities in Hampton, Iowa, Victorville, Calif., and Toronto.

“Our home and headquarters are in Northeast Tennessee, and we are excited to have our third coater in this region,” said D. Roger Kennedy, AFG president and CEO.

“AFG is dedicated to growth by creating sustainable value for our flat glass and technology customers. Our Comfort Ti family of products, which will be produced at this plant, are among the most effective energy savings products in the world today, and this new coater will provide us the opportunity to serve the growing Southeastern market by providing a low-cost technology to reduce air-conditioning loads,” Kennedy said.

Ed Wegener will be the manager of the new plant. He has had 15 years of experience in glass vacuum coating and will be relocating from Tucson, Ariz., to Abingdon.

The new coater is being manufactured by Applied Film Industries Longmont, Colo., and will be built at its plant in Alzenau, Germany. This will be AFG’s third state-of-the-art coater.

AFG is the second-largest flat glass manufacturer in North America and a part of the Flat Glass Co. of the Asahi Group, which is the largest flat glass manufacturer in the world.

In the Tri-Cities, in addition to its Kingsport corporate headquarters, AFG operates the Blue Ridge Plant in Kingsport and Greenland Plant in Church Hill, Tenn.

600450 New AFG plant to be in Abingdon

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