55 million USD investment enables Vitro Glass to produce glass sizes up to 5.1 metres
Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG Glass) began producing energy-efficient glass in sizes 112.5 percent larger than standard size lites on a new jumbo magnetron sputtered vacuum deposition (MSVD) glass coater at its Wichita Falls, Texas, manufacturing plant.
Constructed in 14 months, the jumbo coater was introduced at an open house attended by Vitro executives, customers and employees, and government officials from Wichita Falls and the state of Texas.
The unit, reportedly the largest vacuum-temperable-capable MSVD coater in North America, enables Vitro Glass to produce high-performing, low-emissivity (low-e) glasses in the larger sizes preferred by today’s building designers.
“The trend in buildings today is large, expansive glass—with some panels over 12 feet tall—that is also energy efficient,” explained Bill Haley, Wichita Falls plant manager. “Vitro can now meet architects’ growing demand for low-e glass in sizes as large as 130-by-204 inches. The coater further enhances our ability to cost-efficiently produce a variety of high-performance architectural glasses that comply with more stringent building codes and meet the industry’s increasingly complex design challenges.”
The coater is 22 percent wider and 50 percent longer than the plant’s other MSVD coater, which produces standard size (96-by-130 inches) glass. The jumbo MSVD coater applies Solarban® solar control low-e coatings on a variety of large-area glass substrates in standard thicknesses while providing precision color control and aesthetics.
It will produce more glass-per-energy-unit than most MSVD coaters currently in operation, while increasing the plant’s annual low-e glass production by 20 percent.
Richard A. Beuke, president, Vitro Architectural Glass, said the coater builds on the company’s history of innovation. “Vitro Glass was the first glass manufacturer to produce a triple-silver-coated product (Solarban 70XL glass) and the first to develop the quad-silver coating technology now featured in our Solarban 90 glass.
“This groundbreaking manufacturing advance will allow us to more quickly introduce new development platforms for solar control low-e coatings and accelerate our ability to bring new products to market.”
The Wichita Falls plant, one of Vitro Glass’s four U.S. manufacturing facilities, was selected as the site for the MSVD coater in February 2017, four months after the company acquired all assets of PPG’s former flat glass business in October 2016. The plant’s location provides the southern United States—the region with the highest demand for low-e glass—with convenient access to a full range of glass sizes.