Vitro increases furnace capacity in Querétaro, making it the largest in Latin America

Vitro S.A.B. de C.V. (BMV: VITROA), announced that with an investment of USD $50 million to carryout major maintenance works on one of its furnaces in the Vidriera Querétaro Plant, it was able to convert said furnace into the largest of its kind in Latin America and to increase its container production capacity by 9 percent.       Just in the last 3 years, US$120 million have been invested to make major repairs on the three furnaces of Vidriera Querétaro to increase its capacity and lengthen its useful life.In reference to said achievement, Jesús Zubiría Luque, Vitro VP Soda Lime Glass Containers said that “the production capacity of the plant is 250 thousand tons per day, now that the VQ1 furnace expanded its capacity from 400 to 440 tons and it can still grow given that this furnace has the capacity to melt over 500 tons per day.”He remembered that this furnace started operating when the plant in Querétaro started its operations on October, 1979. “Back then, it had a production capacity of 330 tons per day and as it has been given maintenance, it has grown, first to 400 tons and this time to 440 with the option to reach 500 tons per day with a useful life of 12 years.

This means producing 2.6 million containers per day, enough to fill 20 beer distributing trucks.”

According to Juan Farías Garza, Vitro VP FAMA and Technology, the project for the growth of the furnace was carried out on record time “From glass to glass, meaning, since the last container was produced before the maintenance until the first was produced with the reconfigured furnace, it only took 90 days and the project was conceived in only six months. This required the work of 1,014 people, from Vitro as well as external personnel, 61 suppliers, most of them domestic and 28 contactor companies.”

The decision to increase the production capacity for containers in this furnace is a result of the market situation for containers and its operation requires the work of 280 operating personnel. “An important part of the operation of VQ1 is the employment of advanced technology which allows us, through continual computer monitoring of each of the process stages, to guarantee consistency in the quality and shape of all the containers being produced. Thanks to this, we can fulfill the current and future needs of our clients with the quality that has always characterized us and in the times required”, said Eduardo Armas Carrillo, Vitro VP Glass Containers Operations.

Likewise, Eduardo Servín Coss, manager of the Vidriera Querétaro plant, explained that this plant represents 31 percent of the company’s production in this segment. “85 percent of the production of this plant is used for the domestic market, while 15 percent is for exports”. He then remembered that Vidriera Querétaro is one of the 10 production centers of Vitro’s Containers business unit and that “… it is one of the largest and most competitive glass production facilities in the Americas, having 3 furnaces and 12 production lines with a joint melting capacity of 1,250 tons per day, meaning a bit more than 6.5 million pieces per day”.

With the installation of the new VQ1 furnace, Vitro acquires a new competitive advantage, by fulfilling the strictest market requirements and responding on time and form to the needs of the market for containers of all kinds. “This selective investment by Vitro, allows us to strengthen our production capacity to fulfill the needs of our current and potential future clients”, concluded Zubiría.

600450 Vitro increases furnace capacity in Querétaro, making it the largest in Latin America
Date: 18 June 2013

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