PPG announces glass business realignment
Sept. 24, 2008 – Company investing $100 million in plant upgrades, announcing plant closures.
Sept. 24, 2008 – With demand declining for automotive and residential
window glass, PPG Industries has announced it is realigning its
performance glazings business. The company said it will cease production at its Owen
Sound, Ont., Canada, glass manufacturing facility in the first quarter 2009.
distribution of products there will continue until inventory is depleted. The company also
said it would idle one float glass line at its Mt. Zion, Ill., glass plant in the second quarter
next year. In addition, PPG said it is investing $100 million in its remaining glass-making
The plant and unit closures coincide with rebuilt, higher-throughput lines reopening at
PPG glass plants in Carlisle, Pa., and Wichita Falls, Texas. They also are affected by
PPG’s July 8 announcement of the pending sale of its automotive glass and services
business to an affiliate of funds managed by the private equity firm of Kohlberg &
“This realignment will enable us to adapt to the changing demands of the industry,” said
Mark Orcutt, PPG vice president, performance glazings. “The changes are part of PPG’s
transformation of its performance glazing business and will help to improve our focus on
profitable market segments and value-added products.”
Orcutt specifically cited specialized glass for the emerging solar market and energy-
efficient glass to satisfy evolving building codes fueled by the green building movement,
which is driving the commercial construction market.
The realignment of profitable
business segments, he added, will strengthen PPG’s glass operations and enhance the
company’s ability to meet the needs of customers who seek coated and high-
performance glass products.
“PPG invests very heavily in the development of new products and technologies,” Orcutt
said, “so it’s important that we leverage this in markets that value and reward scientific
As part of the business transformation, the company is investing $100 million in various
projects to improve productivity at its remaining glass facilities. According to Orcutt, “In
addition to the higher throughput lines coming onstream in 2009, we’ve identified several
opportunities to improve efficiency and expand operations at our other glass plants.” The
$100 million capital investment program, which includes both equipment and process
upgrades, is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter 2009.