No glass breaking at this grand opening

Peeking through the windows was encouraged Friday. Well, it was if you took a tour of the new Simonton Windows manufacturing plant on East Monte Vista Avenue.

The company celebrated the grand opening of its new plant Friday, though it's been operational since December. The plant currently employs 230, with plans to someday expand that number.

General Manager Tom Riscili said Simonton already operated in Vacaville, but had several separate facilities. He said the new plant will allow an expansion of the manufacturing capacity of the company.

The 175,000-square-foot manufacturing building overflows with loud noise - the buzz of the glass-cutting machine, the quick snaps of the precision frame-cutters and clap of the intercept line where glass meets frame. But, one sound load supervisor Justin Greene hopes not to hear too often is the sound of glass breaking.

"Safety is very important for us here," Greene said over the noise while giving a tour to local window retailers. "We have safety displays all over the plant with proper procedures illustrated and everyone wears the proper safety equipment."

Much of the plant is automated. The glass-cutter, with a surface the size of two pool tables, uses computers to relay what cuts are made by the automated blade. A team of employees stand nearby to make sure everything goes smooth as, well, glass.

The glass-cutter gets through 1,400 units per shift, Greene said. Then the glass goes to framing, sealing and glossing before human eyes check for quality and loaded the completed windows onto trucks.

600450 No glass breaking at this grand opening
Date: 22 February 2005

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