Glaverbel committed to Cuneo plant

Bucking the trend of relocation to low-cost countries, Glaverbel is investing EUR 8 million in the building of a fourth production line at its facility at Cuneo, in north-west Italy. The line is set f…

Bucking the trend of relocation to low-cost countries, Glaverbel is investing EUR 8 million in the building of a fourth production line at its facility at Cuneo, in north-west Italy. The line is set for completion in early 2007 and will produce laminated glass. The 350 staff and 150 other workers at the plant already produce 700,000 replacement windscreens, 3 million square meters of mirrors (almost 50% of the Italian market) and 36 million square meters of flat glass in thicknesses from 3 to 25 millimeters, per annum. The secret to keeping the plant where it is and not fleeing to a cheaper location, according to the director general of Glaverbel Italy, Luigi Grugnetti, is following a system, but doing so properly, and not just talking about it. The work group composed of the local, provincial and regional authorities, Industrial Union, and Invest in Turin and Piedmont (ITP), has created the conditions for the development of the plant by aiming at high-tech diversification. The risk of being downsized or moved abroad, to the Czech Republic or Slovakia, has been a reality for a long time, he added. In the words of Paolo Corradini, director of ITP, the Glaverbel case shows that it is not enough just to attract foreign investors; they need to be attended to and made to feel special, otherwise an unhappy multinational will get up and leave in no time: there is no shortage of opportunities. As well as high-tech, the Glaverbel plant is also focused on green issues: 30% of the glass produced is from recycled material, and the plant has spent EUR 5 million on fume treatment equipment, able to remove 90% of fine particles and toxic gases.