Westcountry Glass leading the way with the UK’s First Northglass AG Gapless Series 5th Generation Toughening Plant

Westcountry Glass, part of the Cornwall Glass Group, recently purchased its first piece of major processing machinery for its new factory in Plymouth.

The toughening plant from Lambert GT Services Limited is the first type of this specific toughening plant series in the UK and it also makes it the largest in the South West, enabling their toughened glass capabilities to be up to 2850mm x 4200mm.Lambert GT Services Limited, who is supplying and installing the new toughening furnace, has bought a wealth of experience and expertise. The AG-Series Gapless Forced Convection Glass Tempering Furnace is the first state-of-the-art toughening plant to be installed in this country. This new 5th generation furnace brings the benefit of superior product quality, higher efficiency and easier processing control. The furnace has an intelligent temperature control module with a more accurate heating zone along with technology to avoid overheating of glass edges and thermal stress spots causes by uneven hot air backflow.

Peter Lambert from Lambert GT Services Limited has been associated with manufacturing tempering systems for more than 30 years and designing his own machines for over 20 years. With the skills and experience that Lambert GT brings to Westcountry Glass and their new processing capabilities is invaluable.

Peter comments “Northglass already have installations in most of the major glass companies in Europe. Now, with the Cornwall Glass Group added to that list of high profile customers, so does the UK. Lambert GT Services are extremely pleased and privileged to be associated with Cornwall Glass on this project”

The impressive toughening plant will complement the next stage of machine investments including a unit line capable of producing oversized units in the region of 4000mm x 2700mm. The machinery is the first of its kind for Westcountry Glass and the Cornwall Glass Group and will take the group as a whole to new manufacturing capabilities and possibilities as well as offering customers a much wider range of products and processing.

This significant investment by Westcountry Glass is the first of the new machinery being ordered for their new factory in Plymouth over the next month, where it is anticipated that the factory will begin production at its new site at the end of the year.

£5million investment for local, family company

A £5 million investment and 30 new jobs to be created with one big move to Plymouth for the local family run glazing manufacturer, Westcountry Glass.

Westcountry Glass, which is part of the Cornwall Glass Group, is making their largest investment in its 37 years of trading of £5million. The sealed unit manufacturer, currently located in Saltash, is relocating and expanding into new premise in Plymouth. Their new factory, Concept House which is located in Langage Science Park in Plympton is over 40,000 square feet in size, quadrupling the size of their existing factory space.

Currently, Westcountry Glass manufactures and supplies over 150,000 double and tripled glazed units to the South West each year. With the growing market, Westcountry Glass has experienced such an increased demand over the past 5 years, with the output of sealed units manufactured a day has tripled in 5 years and an additional twilight shift being added to deliver the demands, that their manufacturing factory and team have outgrown their already extended factory! The new expansion will see Westcountry Glass’ delivery routes go up the M5 corridor to Birmingham and across the M4 to Swindon, growing the reach of the Cornwall Glass Group to new counties and customers, with exciting new possibilities.

The glass manufacturing and processing capabilities will also be increased, with a large investment into state of the art factories machinery and technology, including a new toughening plant and a CNC processor, which will enable the processing of shaped, etched and polished glass to any design requirement.

Quote from Mark Norcliffe, Company Director:

“I am very proud to have had the opportunity to Direct Westcountry Glass since it became part of Cornwall Glass Group in the summer of 2009.

Six years on and Westcountry Glass has retained the majority of its very loyal customers and skilled and experienced hard working colleagues who are now building on all the success of these years to take the business into its next exciting chapter.

This significant investment in the Cornwall Glass Group at Westcountry Glass will enable us to provide our own branch network, existing customers and new customers with a full range of high performance and much larger product offerings along with new single toughened processed glass products which we have not been able to produce before.

We are all very excited and looking forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead.”

The family run company began trading back in 1978 in Truro, Cornwall. As the business grew, additional branches were added to the group, including Plymouth Glass Centre in Devonport. Today the group has 15 branches from Penzance to Bristol and over 200 colleagues, with brothers Garry and Mark as company directors with their father as the company’s Chairman and it is evident that the family values run through the core of the group.

Mark Mitchell, Managing Director of the Cornwall Glass Group commented that ‘the company’s roots were very much laid down by Mum & Dad, we are proud of our values and heritage and it is felt throughout our group which I believe to be a major factor in our success’.

Combining the family values, the dedication of a highly skilled colleagues, state of the art facilities and the extensive range of products, it has allowed the Cornwall Glass Group to position itself as the leading glass and glazing manufacturer and supplier in the South West.

The relocation will initially create 30 local jobs over the next 2 years for the Plymouth community, including skilled processors and apprentices, adding to their already strong team of 38. From glass processors and HGV drivers to the sales team, the team will also enjoy continuous training to advance their existing skills and knowledge. The Cornwall Glass Group have for many years, recognised the many virtues and importance of training and enhancing skills for colleagues continued development. With over 200 colleagues within the group, their expertise and experience is utilised in helping and developing new colleague’s skills which is an essential part of colleagues training and there is plenty of this to share around! For more information on the available jobs, please email jobs@cornwallglass.co.uk 

The Cornwall Glass Groups team size has risen by 35% since 2008. With a low turnover of staff, the group has a highly skilled and experienced workforce, from fresh faced apprentices fuelling the future to colleagues approaching their 70’s who want to continue past their retirement, together it has blended experience, youth and dedication where the camaraderie is unmistakable.

This exciting new move for Westcountry Glass will be fully operational in the later part of 2015.

600450 Westcountry Glass leading the way with the UK’s First Northglass AG Gapless Series 5th Generation Toughening Plant glassonweb.com

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