Improving fuel efficiency and aerodynamic performance from a car’s grille

Products Made Better.

SRG Global has developed Integrille™, an active grille shutter system that combines decorative grille features with fuel efficiency and aerodynamic functionality. “With more than 30 years of experience in the grilles and their attachments,” says Dave Prater, President and CEO of SRG Global, “we believed the time was ripe to take the existing technology to the next level – one that positively impacts consumers’ pocketbooks.”

Available in both fully integrated and semi-integrated versions, Integrille™ provides an estimated 20% weight reduction and a 30% improvement in aerodynamic performance compared to nonintegrated systems. SRG Global is committed to developing innovative new products by combining technology and imagination to meet our customers’ needs.

Middle East Sputter Coater Addition

Service Made Better.

Guardian recently announced it will invest in a new, high-technology glass coater at GulfGuard, the Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia float glass plant.

The new coater uses advanced technology for turning standard float glass into high performance, value-added glass. The coater will allow the plant to produce low-emissivity (low-E), solar control glass for residential and commercial applications. These high performance products dramatically improve a building’s energy efficiency, performance and comfort for its occupants. Guardian operates these advanced coaters throughout the world.

Kevin Baird, President and CEO, Guardian Glass, explains that the decision to add the coater is further demonstration of GulfGuard’s commitment to serving the long-term needs of its customers, in both Saudi Arabia and the GCC, and to invest in those areas where we have a competitive advantage. Guardian has had a strong presence in the Middle East since the GulfGuard plant launched in 1996, and architects and developers in the region are increasingly looking for high-performance glass products.

“The addition of the coater reflects our confidence in this facility,” says Kevin. “We will have the capacity to develop value-added products for the regional quickly and efficiently.”

Goole's Waste Heat Recovery System Setting the Standard in Energy Efficiency

Process Made Better.

For decades, Guardian Glass has developed energy-saving glass products that create value for our customers. Helping to make homes and buildings more energy efficient is one thing; trying to reduce energy consumed through the manufacturing process is another. A focus on continuous improvement and a drive to use fewer resources led the team at the Goole, United Kingdom float glass plant to develop a new system that is making a major step change in its manufacturing process.

The float glass process requires a large amount of energy. Running a furnace at around 1,600ºC (2,912ºF) around the clock, seven days a week, 365 days a year, inevitably requires the use of significant energy.

To help keep energy consumption as low as possible, regenerators on either side of the furnace capture waste heat, which is then used to raise the outside air temperature to 1,300ºC (2,372ºF) before the air enters the furnace. Additionally, the “batch,” the materials used to make glass, is heated before being deposited into the furnace to help maintain the furnace temperature. Even so, the nature of the float glass process still allows heat to escape the furnace.

The Goole team was convinced there had to be a way to reuse some of that energy effectively. Through extensive research and testing, the team developed a Waste Heat Recovery System (WHRS). The WHRS uses a complex method of capturing waste heat from the furnace without disrupting the delicate convection currents, which continually flow inside the furnace as the batch material is turned to molten glass.

Its implementation will provide half the electrical energy needed to operate the float line, which in turn will reduce the company’s dependency on public utilities and effectively reduce CO2 emissions by some 6,000 tons per year. In terms of environmental impact, that’s the equivalent of taking nearly 2,200 cars off the road.

“This is another great example of Guardian striving toward operational excellence,” says Pablo Isasmendi, Plant Manager, Guardian Glass UK. “We constantly look for new ways to innovate and improve the float glass process. This brings value by demonstrating a viable way to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions from the float glass manufacturing process.”

Guardian Donates Glass to Historic Renovation Project in Detroit

Communities Made Better.

When Guardian decided to support an auto industry landmark in the automotive capital of the world, an extended delivery date was not going to deter our participation.

Sometimes it takes a long time to see the results of a truly unique effort. That's certainly the case with a donation of glass that started in 2011 and was just recently completed.

The Ford Piquette Avenue plant was built in 1904 by Ford Motor Company. Several car models, including the famous Model T, were produced in the plant. When Ford moved production to another plant, the Piquette Avenue site was bought and used as a warehouse until it fell into almost total disuse in the 1990s. In 2000, the founders of the Model T Automotive Heritage Complex Inc. purchased the plant to establish a world-class museum and learning center.

There are more than 350 windows in the Ford Piquette Avenue plant, all of which needed critical repair and restoration. A volunteer work crew, appropriately named The Window Team, is rebuilding each window by hand, using Guardian glass, in its own factory on the second floor of the plant. To date, the team has rebuilt 275 window units. Because of the careful craftsmanship required for the replacement windows, Guardian arranged to make a series of glass deliveries over a serveral year period.

"We are very fortunate to be able to work with glass donated by Guardian," says Art Pope, Chair of The Window Team. "They have gone above and beyond anything we expected."

How one employee turned 20 seconds into $200,000.

Process Made Better.

Justin Daggs, an operator at Guardian’s Corsicana, Texas float glass plant, hates to waste time. So, while working on the High Volume Fabrication Line (HVFL), which is used to produce shower doors for North America, Justin analyzed the sequence of the HVFL’s milling and drilling operation and realized there were 20 seconds of wasted time in the process. Eliminating those 20 seconds would reduce the cycle time by 15%.

The equipment manufacturer sent a technician from Germany to confirm the potential cycle time saving and to institute the change.

The 20-second saving per shower door added up to an additional 24 hours of capacity per month and an annual contribution value to the plant’s production of nearly $200,000 per year.

“We are grateful for Justin’s commitment to the Guiding Principles at Guardian Industries and commend him for his creativity and hard work,” said Brandan Culloty, Corsicana Plant Manager.

Planning Pays Off – Annual Dealer Show a Resounding Success

Service Made Better.

Guardian Building Products (GBP) continued a long-standing tradition, starting 2016 with its annual Dealer Show at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel.

More than 200 of GBP’s customers joined top supplier partners and the GBP sales team for the two-day meeting and trade show.

Planning for the event began in 2015. From event logistics and show floor planning to pre-event attendee surveys and polls, the GBP organizing team worked to ensure the event focused on what its customers often value most – education.

The educational seminars were held on day one and then it was on to the trade show where more than 80 key industry suppliers showed their products and services.

Attendance and survey results from the event showed customers were excited about the quality of the educational sessions and appreciated the effort to renew this important aspect of the annual show.

According to Steve Knutson, regional vice president, the show is an extension of the company’s mission to help GBP customers reach their fullest business potential.

“Our service model is what separates us from the field,” says Steve. “This event gives Guardian Building Products an opportunity to showcase our national strength with local solutions to customer and supplier stakeholders.”