e-glass weekly - April 15, 2008 | Vol 3, Num 15
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Saflex increases PVB price

Officials at Saflex, a unit of Solutia Inc. of St. Louis, Mo., announced April 8 price increases of up to 40 percent on its Saflex polyvinyl butyral sheet products, depending on grade and
location. ...

Officials at Saflex, a unit of Solutia Inc. of St. Louis, Mo., announced April 8 price increases of up to 40 percent on its Saflex polyvinyl butyral sheet products, depending on grade and location. The price hike, a result of rising raw material, energy and transportation costs, will be implemented effective May 1, according to a company release.

“As in many industries, pent up pressure from petrochemical-based raw materials is working its way through the glazing value chain,” says Tim Feast, vice president, Business Management, Saflex. “The industry needs to recognize that these are significant cost pressures that cannot be absorbed upstream. Therefore, pricing all the way downstream needs to reflect the new realities of a world where in the last six months the price of oil has gone up more than 35 percent and natural gas more than 60 percent.”

Industry forecasts in late 2007 did not predict cost increases of this magnitude, said Luc De Temmerman, senior vice president of Solutia Inc. and president of the Saflex “and we are now at a point where sourcing raw materials at continuously higher prices makes no sense for our business unless the effects are passed on," in the release.

Dramatic increases in the price of oil, which occurred since Saflex PVB sheet contract prices were set during late 2007, have resulted in significantly higher prices for chemical feedstock raw materials.

“It seems that PVB is relatively tight at the moment,” Feast says. “This is a key reason why Saflex continues to make significant capacity investments around the world, to help our customers meet their growing demand. However, these investments only make sense if the increased raw material costs we are incurring can be reflected in market prices.”

Higher energy prices also have increased chemical manufacturing costs and driven up the cost of transportation.

Saflex has been investing heavily to meet growth in demand for its PVB sheet, according to the release. It has constructed a new PVB sheet production facility in Suzhou, China; added capability at its PVB sheet production facility in Santo Toribio, Mexico; and is close to completing a major new PVB sheet production line at its facility in Ghent, Belgium. Saflex has also been adding capacity for PVB resin, the key raw material for PVB sheet, in the United States and Europe to meet this new demand.

Saflex, DuPont of Wilmington, Del.; Sekisui Chemical Co. of Japan; and Kuruary Co. of Malaysia are the four large producers of PVB in the world.

By Sahely Mukerji, managing editor, Glass Magazine and AutoGlass

More top stories

For all of the week’s stories, click here. Visit www.GlassMagazine.net for daily headline news updates.

...

Future of solar-powered houses is clear: new windows could halve carbon emissions
People could live in glass houses and look at the world through rose-tinted windows while reducing their carbon emissions by 50 percent, thanks to QUT Institute of Sustainable Resources (ISR) research, according to an April 10 article from ScienceDaily ... read more

Sisecam expands
Turkish glass giant Sise ve Cam Fabrikalari, or Sisecam, broke ground for its new factory in Turgovishte, March 27. The plant is the first of four new production facilities that will be built in the vicinity of the north-eastern Bulgarian town that has a population of about 40,000, according to an April 4 article from The Sofia Echo ... read more

Wrightstyle expands with steel fabrication service
United Kingdom-based Wrightstyle, a safety glazing manufacturer, added steel fabrication service to its offerings, according to an April 4 company release. The custom service allows Wrightstyle to offer complete glass and steel products that meet U.S. and European fire, blast and performance safety standards, according to the release. ... read more

In the movie “Forrest Gump,” Bubba Blue discusses dozens of ways you can prepare shrimp. I can image GANA’s Greg Carney telling an interested party about the dozens of different kinds of
glass. ...

In the movie “Forrest Gump,” Bubba Blue discusses dozens of ways you can prepare shrimp. I can image GANA’s Greg Carney telling an interested party about the dozens of different kinds of glass. ... read more

Processing equipment for solar power industry

Glasstech Inc. of Perrysburg, Ohio, introduced glass processing equipment for fabrication of bent glass substrates for concentrated solar power products, and flat panels for photovoltaics. ...

Glasstech Inc. of Perrysburg, Ohio, introduced glass processing equipment for fabrication of bent glass substrates for concentrated solar power products, and flat panels for photovoltaics.



