Press Glass with Forel: Towards Production Expansion in the United States

Date: 26 February 2024
Source: Forel
From left: Peter Zawada, Rafal Wrona, Gregg Vanier and Maciej Migalski
Photo source
From left: Peter Zawada, Rafal Wrona, Gregg Vanier and Maciej Migalski | Photo: Forel

Date: 26 February 2024

The partnership with Forel has facilitated Press Glass' specialization in structural and architectural glass production, catering to commercial and design sectors.

Image above: From left, Peter Zawada – Engineering Investments Project Manager at Press Glass Inc., Rafal Wrona – Special Glass Production Director at Press Glass Inc., Gregg Vanier – Director of Manufacturing and Technology at Press Glass Inc., Maciej Migalski – President of Press Glass Inc.

With over thirty years of experience, Press Glass has expanded its operational strategies by extending its production horizons from Europe to the United States. After establishing a highly dynamic and modern organization, the company positions itself as one of the leading global players in the flat glass processing market.

Press Glass’s first step on American soil was the acquisition of Glass Dynamics, a family-run business in Stoneville, North Carolina. At the time, the production standards met the needs of simple projects with limited final dimensions. “Back then, our focus was on medium and small-sized projects, such as commercial facades, shop windows, and other minor applications,” says Gregg Vanier, Director of Manufacturing and Technology at Press Glass Inc., referring to 2017.

PRESS GLASS AND FOREL: A STEP CHANGE TOWARDS NEW HORIZONS

Just two years later, in 2019, the expansion continued with the construction of a new production plant in Ridgeway, a small town in the Virginia countryside. This facility, which became operational in 2020, introduced more complex machinery to meet the demands of an ever-evolving market. This marked a significant advancement towards specialization in the production of structural glass for commercial buildings. The offering was diversified into a wide range of products: from high-quality tempered glass to laminated glass, including printed glass and insulating glass units.

Press Glass Inc. facility with an overview of Forel processing lines.
Press Glass Inc. facility with an overview of Forel processing lines.

To meet the demands of the world of architecture and contracting, the finished product sizes required a more advanced production and logistical asset. Hence, as Gregg Vanier states, the need to collaborate with Forel: “Our competitive advantage lies in the exceptional quality of our products, achieved through the use of first-rate machinery and the high qualification of our operators.

Vanier continues: “The reason we chose to collaborate with Forel is because of their vertical processing machines and insulating glass lines since we were looking for machinery that was precise, fast, and reliable” – after presenting an overview of the multinational’s evolution. “Pre-temper processing is one of the most relevant activities within our production cycle and is very susceptible in terms of accuracy, quality, simplicity, and yield. These characteristics are fundamental for our monolithic glasses in view of their future installations as balustrades, handrails, or shower systems, where the combination of aesthetics and safety is the starting point.”

Special glass processed by Forel processing line
Special glass processed by Forel processing line

THE IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING: ORIENTATION TO CUSTOMER NEEDS

Press Glass has managed to stand out in the global market thanks to its ability to understand customer needs and offer tailor-made solutions, meeting their requirements despite the challenges of managing large glass sizes.

Choosing Forel as a supplier for the expansion in the United States means having identified the ideal partner. To deeply enter the dynamics of a market yet to be discovered, it is necessary to rely on someone who can respond with a wide and innovative product line, developed to meet unique requirements and needs. Forel‘s organization, with a branch in Minnesota, has allowed for close monitoring of all project phases. Thanks to the presence on the territory, the project’s evolution has been constantly monitored with flexible management of any unforeseen events and effective achievement of the set goals.

With Forel’s NO LIMITS Insulating Glass line, purchased by Press Glass and introduced in the Ridgeway facility, it is possible to manage any format requested by customers with versatility: from the more contained format to Jumbo sizes with a maximum configurable height of 3,300 mm and for an extension in length of up to 6,000 mm. This type of product offers the customer the possibility to choose the most suitable tailor-made configuration for their needs.

A direct consequence of this innovation is the possibility to specialize in the production of structural and architectural glasses which find application in the commercial and design fields. With attention and sensitivity placed on the theme of energy saving; the possibility of packaging an insulating glass panel with three or even four glass sheets and with a maximum insulating thickness of up to 100 mm, significantly impacts the energy efficiency of the buildings in which these glass panels will be installed.

From left, Giovanni Quarti – Export Area Manager at Forel Spa, Carlo Zuccarello – Global Sales Manager at Forel Spa, Maciej Migalski – President at Press Glass Inc.
From left, Giovanni Quarti – Export Area Manager at Forel Spa, Carlo Zuccarello – Global Sales Manager at Forel Spa, Maciej Migalski – President at Press Glass Inc.

A PERSPECTIVE TOWARDS THE FUTURE, TOGETHER WITH FOREL

Although managing the installation of machinery for Jumbo-sized sheets might have seemed a challenge during the pandemic, the work team was fully supported by Forel’s team for a successful outcome. During the months of the installation phase, internal staff training courses were conducted in addition to the plant’s testing phase for prompt management of any emergencies. It’s worth noting that reliability is also guaranteed after the installation phase by Forel’s Service Support delivered through the onboard Forel Remote Control system, a sort of virtual technician who can intervene immediately in case of anomalies and minimize any machinery downtime.

We asked Gregg Vanier to outline what the next step in the market might be. “The future is automation” he concludes, announcing that the Ridgeway plant will be further expanded shortly to increase its production capacity and consolidate its position in the American market, counting on Forel as the main partner for the growth path.

600450 Press Glass with Forel: Towards Production Expansion in the United States glassonweb.com

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