The equipment includes the Cylindrical Radius Bender – Solar Parabolic Shapes, or CRB-S; the Electric Radiant Heater – Solar Features, or ERH-S; and the Forced Convection Heater – Solar Features, or FCH-S. The CRB-S, a system for processing parabolic shapes for concentrated solar power, features a 1,700-millimeter-by-2,000-millimeter forming bed and processes glass of varying thicknesses depending on the surface-strengthening treatment required. The system will form glass from 1.6 millimeters up to 5 millimeters for specifications and tolerances needed for solar parabolic trough reflector glass parts. The ERH-S is a continuous tempering line with an electric radiant heater that will flat temper low-iron glass for cover panels and coated glass, as well as clear glass for photovoltaic panels. The FCH-S is a gas-fired convection heater system and a continuous flat-tempering system. It requires less floor space than the ERH-S and achieves speeds and tolerances suitable for the photovoltaic market, according to a company release.
419/661-9500 | www.glasstech.com

Back injuries account for more than 93 million lost work days each year, according to The Hartford investment and insurance company’s loss control department. ...



Back injuries account for more than 93 million lost work days each year, according to The Hartford investment and insurance company’s loss control department.

Back education and back care should be key elements of any safety program. To be effective, a back injury prevention program should focus on proper techniques for lifting, pivoting, standing and sitting both on and off the job. Of the 168 hours in a week, only 40 or so are spent at the workplace, and many leisure-time activities can lead to on-the-job back injuries. Here’s how: Performing yard work incorrectly or driving long distances can cause back fatigue or pain. Then, an incorrect twist, turn, or lift at work on Monday morning can become the “straw that breaks the camel’s back” and lead to a back injury and a workers’ compensation claim.


For more information about this loss control program available to NGA members through GlassInsure, call the program administrator at 800/640-7601.

Construction price inflation continues in March

AGC economist offers advice on coping with rising
material costs

Steel and diesel costs have skyrocketed in recent months, says Ken Simonson, chief economist for The Associated General Contractors of America, Arlington, Va. ...

AGC economist offers advice on coping with rising material costs
Steel and diesel costs have skyrocketed in recent months, says Ken Simonson, chief economist for The Associated General Contractors of America, Arlington, Va. “The industry is seeing dramatic increases in steel costs. Prices are up as much as 50 percent from December. … Diesel costs are up 39 percent from a year ago.”

The producer price index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics increased 2.2 percent for diesel fuel and 3.5 percent for steel in February, according to a March 18 AGC
release. The March PPI will likely show even more increases, Simonson says.

Glass companies feel diesel hikes directly, as they rely on diesel to fuel on-site equipment and trucks for deliveries. “Companies are also seeing fuel surcharges on their deliveries,” Simonson says.

Glazing companies should keep a close eye on the markets and maintain good communication with suppliers and customers, Simonson says. “Glass companies may want to look at price adjustment clauses to ensure … that the risk is shared,” he says. AGC offers an alternative set of contract construction documents at www.consensusdocs.org that includes price adjustment clauses.

Simonson would not give a detailed prediction of what’s to come, but did say, “given the soft economy and seemingly ample supply of things like petroleum and diesel, it’s possible prices will come down. However, a year ago, prices remained flat for most of the year. So, prices this year will be dramatically increased over last year, even if we don’t see further increases.”

—By Katy Devlin, retail/commercial glass editor for Glass Magazine

More business headlines

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Fuel prices aren't done setting records
American motorists can expect to shell out $3.54 a gallon on average over the next six months to fill up their gas tanks, with the most painful prices likely to hit in June, government forecasters said on Tuesday, according to an April 8 article in the Houston Chronicle ... read more

New report profiles major players in the flat glass market in the UK
Research and Markets has announced the addition of Flat Glass (UK) - Portfolio Analysis to their offering. The Flat Glass (UK) - Portfolio Analysis is a comprehensive evaluation of the UK market, according to an April 4 Research and Markets release ... read more

Southwall Technologies and Sound Solutions Windows & Doors form joint venture
Southwall Technologies Inc., Palo Alto, Calif., joined hands with Chicago-based manufacturer Sound Solutions Windows & Doors to form Southwall Insulating Glass, according to an April 10 Southwall Technologies release ... read more